Post # 1
I’m almost 9 months into our marriage and really struggling with the balance between marriage and friendship.
Some background: I’m way more social than Darling Husband. We talk a lot about expectations and time together and apart. We both are fine with the time we spend apart from each other – but, it’s typical for me to be the one making plans and then he’ll make plans on that same day.
I try not to exceed being out more than 3 times on any given week. 1-2 times during the work week is typical. Weekends he works one of the days, and then we usually have Sunday’s off.
What I’ve noticed, however, is if we have really full social weekends and I have a busy week, we get completel disconnected. While he’ll never tell me I’m doing too much, or tell me not to make plans, I realize the toll it eventually takes on our relationship.
To that end, I’ve dialed things back this week and am trying to minimize the time I’m away.
A good friend’s dad ended up in the hospital this week and I’m feeling incredibly conflicted because I want to go over to her place (he’s back home) and be with her as emotional support, and I know that if I talk to Darling Husband about it he’ll be fine with me going – but I also wonder if I really should just stick to the game plan I had this week of pouring time into my marriage – if that makes any sense.
It’s not a mission critical situation with my friend and I’m going to try to spend some time with her at another point – but I’m feeling so pulled and really want to be in two places at the same time.
I should also mention that I typically have boundary issues in general – meaning, I’m the one usually burning the candle at both ends in order to be supportive to my friends. What marriage has made me realize is that type of behavior no longer just affects me – and I now have a primary relationship with my husband that I have to take into consideration….
Anyway – any thoughts on the subject are appreciated!
Post # 3
I spend a lot of time going out with friends as well. Usually one night a week, and will often go out clubbing on a Saurday night with friends and stay over one of their houses. Sometimes I think I should spend more time at home, but my Darling Husband works long hours, is doing his masters and is also an ametuer body builder so he is pretty busy himself.
We usually try and make Sunday ‘our day’ where we will make a nice breakfast, go out somewhere or stay home and watch movies. I like that we don’t spend every waking minute together, and the time we do have we cherish!
Post # 4
I think as long as you make time to be together and work on your marriage, it’s okay to go out with your friends as long as you aren’t wearing yourself out completely. Is there something else you can do for your friend to show your support instead of being at her house constantly? Maybe giving her some food that they can just pop in the oven and eat or helping her grocery shop so she can stay home with her dad?
Post # 5
I think what is more important is the quality of the time you spend together. When you are together are you just living? Or are you doing something together?
Are you eating dinner together and having conversation and going on walks? Or is one of you watching TV and the other on the computer?
Post # 6
I go out 2-3 times per week as well, but I limit it to just dinner or what not. I don’t stay out all night.
Post # 7
I think the other thing, aside from devoting a certain number of nights to be together, is staying connected throughout. We text a couple times back and forth during the day, I’ll call him when I’m on my way to another activity, and when I get home from going out with someone we’ll often have a glass of wine and talk about our days. That way we can still do the things we want and feel like we’re being social with other people, but we’re also always connected to each other and ending each night that way. We rarely have entire evenings where we’re hanging out the whole time (maybe once, twice a week tops), but rarely a night goes by that we don’t spend at least 30-60 solidly interacting and/or being intimate.
Post # 8
My husband is the more social one in our marriage so I guess I am coming at this from the other side. He has lots of friends, is on our HOA board, and also in a few associations related to his job. One thing that has worked for us is that he invites me out more than he used to. I have met some of his coworkers and will join them for happy hour occassionally. It makes me feel better to know who he is with at least. Also we end up doing a lot more socializing as a couple with our mutual friends than when we were first dating. This is pretty natural since most of our friends are either married or in relationships. For example we don’t spend many Friday or Saturday nights without each other but instead try to plan fun group things or have friends over for dinner.
You could also try to encourage your husband to do some things without you to expand his social circle. Suggest a night out with the boys at a sporting event or a game of golf. If he has things he likes to do without you it can balance things out and not feel like you are not spending enough time together.
