Post # 1
One of my good girl friends is having a really hard time with me getting married. Not in that she doesn’t like the guy etc. but she’s worried that our friendship will change or that we’ll grow apart. Most of her friends are married or in serious relationships and she is single so I think she feels alone or left out. I told her that while of course I plan to keep our friendship as alive as I can, once I am married, my priorities will shift and my main focus will be my “family” aka my husband and I, our house, and our careers. I told her that this is what I want and what I’m ready for – I’m “over” the college lifestyle of hanging out with friends every day or multiple times a week and so is my future husband. My friends are a very important part of my life but honestly, I’m ready to spend the majority of my free time w/ my husband and he with I. She doesn’t really get it and I think while she understands THAT I will be shifting my priorities, I don’t think she really understands WHY and still kind of expects me to make her a #1 priority. I reassured her as much as possible that I will try to keep in touch w/ her as much as I can and get together as least once a month. While I think her fears are validated in a sense since our lives are kind of going in different directions and will be very different, I didn’t expect for her to get this upset and I was kind of caught off-guard. She starting crying and I didn’t know what to say. I’m not going to apologize for wanting to make my marriage my #1 priority.
Have any of you gone through this with a friend? How did you handle this (short-term and long-term)
Post # 3
I think its just something that happens. I dont think there is any way to plan for it. I dont really know how to help :/
Post # 4
My friends were pretty understanding and your friend will just have to deal. It’s a tough situation, but honestly, you have to put your marriage first. Maybe, make it a point to have a weekly outing with her. I have weekly dinner parties with my friends and that keeps us close.
Post # 5
I don’t really understand. How is your friendship is going to suddenly change when you get married? My friendships have changed and evolved as some of us have gotten married, had kids, etc. But it’s been a gradual thing… it’s not like someone flipped a switch.
Post # 6
I think you’re handling this pretty well as you are already. I also had a friend who was in a similar situation that your friend was in with her friends (including me) getting married. We tried to still include her in a lot of the things we did, but made it clear that we wouldn’t always be available to have girl nights whenever she wanted.
We also made an effort to have girl nights every once in a while. Now, that didn’t necessarily mean that we went out at night to bars trying to pick up guys like we might have in college, but we would go out for dinner and drinks, or get a pedicure together, or…our favorite was wine and wii parties! Something to include her to let her know that she didn’t always have to be the 3rd, 5th or 7th wheel all the time.
I think explaining to her the way you have that your priorities are going to be shifting is a good thing…b/c you’re explaining to her that your husband will now be #1 for you. And eventually, she’s going to start realizing that. Being at different points in your life are hard, but eventually she’ll catch up. And if she doesn’t, unfortunately, sometimes the friendship goes by the wayside. But I think that you’re doing a really good job of preparing her for what’s going to happen after you get married.
Post # 7
I don’t understand. If you normally hang out everyday why should things change so drastically down to once a month? Why not once a week atleast? Just because you are married doesn’t mean you ditch your friends. And sure marriage is #1, but why such a drastic shift? I’m sure she’s feeling really horrible and feels like she doesn’t have anyone left. And surely you will need some time away from the home more often than once a month.
Post # 8
How much time do you currently spend with her and how long have you been with your FI? I ask this, because in my close friendships, with time I’ve figured out a way to both balance my relationship with my Fiance and my relationship with my friends (single or married). It’s always evolving and changing and I make sure that Fiance doesn’t feel neglected and we are still spending time together. What i have noticed is that some of the fringe relationships are hard to impossible to maintain (there’s just not enough time) but the core, handful of friendships that are closest to me are ones that I remain close to.
I think you can still invest in your marriage and not abandon your friends. I believe strongly that you should maintain relationships outside of your spouse.
But, it also sounds like it might be a lifestyle type thing – you mention the college crowd – if all she wants to do is hit the singles bar scene – I could see how you’d be over it. But, it sounds like she wants to be part of your life – which I think is something that’s very doable.
From a singles perspective, I watched a lot of my friends get married before I did. Some completely abandoned me and I’d never hear from them. While others still treated me as a friend – regardless of the fact they were married. They made an effort to hang out with me on their own (meaning, not with their spouse) and that meant the world to me. I didn’t fully understand what they were going through as they got married and they didn’t fully understand the challenges I had being single…. but they made the effort and it was appreciated. That’s the type of friend I want to be to my friends post-marriage.
Hope that helps a little…
Post # 9
I think your friend is being selfish and a little manipulative with the crying stunt. It’s normal and natural for people to grow up and have a more adult lifestyle and settle down. She probably only feels this way because she’s alone, if it were HER getting married I promise it would be a different story. And I don’t know why you are already negotiating the time you will spend together after marriage as if you can predict that.
