Somehow, we (the married for ~20 months couple) got asked if "being married was all we expected?" We did not really answer the question. And I'm not sure we had expectations all things considered. Marriage was more something we got into thinking we could make work more then something we had dreams and aspirations for. Of course, a relationship seemed the same, it was something that could work, more then something of dreams.
There are lots of examples of things to be afraid of. We both know people whose lives lost much in richness, became uninteresting, and definition when they became involved in romantic relationships, and replaced what we knew with a life completely defined only by their relationship, viewing the world only through the lens of romantic relationships, and viewing those who did not share this with disdain. I know of others who viewed their romantic relationships as prizes and possesions, that they would rather have the partner dead then with others, with all the righteousness of their God to justify them. And we have known people who were the possession or prize.
Did this happen with us? Some old interests faded away. Although living it, it feels like this is the natural progressions of interests, in the course of events our interests change, some fade away, others are added, and hopefully some get deeper. But having someone else there changes the direction. It is not that we share all the same interests (or that is ever going to happen, as anyone who knows us will no doubt affirm), but others are shared, and sharpened. Because there is little that sharpens more then someone else who can challenge, affirm, question, and support in ones endeavours and goals.
But this was not something that would lead to marriage. In the end the question was about living life. To take in the joys and the challenges, life's uncertainties and the rewards that may or may not be there. To recognise there are no guarantees in life, not even what is in life right now.
When we were dating, someone told me that the time we were apart when I was deployed overseas did not count when considering the time in relationship. I disagree. One of the results is that our relationship was stressed. It would not be the first such stress. My wife has joked that she thinks she found herself in a movie plot. And no doubt there will be more stresses and changes to come. And we will both change along the way as these stresses come, so it was good to learn how this happens. And probably even more important to learn how we undergo change then what the changes actually were. Neither of us is the same as the person we were when we met, when we got engaged, or when we got married. And it is better that way.