The purpose of friends when married (or equivalent)

posted 2 months ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I keep my circle small, and my three best friends and I are all engaged, married, or in long term relationships at this stage in our lives. They all bring something different to the table, but in general, we haven’t drifted apart due to our relationships, and we still enjoy spending time with each other and speaking often. 

My husband is certainly the person I go to first for most everything, but he has a busy job and works hard. On a night when he’s working late, it’s really nice to be able to go grab a glass of wine or get a pedicure with the girls. If my husband were my only friend, I’d spend a lot of time by myself. I’m fairly introverted and enjoy my hobbies (gaming, reading, gardening), but having human contact outside of my husband is still important. 

I think we have all had those “friends” who ditch everyone else when they get into relationships. It’s never happened to my nearest and dearest, but it has happened to more casual friendships. My thought would be that at this stage in your life, it may be a good start to develop friendships with people who are already established. 

Post # 17
Member
7579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well maybe I’m the odd man out, but my husband is not my best friend. He’s never been my best friend and honestly I just personally hate the whole “hE’s mY BeSt fRiEnD” trend. If your spouse is actually your best friend, by all means, that’s awesome. I just feel like for a vast majority of people their spouse isn’t really their best friend, but they’ve just been conditioned by society to say/think they are. 

Best friend for me is reserved for my absolute “ride or die” who has been in my life the whole way. I have a couple different best friends, because as you grow and meet people your interests change and you find people you have a lot in common with. However, my BFF has been so since we were 13 – and we’re now 36. We’ve seen each other through middle school, high school, college, boyfriends, marriage, babies, etc.

I love my husband dearly. He’s one of my favorite people and he’s my partner in life and an amazing parent. I’d be lost without him….but he’s not my BFF. 

Post # 18
Member
1633 posts
Bumble bee

I need my friends! I’m not sure what I would do without them xxx

Post # 19
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - The Oaks Lakeside

I fall into the category where I consider my spouse to be my best friend. However, I met my husband in highschool and we were already best friends for about 2 years before we even dated. Another thing to consider in my case is that I have always been more introverted in general. I struggle with anxiety and don’t always feel comforetable in social situations. Due to this, maintaining friendships has always been difficult for me even outside of my relationship with my spouse. When you add ontop of that the amount of time I spend each week working full time, maintaining my home, and taking care of my own personal needs, the only free time I seem to have is a couple of hours on the weekends. Due to this, I like to spend that time with my husband because he is my best friend and the relationship which I should be spending the most time on cultivating. I understand the arguement some have that we live together and therefor spend all of our time together. However, there is a large difference between spending time together in our home taking care of cooking dinner and doing dishes and keeping up on the laundry- and spending real quality time together. I do still have friends outside of our relationship and I love and cherish them. But it can be very hard to find time in the day when I have so many other obligations to take care of. My hope is that these friends of mine know how important they are to me because I am able to set some time aside for them every so often. Life is busy and it can truly be difficult to be everything to everyone in your life all the time. 

Post # 20
Member
9639 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

if your partner is your sole companion with no other social interaction, that sounds very lonely to me.  if that works for you, then by all means, it’s ok not to have other friends.

my husband has more kept his social circle similar, mine has changed through circumstance.  now i mostly hang with my mom friends and i expect my friend circle will change as my son starts K in the fall.  i cannot imagine life without other friends.

even through the pandemic, my husband and i had zoom happy hours with our friends.

Post # 21
Member
1779 posts
Buzzing bee

I consider my husband my soul mate, my life partner, and my #1. But before we had each other, we had our friends and we still have them. My three best friends in the world are people I have known for 20+ years and have shared all of life’s trials and tribulations with.  They have always been supportive of me in my life, encouraged me, guided me, rooted me on, and have been there for me. They are my family, my people…I can’t imagine life without them like I can’t imagine life without my husband. He has a circle of very close friends too that he feels the same way about.  Friends do come and go and as we get older and busier, it is hard sometimes to keep up with all friendships.  I think it’s really important to have friendships outside of your marriage, though, so you have people to talk with and do things with other than your husband. There are times when I need to talk about really personal things with one of my besties that I might not want talk to my husband about.  But it’s also great to have a husband that you consider your best friend because you know he will have your back, but if anything were to happen to our marriage or to him, I know my friends would be there for me.

