Married With Friends

What kind of a friend are you?

Since Marc and I got married, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships.

There’s a difference between being a private person and hiding your sins, or a public person and wanting attention. I’m an author so I automatically fall into the public arena.

Some days this is great.
Other days I groan inwardly.

My husband does not share the spotlight. He is a private person. He refuses to use social media–if at all. This is more than okay, actually. I recently found out that Facebook is now a cause of 1/3 of divorces. WHAT?

I remember how difficult it was for me to wait a few weeks after Marc and I started dating to update my relationship status. I wanted to make sure our relationship was more important than making it Facebook official. But enough about Facebook.

What I really want to talk about is friendships.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to all my best friends. For taking the time to befriend me, shape my character, encourage and love on me through good times and bad.

Now that I’m married I see my friendships changing–fast.

In 12 Things I Didn’t Expect From Marriage, I wrote how my friendships have changed.

“I was that saangle (really single) chick who assumed I’d never leave my single friends in the dumpsville. Now that I’m married, so much time goes into building a life together. It’s not necessarily bad or good—it is what it is.”

Partly because it requires more time than I can give, which I’m okay with.
Partly because those I previously reached out to haven’t reached back, which…

It sucks to see who your true friends are.

I’m not saying being married with friends is a friendship killer. It’s not. It purifies them. My friends who truly care about my new life and marriage have stuck around. They’ve texted, called, emailed–whatever it takes to check up on me and my hubby. They’re not jealous or scared.

They just are. my. friends.

I feel bad for saying this, and have resisting coming clean for the past few months. But I get it now.

How it feels to say “no” more than “yes.”
How it feels to become a private person to protect and enjoy my husband.
How it feels to change in friendships when the other doesn’t, can’t, or won’t.

Being married has taught me to appreciate true friends.

To make time for those who make time for me.
To spend time on what’s most important–God.

I think, no I know–it will make for healthier friendships because “a friend loves at all times [single or married], and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17, NIV84).

12 comments on “Married With Friends”

  1. Sarah says:

    Confession: Once my friends get married (& sometimes when they start to date) I tend to back off. It’s the insecurity of being a third wheel for the most part, but I know the relationship has to change so I take the time to figure that for myself first.  I’ve probably lost friendships because of it.

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       When I was single I would do the same thing. I lost a lot of my married friends because it was either awkward for me and I was jealous or they didn’t have time. However, the ones who are my close friends have stayed regardless. We just pick up where we left off…

  2. Tracy says:

    I so understand Renee. Moving around due to my husband’s job, and having two small children right now has also purified my friendships too! I assumed my life/social habits would remain the same as when I was single… WRONG-O! 🙂

    I also love how you used the word purified. Since my time is more divided now, the purification process that you described above has also refined and brought out the beauty of my relationships that have remained. If I keep focusing on what was, I will miss out on what/who God is bringing into my life now…there truly are seasons for everything (Ecclesiastes chapter 3).

    I look forward to reading more. Blessings my friend:)

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       One of the girls from my community group gave me that verse. YES! There is a TIME and a SEASON for everything–including friendship 🙂

  3. Trainer_cate says:

    Today I sat with my college roommate and best friend, and we talked.  We always said that we wanted to get married in the same calendar year, so that we wouldn’t have to go through that awkwardness as friends.  Being single into our 30’s we’ve experienced it over and over, your friends get married and all of a sudden they can’t be your friends anymore.  They can’t hang out with you because they have all these couples events to go to, they somehow exclusively hang out with other married couples, they can’t have a conversations about anything other than their marriage.  And of course, as to be expected, they have to prioritize their husband.
    I tend to be extremely intentional in my friendships.  There have been many friends that are no longer because even though I have worked hard to maintain a friendship after they got married and then again after they had kids, it wasn’t reciprocated. 
    Then life happened, last summer she got married, I am still single.  I was living over a thousand miles away at the time, driving home I cried my eyes out through the entire state of West Virginia.  I had lots of irrational fears, the biggest being that as had happened so many times before, we would cease to be friends.  I was well aware and prepared that our friendship would change, that wasn’t the fear, the fear was that I would loose the friendship altogether.  I didn’t say a word to her about these fears, I knew they were ridiculous, but I had also been hurt a bunch in the past.
    A week later, from the airport, the minute she touched down back in America from her honeymoon, she called me, we normally don’t go 2 days without talking, she wanted to tell me she missed me, and wanted to assure me that she wouldn’t cut her single friends out of her life.  Her husband was yelling “hi” in the background.  He was also yelling that she had said multiple times “remind me to tell Cate about that.” but that he couldn’t remember what any of those things are.  He was laughing at himself.  It was really reassuring to me.
    I’m happy to say that a year later, I am in the process of relocating back to the same area of the country, for many reasons, and our friendship has survived her marriage, and my insecurities.
    Today we hung out, and she shared with me some struggles she is experiencing in her marriage, in fairly vague terms, she has been extremely sensitive to keep things that should be between her and her husband private.  I shared some struggles I am having in my life.
    I think it’s really important to remember that relationships take two people, and as much as it is important for single friends to reach out to their friends after they get married, it’s just as important for those married friends to reach out to their single friends, to reassure them that although life circumstances have changed, they will still make an effort to remain friends.  Obviously you can’t be friends with everyone, and there are times when you have to evaluate and decided what is most important.  I really value my friendships with my married friends, just as I value my relationships with my single friends.  My married friends remind me that even though I hope to be married, I should have a sober view of it, it’s awesome but it’s hard too.  I am able to remind my married friends that there are some benefits to being single, like not having to think about what anyone else prefers to eat, or setting the thermostat at what I want, but that they wouldn’t trade their spouse to go back to the freedom of being able to choose whatever I want to watch on TV.

