The purpose of friends when married (or equivalent)

posted 2 months ago in Emotional
Post # 31
Member
19 posts
Newbee

 I have found and learned I have friends for seasons. When I find the friendship has run its season they now become someone I have love for and wish them nothing but the best in their life. They now become an acquaintance.

thinking this way helps me deal with the disappointment  I have had with friendships.

Post # 32
Member
1132 posts
Bumble bee

If you say that your spouse meets all of your needs, then you are a liar. 

Look, we all need different things from people. We have different aspects of our personality, different hobbies, different ways we want to relate to the world. Nobody plays all those roles. 

My spouse is awesome. He’s kind, he’s funny, he’s smart, he’s generous, he’s thoughtful, he’s spontaneous. We’ve known each other since we were eighteen, and we have been together for somewhere around a decade. I love spending time with him, and I find almost everything that I do better when he is around…….and also I need and love my other friends. 

My spouse will gossip about reality tv with me if I ask him. But he doesn’t love it. He’ll bake complicated dishes with me. But he doesn’t find it truly, deeply joyful. He’ll listen to me bitch about my day, or even about his parents. But the former runs out of steam at some point, and the latter is painful for him (rightfully so). He pays careful attention to my work. But he doesn’t truly feel the ups and downs of it the way my colleagues do. He’ll work out with me if I say I need support. But he doesn’t find it satisfying to carry heavy weights. He’s known me since I was eighteen. But he wasn’t part of my close friend circle then so he doesn’t know our banter or stories first hand. My friends from then do. 

I’m more myself with him than anybody in the world. But I’m still ever so slightly different parts of myself with different people. They give me different things, just as his friends give him different things. The point of friends seem so straightforward as to almost deny explication. They are your friends. 

Post # 33
Member
14177 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I think what you’re really asking is whether it’s you or circumstantial. It’s possible that these were never true friends at all but friends of convenience. Unless you moved away or never reached out to these people, I don’t know anyone who literally lost all of their friends to marriage and relationships. Love is not finite. You can have many meaningful relationships, each one of them important in their own unique way just like you can love more than one child with all your heart. 

What can happen as people get older and more settled is they want a different lifestyle or a different kind of friendship. 

Post # 34
Member
15531 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

If you don’t have friends, who would you complain about your spouse to!

Post # 35
Member
1085 posts
Bumble bee

I would not describe my partner as my best friend. I love him more than anyone, but it is a very different relationship.

I wonder if your relationships have faded when people get into relationships, because they aren’t super strong in the first place? I don’t know if I have the fix for that.

Prior to meeting my partner I socialized about 5 days a week with friends. I had some very close friends, and then I had a larger group of more casual, activity based friends. My three best friends/friendships have not changed, I still seem them once week/every two weeks. If someone in my larger activity group were to describe our friendship they would probably say I faded out once I met my SO. I still see them – six of us ran a race on Saturday morning, and ten of us have booked a multi day hike in July, BUT I am definitely not on the roster anymore of “call to see if she wants to go climbing on Tuesday.”

It IS hard though making new close friends – all of mine are from law school, or first year of working.

Post # 36
Member
8021 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I don’t think it’s realistic or healthy to expect one person to meet all your needs. Yes, some relationships run their course as lives and priorities change. That said, I have primarily the same group of friends I had when I was married to my ex, then single for a while, then dating and now remarried. One of them was a college roommate and we both now have children in college.

We got together for weekly Zoom happy your during lockdown, and spouses poked their heads in as they desired. We take girls’ trips without our spouses, we meet up in different combinations for different things–workouts, walks, dinner, drinks, etc. I cannot imagine my life without these people. 

Post # 37
Member
3440 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We have moved around a bit and I don’t have really any “friends” where I live now. I have coworkers who I like and online friends from places where I used to live. We moved about a year before Covid hit, so that didn’t help. 

I spend most of my free/off time with my husband but I think it is good to have friends too. I hope now that Covid is getting better maybe I’ll get a chance to meet some people locally. 

Post # 38
Member
1384 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve never had a ton of friends. I’ve tried to maintain friendships since being married but most have ended up ghosting me or just stopped initiating anything so I let it die.

I have a couple friends i still keep in contact with and see a few times a year but I’ve I’m being 100% honest, it is work for me to keep up these friendships. I’m not a social person and my family is all I need. But i do care about my friends so i make the effort. 