Post # 22
Member
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I totally know what you mean, friends used to play a huge role in my life before I met my husband because I am not an interovert and like being around people. But now …I feel very content just being around him…I do like meeting up with friends but I am not attached to them like I used to before. I also moved a lot in my lifetime and planning to move more in the future…I’ve learnt you can find great people everywhere (I changed a few countries) and sometimes you tend to outgrow your friends or you just drift apart…I think it’s good to have 2, maybe 3 close friends and that’s it. 

Post # 23
Member
2885 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@stateofbeeing:  You said, “It is also therefore clear to me that married people demote their former best friend to “ordinary friend” status.” I wouldn’t focus so much on your title. A friend is a friend. Sure, if I were to rank my friends, my husband comes out on top. We live together and share a child. It’s a bond not quite like any other. But that doesn’t mean my friends are not still my friends. Actually, the friendship that has experienced the most distance for me, if my longest friendship (17 years) where we’re both married. 

Something else I’ve experienced, is some of my single friends distanced themselves from me when I got married. One in particular said it was difficult to be around a married woman when she was disappointed in being single. We didn’t even talk about my husband when we hung out. I’m not saying this is you, but be careful of that. 

Post # 24
Member
1667 posts
Bumble bee

In my experience, it is usually the very young (or immature) who drop all their friends when they enter into a serious relationship or marriage.  When I was in my middle 20s, I had lost nearly all my friends this way.  Usually, the wedding was the last I ever saw of them – unless I got invited round after to see their wedding/honeymoon photos.  Once I got into my late 20s and 30s, I found that my friends were more likely to stay in touch post-marriage – I also started making friends with people who were already in that stage of life.

One of my friends married at 18 and promptly dropped all her friends – her husband was her ‘best friend’ – and only friend.  He walked out on her in her mid 20s, and she said that was the point at which she realised how important friendships were.  She rebuilt friendships with some of her old friends, made some new ones, and even now she’s remarried, she’s careful to maintain her friendships as well.

However close you are to your partner, they really can’t meet all your emotional/social needs – and it’s not fair or healthy to expect them to.  I was good friends with my husband for some months before we started dating, and we share a lot of interests and hobbies, but we both still maintain other friendships too, and this is a good thing.

I’m guessing that maybe you are still in your 20s at this point?  I would suggest making friendships with people who are either slightly older or who are in settled relationships, as you will probably find those are more lasting.  The 20s can be grim if you are the last of your friendship group to settle down, but it doesn’t last forever.  Good and lasting friendships are in your future, you just have to go out and find them.

Post # 25
Member
189 posts
Blushing bee

I definitely consider my husband my best friend. I don’t think that is weird. One of the.main reasons I married him is because I love spending time with him, think he’s the best and we have a ton of shared interests. We have ogoing private jokes and can tell each other everything.  Do I prioritize time with him absolutely but I feel other relationships outside of each other are important too. 

We both have friends, some are both of ours, some are mine some are his. It does take a bit of work with covid, all of us having professional jobs and kids. I don’t get hung up on the status of best and what not. I just consider people in my circle close friends and I do what I can to maintain those friendships. 

Post # 26
Member
338 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

My husband is my best friend and yet I have many many other friends. I regularly invest in my friends and schedule time with them often. I’m a huge extrovert and my husband is an introvert who couldn’t fulfill all my emotional needs even if he tried, which is fine.

 

I was widowed at 37 and I am part of widow support groups, and I see ALL the time widows say they feel completely alone because their husbands were their whole world and best/only friend. When my husband died I relied on my closest 5 friends who got me through it. I also relied on friends when I got divorced from my first husband. So, unfortunately you just never know what losses or hard times you might do through, and friends can get you through it.

 

And just in my day to day life–my friends give me perspective that I can’t get alone or just from my husband. Having friends helps my marriage in many ways by making me a lie well rounded, happier person.

 

Post # 27
Member
4412 posts
Honey bee

I am relatively introverted and love spending time with H and hanging out at home, but I need my time with my friends.  Whether that’s a dinner out, a walk around the neighborhood or a girl’s weekend away, it’s always something that makes me feel good.

