It’s important to maintain friendships. I once knew a woman who after getting married stopped seeing all her single friends she cherished before marriage because she thought it was more important to be dedicated to her husband. Little by little her friends gave up on her.
That was a very bad choice. Ten years later, she was divorced. It took her 5 or 6 years to make some new friends. She was lonely and everyone she used to know had moved or had moved on with their lives.
They usually have multiple hobbies, belong to multiple clubs and organizations and socialize with a broad range of different friends and acquaintances. This diversification of interests reduces the risk that their happiness will suffer a catastrophic lost… e.g., should a divorce occur.
Her dedication to her husband was admirable, however when she stopped seeing her friends she lost touch with part of the past that – up to the point of her wedding – had played a very important part in her life. After divorce she felt lost.
On the other hand, things do change when you get married. Some of your single friends will sometimes feel out of place and may drop away. Other so-called friends who perhaps were not the best people to be hanging out with; those who may have been a not-so-good example of a true friend and may want you to do some of the things you did while single may not be a good influence upon your marriage. If you continue to hang with them – I have known instances where they have caused major upsets in your relationship with your partner.
You may want to cut out all those wild and crazy nights out with the girls or the guys! Stumbling home after a night out at 2:30 in the morning should be in the past, unless it’s with each other. 😉
They must be your friend, perhaps your best friend – as well as be active in all the other roles a spouse plays in marriage. You would be wise to have other friends as well. The lives you were living before you met were an important part of what made each of you who you were. To suddenly drop all your friends is a mistake.
Some couples go so far as to completely give up everything they previously found fulfilling and important in order to spend time together. The problem with this is, over time as you became closer, you became more and more dependent on each other to meet your individual needs.
As you give up those things you find fulfilling and important for the sake of the relationship, this places a tremendous burden on your spouse to fill the void of whatever you gave up. And this burden will create neediness and dependency, as well as resentment and boredom.
Every marriage needs space between the spouses. No one can grow in the shade. When your partner focuses solely on you, you run the risk of becoming dependent upon each other and experiencing a monotonous coexistence. Not good. It is within this space that you find energy, passion, eroticism, quiet time, and personal fulfillment. Close friendships outside of the marriage are equally important.
One caution… Don’t share your marital woes with your friends. They are only getting one side of the story and they may talk you into something – a separation or divorce – that would have a devastating effect upon your relationship with your partner. Going over all the details of the issue with your friends is more likely to pump up your distress, make you feel angrier and even betrayed – not better. You and your partner must learn to talk about anything and everything, all the time. If you have issues you cannot reach agreement on, call a relationship coach.
Continue trying new activities, joining new groups and building additional friendships even if you already have things and people you know that make you happy. Always be true to yourself. Your friend hasn’t changed because you’ve gotten married – you have. Keep that friend. You’ll need someone to go shopping with. Or even to do all those things that your husband won’t do, e.g., get facials, pedicures, etc. You can’t have a girls spa day without your girlfriends. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. They will always rally behind you whenever you need it. Maybe you can’t hang out as much since you are married, but true friends are hard to come by so you don’t want to give up any.
The same goes for husbands!
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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