Post # 39
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee

 He’s *one of * my best friends. I don’t personally think it would be healthy for a spouse to be relied on for every need. Sometimes that need is a good rant with the girls :p We are both very social and talk to our friends often but we know when to prioritise each other. But look, sometimes, you just crave different company, different chats. I like to have friends that are really diverse, it keeps my brain awake and then gives us more food for thought to discuss when we are together 🙂 

Post # 41
Member
841 posts
Busy bee

My SO doesn’t meet all my needs (I would never talk to him about fashion, hair, handbags, etc.) but he is one of my top priorities along with work, my postgrad studies and both of our families. I think that’s an important part of it too. Once you’re out of college and you’re working, in a relationship and trying to balance housework, visiting your ageing parents, attending his and your family events, maybe additional studies or certifications, etc. this leaves friends at the bottom of the list. It sounds a bit mean but it’s true. Not because I don’t care about people but simply because there aren’t enough hours in a day! Unfortunately with everything that’s going on I barely have any time to sleep or take care of my health (especially due to postgrad studies) let alone nurture a friendship.

 

I should also say that I have a sister who I consider a close friend, as well as my SO’s sisters, so any time I want to talk about “girl” stuff I just talk to them. I have a few life-long friends and we have lunch a few times a year, because everyone is married, has jobs, some have kids, etc. It’s kind of just the way it goes. I will say I have some work friends that are single and I’m kind of the outsider of the group because they always want to go out partying, dancing, drinking and hunting for cute guys, while I would rather have dinner (with my SO invited) and a drink or two in a quiet place, then go home early and watch TV or do whatever with my SO. I think single gals will have the best time with each other because they can relate to each other and be more present in the friendship. 

Post # 42
Member
2596 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My husband and I do most (ok, all) leisure activities together. But, I’m not with him at work & vice versa. So, I have work friends. But, mostly, it’s just me & my husband. Between our work schedules, family things with our 5 adult kids, & parents, it doesn’t leave much time for additional friendships. I am an introvert, though, and need plenty of downtime.

Post # 43
Member
757 posts
Busy bee

I love my husband to death and he’s my favourite person to be with, but that doesn’t mean he’s the ONLY person I want to be with! 

To be fair, my social circle did shrink a bit around the time that I got married and I spend less time with my friends than I did a few years ago. But that’s more to do with work/life being more demanding, as well as having a lot less energy in my 30s lol (going for drinks on a Tuesday is a reeeal struggle for my 35 yo body these days). Our family obligations have also doubled now and we both have large, close families. 

I’m still very close with my close little circle and we make a real effort to talk and see each other regularly. We just don’t hang out 2-3 times a week like we did in our 20s. 

 

Post # 44
Member
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2005

My husband and I both agree we are each others best friends. We grew up in homes where there was a lot of moving around so we didnt really maintain friendships because of moving all the time. 

Now truth be told, and he has said and I have said it too, if we never hung out with anyone else on the planet we would be perfectly fine because we are both introverted. We dont like crowds and since we dont drink (medical reasons) there isnt much that recommends us as good people to have a friendship with. 

We have a lot of the same interest and hobbies and we mesh really well together .

Do we have friends? Yes we socialize with two other couples who are very much like us. They are introverts also. We see them about once a month and thats enough for all of us. 

I have a single gal as a friend, but she doesnt live close to me anymore and while I have worked hard to try to maintain that friendship, she has let it fall by the wayside. Back in the fall I was extremely sick from one last round of chemo, radiation, and a surgery, I was feeling suicidal because the pain was getting to me. 

My husband put in a call to her and said it would cheer me up to hear from her. Guess what? She never called and basically ghosted me until three days ago. Now that Im well and cancer free she wants to pick up our friendship and I just dont have the energy to try anymore. 

 

Post # 45
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2005

My husband is most certainly my best-friend and we probably share about 80% of the same interests. I tell him almost everything, and he gets me and of course when it comes to the kids he can understand that.

However I also have girl friends who I can talk to and they understand from a woman’s perspective, I have guy friends (my husband does have two girl friends plus a sister), I have casual friends, work friends.

But behind all of them I have four best-friends friends beside my husband. I’ve known one of them since highschool, one of them since college, one of them since graduate school, and one I met I the workforce. The five of us, together have our own little friend group and have for the last 14 years. We all have many common interests, but many differences too. And we know each other like the backs of our hands. We all have careers, families, and active and fast-paced and wild lives. But we always have time for each other. We’ve been there for each other while figuring out career and school stuff, during weddings, figuring out sexual and gender identities, depression, births of our kids, divorce, deaths and everything else below and above the sun.

And I won’t lie if you aren’t my work, husband, my four best-friends, my kids, my hobbies, or my close family members there have probably been many times where my relationship with you have sufferered because you aren’t a priority. And friendships have slipped away consequently and we’ve drifted apart and only see each other when we post on social media or something. But taht is natural in life, but I do recommend having some VERY close friend. It’s like the saying, it’s better to have a few close friends than many friends who don’t know you well and vice versa.

And also, I may be a a Liscensed and Practicing Clinical NeuroPsychologist but this is NOT professional advice. If you need some, please seek some locally.

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