Post # 1
Ever since I got engaged (and even more when I got married), I have felt like I was growing apart from two of my closest friends from high school. For some reason, our personalities no longer mesh and I find that I no longer respect them or their behavior.
For example, one of them has turned into an “askhole” who would rather complain and create drama for attention rather than taking practical measures to improve her life, situation or herself. Like I spend a lot of time giving her advice that she asks for, blatantly ignores my advice, then asks me for more advice/complains when things didn’t go her way. My other friend is a doctor who frequently partakes in binge-drinking and has the worst diet out of everyone I know (pretty sure she has Adult Selective Eating Disorder because in 13 years of friendship, I’ve only ever seen her eating pizza, fries and burgers).
It’s unlikely that these behaviors are new, but it could be that I have outgrown the friendship. I find myself no longer enjoying my time with them because all they want to do is drink, eat junk food and complain. We don’t have much in common anymore and I notice that I dread hanging out with them. To me, it seems like toxic relationships, but on the other hand, I have tended to forgive/enable this behavior in order to preserve the friendships that we’ve had for so long.
Has this happened to you? Have your relationships with friends changed before or after your wedding? Did you break up with your friends and, if so, how did you do it?
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I don’t know how closely this relates to your situation, but in a way I’m sort of in the same boat.
I’ve known (and been super close with) my BFF since our second year of college…so over eight years and counting. Our friendship has weathered a few pretty tough storms in the past, including in 2011 her making the decision to take an amazing job that required her to live and work abroad 11 months of the year…but after the initial ‘grieving period’, we survived. She spends that 12th month with me (and sometimes flys here for a week or two when she can), and we live it up like we are 21 again while she is here. As much as I love my DH, she is my soulmate in many ways…and I know she feels the same about me.
But here is the thing…
Nowadays I am married, a homeowner, and 35 weeks pregnant with baby #1. She is single, living with family members (that happen to live in the country she is working in), and still very much the party girl I fell in ‘platonic love’ with back in college.
The last two times she has come to visit me, our time together has left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe it’s because we are in two different places in life now. Maybe it’s because I’ve been pregnant, stone sober and for the first time in years actually ‘aware’ of what she is like. I feel like I have to keep reminding myself how much I love her to pieces, even though I felt like I spent our time together either annoyed with her or cringing at something she said/did. The worst part is it’s painfully obvious she is oblivious to how I feel right now.
DH is encouraging me to hang onto this friendship because we DO have such a rich history, and ALL friendships go through rough patches. If we didn’t grow apart when she moved to ANOTHER COUNTRY, why should we grow apart now? He is very rational and has a point….but I just can’t shake this nagging feeling that this friendship isn’t working anymore.
For now, I am keeping my feelings to myself. For all I know I will change my mind again after the baby is born and remember how much I love her and her ways. OR…after the baby is born I will have a solid reason to justify why our friendship has become a bad idea. Either way, for now at least I am keeping pandoras box closed.
Post # 3
I think this is just part of life, rather than necessarily having to do with getting engaged or married. I have an old friend who I’ve drifted apart from recently. Partly because we are in different life-circumstances but mostly because she would often flake out on plans and we rarely got together.
Regardless of how long you’ve been friends, I’m in the camp that you are under no obligation to spend time with people whose company you don’t enjoy. My suggestion is to just let the friendship fizzle out.
Post # 4
This is actually pretty similar to my situation. Could it be that our priorities have changed? It’s really difficult for me to spend so much money on getting drunk and going out for pizza so often when I would rather save for a house, trips and babies. Both of my friends are still single, so I feel like inviting them over instead of going out is asking them to sacrifice the potential of meeting a guy. They ask me to go out all the time but that gets really expensive really quickly.
To me it seems like we have changed or want different things from life now while our friends have stayed the same. Like someone at my work said, “You need to trim the roses for them to bloom.” I also read somewhere that the lifespan of each friendship is 7 years, so maybe it’s about time?
It’s really difficult to let go of something that was once so great. But if it doesn’t make us happy anymore, why do we still hold on?
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
You hit the nail on the head! Priorities changing is likely a part of all this. I’ve heard something sort of like the seven year span thing…but how I heard it was “if your friendship hits the seven year mark, it is significantly more likely to be a lifelong friendship.” I don’t know…maybe we are both getting the ‘rule’ wrong and it is something in between. As for holding on, I guess the human race are sentimental creatures by nature :-p
Post # 6
I’m with you girl… I’ve recently found myself in the same boat with 2 of my best friends. Though I’m not engaged yet, we’ve openly been talking about it and set up a strict saving plan for the wedding. So when my friends invite to me out on a Friday night where I know I’ll easily be shelling out $50+ on dinner and drinks, it’s hard to justify spending so much money when that could go into savings. And when I try to explain the need to save to my friends, they just roll their eyes and act like one night isn’t going to break the bank.
It sucks because I think after we are engaged/married and trying to buy a house and get pregnant the friendships are going to get more distant. I wish I knew the answer! I definitely still have a blast the nights I do go out with them, but there’s always a part of me wishing we were all in the same stages of life.
