So you were the first of your friends to get married. Or, at the very least, you’re one of the first and the majority of your friends haven’t made it to the altar yet. You’re in a new stage. You and your husband have taken the next step in life. However that doesn’t mean you want to leave your unmarried friends in the dust! You still care about them, but you’ve found you now have little to relate with one another.
Well, I have some unfortunate news for you. You will lose friends when you get married. It’s terrible and difficult, I know. But it will happen naturally (for the most part). Marriage changes you. It just happens. You’ll drift apart from your friends because you start mingling in different circles. Plus, you won’t have as much in common anymore. While it’s hard to accept at first, it gets better. Your old friends will find new ones and you will too.
So, what about the friends that stay? You know the ones I mean, your super-close friends before you got married. You have to remember that your husband now holds your top priority. He’s your best friend after all, and you have to live with him. Friendships outside of marriage can run hot and cold. But still, what are you to do?
Spend time with them when you can. Get together with them for coffee or tea. Hang out at the mall in your free time. Be there for them, almost like you were before you got married. However, with the exception that you can’t just run to their side without letting your spouse know. Situations excluded from this would be emergencies or last-minute.
In our marriage, my husband and I run everything by each other before we act as best we can. It’s a great way to keep the communication lines open, but I understand this isn’t doable for everyone. Discover what works for your relationship and do that. This works for us. It means we won’t be upset due to ruined plans or being neglected. If I need him, and I communicate that, I know he’ll choose me over his friends. Same as if he needs me, and he communicates that, I will choose him over my friends.
Be a source of encouragement. Whether your best friend is dealing with guy woes or a friend is struggling through college, support them! Offer a shoulder for them to lean (or cry) on. There’s a dear friend of mine who has been through a LOT in the last year. Often, she’ll come over during the day while my husband’s at work and we’ll talk and laugh. We always have a great time together even though we’re in separate seasons of life. She knows my door is always open to her and she knows I’m almost always available through my phone.
But as with most things, I recommend you and your husband set healthy boundaries to protect your marriage. For instance, my husband and I prioritize quality time together during the week. When life interrupts our routine, it’s even more necessary for us to carve out some time to spend together. You don’t want to neglect your relationship! So when it comes to friends, we try to work them in around our needs/priorities. That goes for married or unmarried friends, too.
The truth is, the primary thing that changes in your friendships is simply how you relate to them, as well as your availability. Things won’t be the same after you tie the knot, nor should you expect them to be. So when entering that season, give your friends and yourself grace as you all discover your new roles. Be patient and hang on to your husband and to God when it’s tough. It’s a muddy season, but it’s brief. Hang in there!
Did you go through this? What is some advice you would offer to those in the middle of it?