My only advice is to just keep communicating with your husband if you can’t be together. You don’t have to ask permission to do things but give him a heads up that you have plans with the girls or something a couple days in advance. If you need to help a friend out who is going through a rough time I am sure he would understand. On the flip side your friend knows you are married now and a package deal so they would probably be fine going out with the two of you or if you have them over to your house to hang out.
Post # 9
@mjameson83: thank you for the ‘other side’ perception. Also – I kind of had to laugh at the ‘your friend knows you are married and a package deal’. Unfortunately, this is not always true for her. Case in point – last Saturday night she texted “free for a drink”. We were already headed out with a friend, and I invited her to join us. She declined, and later on, said that she really just wanted to get drinks with me. I thought that was strange – as seeing it was Saturday night, wouldn’t she assume Darling Husband would join?
On a side note – there’s a lot going on with this friend. I think it also makes her uncomfortable to be around couples right now (she’s single) and made a snarky comment about me holding DH’s hand. I don’t count that as too much PDA… but, that’s a topic for a different thread.
Post # 10
I think it is important to make your Darling Husband feel and know he is first. And I think you can do that by making time to talk. I think that is the most important thing. Have dinner together before or after you go out, or take a walk every night- or even relax – as long as it is together and you are giving the most of yourself to him.
Post # 11
I’m newly married, and new to this board. I’d like to ask a related question – how important is it to you for your partner and you to socialise together as a couple. Someone mentioned the idea of once you’re married, you’re now a “package.”
I ask because this seems to be the norm with my married friends, or generally those in close relationships with a partner. When we hang out, it’s the norm to have partners come along.
My wife, however, is less sociable. She doesn’t really like the idea of “hanging out” or shooting the breeze. She’s not socially awkward, and has friends, but she just doesn’t hang out with them for the sake of hanging out. She prefers deeper, more intimate interactions, which happen perhaps once a month, if not at longer intervals. She also prefers to entertain herself. She’s quite independent, and can be very happy finding things to do on her own.
On the other hand, I like hanging out in groups. I can see her point how they can sometimes be a waste of time (especially as you get older), and I don’t do it as much as I used to, but there’s still fun in that. Right now, she rarely hangs out with me and my friends. If she does, it always seems like the clock’s ticking and she’s ready to go home in 2 hours. When you hang out with groups, you don’t time meetings like that. You go with the flow.
Because of this, my wife never really developed a relationship with my friends. I think of my friend’s partners, and realise I do count them as friends because I actually see them quite often. I’m sure my friends only know of my wife but don’t necessarily see her as a friend.
Now that we’re married, I’m wondering if that’s healthy? Is it OK to keep your relationships with your wife and friends in separate realms? I personally hope the 2 meet, but it doesn’t seem like it’s happening in my case.
What do you guys think?
Post # 12
I usually label social engagements as A, B, or C depending on my closeness to the friend(s), type of activity and how long it’s been since I’ve seen those people. I try to make all the “A” social engagements, but honestly something like visiting a friends parent when he was released from the hospital would probably get pushed to being a “B or a C”, especially if he were stable and there were no complications. When you get married, your time is stretched so thin and you have at least double the social opportunities, so something has to be pretty important to get me out anymore. It’s much easier of course if both Darling Husband and I were invited, but I still give those an A, B, or C based on what else we wanted to do that weekend, even if it’s just running errands.
Post # 13
I agree with pp who said make sure that your husband knows he is number 1. Since you married, he has all the right to expect that. However, time out with your friends is always great!
I don’t have much more to say besides that. I’m not much of a people person myself and find that after I’ve had forced interaction with 16+patients a day and with the staff and phone calls besides that, all I want to do is come home, eat dinner, and crawl onto the couch and snuggle with Darling Husband.
I do know that if he was out 3 out of 7 nights a week with his friends, leaving just over half the week with me, I would definitely feel disconnected and even a little bit slighted.