Post # 7
Don’t be one of those women who breaks up with her friends after she gets married. These are two of your oldest friends. They love you, and you love them. They are the ones who are going to be there for you when you (inevitably) experience marital problems, or job problems, or need someone to watch your children during an emergency. Trust me, all of these things will happen. Good friends are difficult to find, particularly as we get older. Sure friendships experience ups and downs, but you forgive eachother for your foibles.
You all can handle life changes gracefully. My best friend from high school got married and had children waaaaaay earlier than me. We didn’t let if affect our friendship, because we both made compromises. While single, I would spend quiet nights in with her, the kids, Netflix and a bottle of wine. She would occasionally get hubby to watch the kids and we’d go out drinking or to a show. We both understood that things would inevitably changes, but embraced the change. She didn’t mind if I got stupid drunk while she couldn’t risk the hangover. I didn’t mind quite nights in with lots of planning.
You know, her life would be much lonelier, and harder had she ditched me just because we were going in different directions. It was good for me to have a more realistic picture of what marriage and children really looked like. I was around to help and listen while she had marriage conflicts and two young kids. It was a win win.
I had a friend who pretty much ditched all her single and babyless friends after marriage. Unsurprisingly all her old friends are now married and having babies. She is clearly lonely and reaching out, but people are uninterested in rekindling the friendship. Feelings were hurt, and the damage does not seem repairable.
You can make it work, but it requires a little effort and understanding on your part. Remember you will all likely be in similar places soon. If not, having a diverse group of friends makes life more interesting.
Post # 8
pussinboots07 : Well said. I would like to add that if I outgrew a friendship it had nothing to do with my marital status. It sounds so judgmental when married women start judging their single friend(s) behavior.
christinakhar : I still have single friends who I am close with. They are the women they were before I got married. I guess the women in my life are settled regardless of their marital status.
It sounds like these were just “seasonal” friends. I cannot imagine close friends breaking up over a marriage unless they are wanting you to put them before your husband.
Post # 9
I just met a woman who didn’t have time to do anything because she was married. I’m not sure what happens to your ability for time management once you say “I do”. and she seriously said she doesn’t have time to go to cinema because she is married. One of my best friends wanted to start having couples only dinner parties once she got married.
That being said, I think that it’s more to do with growing apart than married people being more mature. you break up with boyfriend’s but you never break up with friends. you do grow apart but some reason that’s not acknowledged the same way. it’s ok to not see old friend is you for want to. Just don’t make it a married/single thing.
Post # 10
This is totally normal. People grow apart for all kinds of reasons. You don’t have to be lifelong friends with someone just becaus you met in high school.
Post # 11
You took the words out of my mouth. I think what it comes down to are priorities.
I started a business very young (at 21). I also got married pretty young (24). I have two homes and working on buying a 3rd this month.
70% of my friends are still in college (at 25, for their bachelors). They don’t have jobs yet somehow go out every weekend to get wasted. They also somehow, 12 of them, rented a beach house in one of the party towns for the entire summer, to the tune of $36,000/3months. And still complain that they’re broke and need money (how about get a job and stop drinking your money away?!) They all live with their parents too. And one of them is the biggest Debbie Downer. Anything you do, accomplish, are proud of, he puts down. It’s so obnoxious. Like my marriage: “oh…that’s great and all but aren’t you a little young?” Gee, thanks.
Whenever I tell them I can’t do something with them, they refer to me as the “old married friend” (and I’m actually the youngest). It’s usually because I have to work but sometimes because I’d rather hang with DH. I don’t say this out loud, because I think it makes me sound like a judgemental asshole. But at a certain point, you need to take responsibility for yourself and perhaps, I don’t know, get a job!?
Like you, I wonder if these friendships have expired, or if I should just wait until they’re more settled in life. I don’t know
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2018 - Fremont, CA
I think she will eventually reach the same point in life that you are at, and you will be happy to have kept her as a friend, as both of you will then be at the same page.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2017 - Orange County, CA
I made the decision to break up with a close friend around the time my DH and I were talking about getting engaged. She was similar to your “askhole” friend. She had ALOT going for her, but she sinks all her time and energy into a toxic relationship (she supports her SO in another country – pays for his rent, bought him a car, sends him spending money) while she works 60+ hour weeks. She then complains that he doesn’t respect her (he cheats on her when she’s not there) and he won’t commit to marrying her (well, duh, he has a pretty sweet set-up)
Sorry! Back on topic: I knew when I was thinking about engagement that she would take the joy out of the seasonf or me. That everytime she would try to “help” it would become a drama-filled conversation all about her. We were friends for 16 years. I cut her off, cold-turkey, no explanation. That was 18 months ago, and it’s been awesome! Sometimes you don’t know how toxic relationships are really affecting you until you’re free of them.
Post # 14
I get it, priorities change, people grow apart, etc, etc. Be careful though. Husbands and houses and babies cannot replace real friendships. You wouldnt want to distance yourself because of lifestyle reasons only to realize you have no friends left when you need them.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
This is happening to me right now, but sort of in the opposite way. I am older than all of my friends (and FI), yet I can also be the most immature in some ways. I like to talk things out, I like to mope, but they (and FI) are more jump-to-solution-oriented people so we have had a lot of ups and downs since I’ve gotten engaged. But we are all trying the best we can and I’m learning to shed my expectations.
For your situation, personally I would rather have things be clear rather than fizzle out and be left wondering what I did wrong or continue to build expectations. All the best!