The truth is and this is what you should say to her, that you will need her friendship even more than ever once you’re married because you can’t rely on your husband for ALL your emotional support. And having friends makes your marriage stronger, again because you aren’t putting so much emotional ‘weight’ on your husband and you are happier in general fo rhaving fun activities outside of ‘couple’ things to refresh you. Even if you are best friends with your husband, you need other people in your life.
I had a friend who actually moved away because she was so upset about me getting married, she was also the only single one while everyone else was in a serious relationship, etc. So I totally recognize when people do this. I have other single friends who are perfectly happy for me and totally respectful when I can’t get together b/c I’m with my husband (but that almost never happens, I LOVE my girl time!).
Post # 10
Thanks everyone – I’m glad that I’m not alone here in this.
@Kericita – when we were roomates in college we saw each other every day since we lived together which was great then. When we graduated two years ago I moved in w/ my fiance and in these two years we see each other about once a week due to jobs, grad school, etc.. However, I am extremely busy w/ my job and grad school and sometimes I sacrifice time that I would spend w/ my fiance to hang out w/ her. So I guess what I’m saying is that I want her to understand that I’m going to be putting my husband as #1 priority and if there’s one free night out of the week, I’m going to spend it with my husband. I’d still like to get together w/ her AT LEAST once a month – probably more like 2-3 times but I just can’t guarentee that for instance, every single Monday night we’ll be able to hang out like we have in the past.
Post # 11
@oracle – I met both my fiance and friend in freshman year of college (6 years ago) – My fiance and I have been together for 5.5 years and have been living together for 2. I completely understand that it is hard for her to be the “single” friend but I don’t want her to make me feel guilty for what I want.
I definitely want friends in my life – I hope it doesn’t seem like that’s what I’m saying. I want a balance – I know that friendships are vital. However, I feel like her definition of balance is different than mine. I think I just need to be understanding of her feelings (which I’m really trying to do!) and create a balance in my life (husband, house, job, grad school, friends, family) that makes me happy – and I hope that she can be happy with it too.
Post # 12
You are doing the right thing. Your husband should be your best friend and number one priority. All you are saying is that you can’t have the same amount of girl time you had in college. I think that’s a hard concept to grasp for someone who has never gotten to that point yet with a relationship or hasn’t found someone they actually WANT to take priority in their lives. Don’t be upset with her. You said it yourself, she doesn’t get it. That’s all. When she’s in your situation, she will “get it.” In the meantime, don’t kick a dead horse. You’ve said your piece so let it alone. Assure her that you still want to be friends and you still like her. That’s what she needs to hear right now.
Post # 13
Oh, I agree with the pp about how often you hang out with your friend and how things have changed. I have friends who have gotten married through the years but the thing is, with a majority of them, I’ve been with my boyfriend longer than they have. Things haven’t really changed that much that I feel my friends or I feel left out. However, they are starting to have kids and I know that time is going to be a necessity so I know that we won’t see each other as much. But trust me, we are women, the cell phone is ALWAYS handy 🙂
Post # 14
I just think you need to assure her that you two will still be friends after marriage. It was hard for my gfs too, espcially on my roomate when I moved out. But it just mean’t a slight change to how and when we interact, and not to our friendship. Maybe you are the type of girl that needs more husband time, but I NEED to see my girlfriends at least once a week. It helps me stay connected to their lives. Also remember that you can always hang out in a group too. My close group of girls are constantly bringing along our boyfriends/fiances/husbands because then we get “friend” time and “couple” time all together.
Post # 15
Why don’t you just wait to see what happens? Like someone else had said..there’s not a switch that you flip once you get married. And again, like another person posted, you can’t rely on your husband for all your emotional support. And if you spend all your time together, you will end up resenting each other.
Myself, I probably wouldn’t even have had this conversation and just let life play itself out. You can’t plan out a friendship, you just have to let it happen.
I’ve had a best friend for numerous years now who was married. In the beginning the friendship was great, we constantly together. Her husband worked nights and had young kids, we would put the kids to bed and stay up playing video games & gabbing. Over the years that had dwindle bc we were getting older-plus its a natural course of a friendship. Then I met a guy, we stopped spending a majority of our time together, but we still made sure that we talked on the phone daily/weekly and saw each other on a regular basis. Then she got a divorced and she literally had a breakdown and I moved away at the same time. Our lives right now are COMPLETELY different. But even though we still don’t hang out all the time, we still talk on the phone because there is stuff that goes back years that only her & i know about. Or if there is something really personal that we can only share with each other.
Don’t make your friend feel like she is a second class citizen because she’s not. Just because you don’t live the same life style doesn’t mean you can’t make her a priority in life. And I don’t blame her for crying, I probably would too if someone had that conversation with me.
Post # 16
@Ms Sassy – I appreciate your input – I just want to add that she brought the conversation up and I was completely amiable to talking about it when she did bring it up. I was pleasant and reassuring the whole time. I have no desire to make her feel like a “second class citizen”. All I’m asking is that she understand that she is not the #1 priority in my life and I’m asking others how they dealt with similar situations.