I’ve been friends with the same core group of women since I was around 4-5 years old (I’m 40). We grew up together and we now live in different states, but we always make time for at least a few girl weekends throughout the year.  It can be bigger like Vegas or the Caribbean or just renting an Airbnb somewhere between our locations so that we can all drive and just hang out together.  And then I have a nice group of women in my city and we have been doing a dinner club once a month (well during the pandemic, we missed a couple months) for 12 years now.  

Personally, I will always have friends regardless of my relationship status.  And I found it even more important after I got divorced.  

However, friendships change, evolve and sometimes you will drift away from certain people and that’s ok.  But to me, saying that you don’t need friends once you are married is ridiculous.  

Post # 28
Member
535 posts
Busy bee

I think it’s unhealthy to have the type of co-dependent relationship where your significant other is expected to meet ALL of your emotional and social needs. That’s too much pressure for one person to fulfill. Being completely absorbed in only one person isn’t healthy, and you’re destined for solitude if the relationship ever ends (through a breakup or death). 

My husband and I are certainly great friends, but he is not my best friend. That title was taken long before he came in to the picture, as most of my close girlfriends have been in my life for 20+ years. They are my sisters and are irreplaceable. My husband also has his core group of ride or die guy friends that have been in his life for 20+ years and I would never expect him to call me his best friend over them. The best man at our wedding made a joke in his toast that I accepted him as a perpetual 3rd wheel, they were a package deal and I was stuck with him as a brother for life. We all went to high school together, so his best friends are now my close friends and my best friends are his friends… it’s all one big group that’s known each other for 15-20 years. 

Now that’s not without saying that I certainty have lost a lot of friends over the years, some I was very close to. That’s part of growing up, people gain different interests and drift apart. I did isolate from my girlfriends during past relationships in college, and was hit with a ton of bricks when the relationship ended (painfully) and I had no one to turn to. I learned my lessons and made sure my friends stayed in my life regardless of my relationship status. I also think it’s harder for women to maintain friendships sometimes than men, because women are catty, hormonal and hold grudges. Most men I know that have issues just drink a beer and move on lol. I had tons of friends in high school and college that I don’t speak to any more for one dramatic reason or another. But the ones that have held through the highs AND lows are my ride or die, sisters for life. 

Post # 29
Member
4370 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada

My husband is my best friend but my best friend is also my best friend. My marriage will always take priority status, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon all other relationships I have built over the past 36 years. My marriage actually enriches my other friendships because my husband has built a bond with the people I love too & that just makes my heart really happy!

I love spending time with my husband, just like I love spending time with any of my other friends. My friends are all so different and bring so much variety, laughter and love to my life. They are my cheerleaders & my support system, just like my husband is… sometimes more than my husband is.

I’m a ‘talk it out’ kind of person, and DH is a fixer. If I need to just talk something through, he’s not my go-to for that. Of course, I will talk to him about it, but he’s not my venting person because he jumps right into “fix it” mode (he knows this and has no issue with it). 

Post # 30
Member
2818 posts
Sugar bee

I love my husband and he’s the closest person to me. But he doesn’t fulfill all my social needs. I enjoy having different dynamics and activities with different friends that allow me to explore different sides of my personality and different interests–like a group of friends who are a blast to karaoke with (in the before times) versus ones who are a blast to play board games with versus the close friends who are also my colleagues and I can confide in about career pressures. I have some really smart, kind, amazing friends who offer me different perspectives than my husband would and sometimes understand what I’m going through more deeply. My husband and I are both pretty introverted, but I need more social interaction than he does, and I enjoy a wider range of activities. I like having people to do stuff with (virtually or in person) outside of my husband. If I didn’t have friends outside my husband I basically would not have talked to anyone but him in the past year, and that doesn’t sound like a good life to me. 

Plus, after my first serious relationship where I let myself get pretty isolated in an unhealthy situation and stopped seeing friends, I have made it a priority to foster and maintain female friendships. That relationship ended 10+ years ago, but prioritizing strong friendships served me well during my single years and through years of dating duds, and I make time to stay in touch with my friends (and make new friends) now that I’ve been married a while. I don’t think it’s healthy to put all my eggs in one basket with any single person, no matter how great they are. 

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