There's a moment everyone talks about when it comes to a wedding: It's the second the groom spots his bride walking down the aisle and the lovebirds lock eyes. He chokes up, she grins from ear-to-ear, and the joy between them is so thick you could cut it with a cake knife. With so much love packed into a single moment, it seems as if it can't get better than that.
But the good news is that it does get better from that moment on. Over the course of a long and healthy marriage, there are myriad moments that will give you the same tear-jerking, warm-and-fuzzy feels as the second you spotted each other at your wedding ceremony. Here are five you might experience.
1. The moment you realize it's all about we.
Sure, when you were dating — and especially if you lived together before you tied the knot — you got used to throwing out the we word: We'll be at the party, we're taking a trip to Italy, we aren't fans of* The Big Bang Theory*. But there will come a time post-wedding in which it really hits you that you're a unit. You're in this together, forever, and the word we takes on a whole new and massive meaning. Be prepared with tissues when it does.
2. The moment you establish your first tradition.
Whether you decide to buck the national trend and serve fish for Thanksgiving Debra Barone-style or buy a Christmas ornament for each other each year, the moment you decide "we're doing this awesome act from this holiday forward" will hit you with major merry emotions. Because there's nothing like having a tradition you started together and that you know you can look forward to each and every year.
3. The moment after you solve your first big married fight.
It's hardly your first bickering match. But married arguments are different: There's no easy escape route when your husband or wife does something you can't stand. There's also a serious sense of satisfaction, relief, and partnership when you work through and work out your differences because you're in this commitment for the long haul. No one is taking the easy way out, and that feels amazing.
4. The moment your spouse just knows what you need.
*No, your partner doesn't have a 24/7 crystal ball that reveals what you want or need in any given moment. And believing he or she should is simply setting yourself up for disappointment. But you will have one or a dozen moments in which he or she will slam-dunk exactly what you want, whether that's a glass of water on a hot day or a weekend getaway to Las Vegas. And in that moment, you'll feel incredibly grateful that there's one person in the world who knows you this well. *
5. The moment your spouse takes your side over someone else he or she loves.
Nothing will make you feel like more of a family unit than when your monster-in-law is up to no good and your spouse totally calls her out. It's not easy to stand up to the people we love, so when your spouse does it in your defense and out of love for you, be prepared to feel as if you've got a modern-day hero.