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       Cate. All I can say is “wow.” THANK YOU for being so honest about your friendships. Yes, just as single people need to pursue married people–the same goes for me. I am learning what the looks like for me and whom to invest in.

  4. Jen says:

    I’ve always found that my friendship with someone changed dramatically once they met someone. (I’m not saying this is everyone’s experience.) Two friends didn’t completely dump me until after I had helped them with everything for their wedding. (Not that I was every worthy of being *in* the wedding, but I was apparently competent enough to help run things behind the scenes.) I still remember one friend who said to me–after knowing the guy for a week–“I can tell him so much more than I could ever tell you!” We had been best friends for four years, but he could hear her secrets after a week. They lasted maybe a month.

    Now at 32 I find that most of my friends were married when I met them or they are divorced. I can only think of one friend that I have successfully made the transition from single to married with. Often I meet them in work settings (aka when they are away from their spouses) and they’re past the honeymoon stage.

    I’m not really sure why I’m writing this…I guess this just hit a sore spot at a bad time. It’s disappointing to see if articulated from yet another married person why she can’t be friends with her single friends. (I’m not trying to be mean, and I do realize you said that there are some friends who have kept in contact with you…but have you contacted them back?)

    Shutting up now. Feel free to delete this.

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       Jen, no way. I love your honesty. Seriously. It’s very refreshing. I am sorry to hear that someone you were friends with for FOUR years said something like that to you. I want to clarify that it’s not that I haven’t reached back…I have…and when I got silence…it sucked. I am sure it’s the same for those who have children too. I wanted to get married the same year as my best friend Rachel. Nope. Summer. Nope. Amy. Nope. So many of my close friends and I grew apart because of marriage. Now our friendship is stronger. It’s not the same, but I’m so glad. It’s richer. Deeper. Now that I’m married I get so much joy to share in that with them. But I also ache for my single friends because either by their choice or my marriage–something gave and it broke. I love the verse from Ecc. 3 that there is a season for everything including friendship.

  5. This post did a couple of things for me: First it helped me realize, now more than ever, how much time really does go into a marriage and that if my married friends don’t answer my calls right away- I can’t be offended. There is a certain amount of slack that I need to cut them because they’re not just taking care of themselves and their own lives full time- they have a spouse to love and take care of full time also!

    But secondly I think it’s an important thing that marriage purifies the bad friendships from the good. I think relationships, in general, tend to do this. I have so many of my girl friends that are dating and literally never contact me the minute they meet a guy. I have jokingly called myself “the rebound friend” because several of my friends want to text/call/hang out as soon as they end a relationship.

    Shouldn’t be so! We, especially as women, need to be more aware of who our true friends are- set boundaries for ourselves- to avoid getting hurt. Really to avoid drama altogether.

    And I’m finished rambling. Haha! Thanks for sharing this!!

    1. devotionaldiva says:

       Katie, yes it’s not something that I anticipated it would “as much as” it did.

      YES. Purity in our friendships is just as important as with our male friendships. I’m realizing now more than ever that some of my girlfriends were more damaging and harder to “break up” than guys. Maybe it’s because we feel safe. Maybe it’s because we let our guard down. Maybe….

      Yes, exactly as you said!

      haha! Love it 🙂

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