Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Are A Very Beautiful: Marriage Questions

So, I’m married. And I assume most of my readers are friends or family of mine who know this only too well. But for those random readers who got here because I inadvertently used some keyword like “Stone Mountain Georgia,” I announce that I’m married for your benefit.

Marriage is spectacular. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in some ways— ways that I didn’t know existed. But what about the little idiosyncrasies of marriage that we don’t expect? And not just the toilet seat (I think we’ve all evolved).

I’ll get the ball rolling by revealing one of my struggles: post-marriage friends. I have friends, you have friends, we all have friends, but for those marrieds out there, and those contemplating marriage….


QUESTION: what exactly do you do to retain and/or make friends post-marriage?


Part of me feels like the social me died. As if my online social media presence is the only one I have anymore, and the real me that goes to work every day and tries to think of what to make for meals has closed her doors to her friend business. Only thing is, I didn't. I don't think so anyway?

After marriage, people sort of talk about you like you're dead, or like you don’t enjoy the things you used to enjoy. Truth is, I will ALWAYS enjoy movies nights and I will ALWAYS enjoy 7 hour gab fests, and I will always dislike the grocery store and post office.

Some may say that making friends with other newlyweds is the way to go. Well, it’s a challenge, because you're all trying to navigate this world of new found ‘unity’ with your spouse and a sense of identity displacement with yourself. Instead of hanging out with other couples, you ultimately just do nothing with anyone but your spouse which usually entails marathons of Raising Hope. Fun times, but consistently? A little anti-social.

I am not sure if this is a male or female problem (or if it’s a problem at all), because I don’t know if both men and women experience this after marriage, or just women, or just me. And also, my husband has not been anything but encouraging of my efforts to make friends. So what is it? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts, dear friends. Have you found yourself in a similar position? If so, have you done anything about it? Made a stand? Or did you decide that it’s all a part of marriage and ties must be cut?


I’m learning here.

9 comments:

  1. Yes!! I can remember those days!! My advice is what you mentioned in your post. You need other newly-wed friends. :) I'm telling ya, single friends are great, but the "connection" changes once someone gets married. Whether or not it's intended. (Does that make sense?). We were fortunate, a lot of our friend's got married too, just before or after we did. So we hung out in groups. It was amazing, and so much fun! It was like group, married date night! lol We would just hang out at one couple's home, or sometimes 1 couple would invite the other over for dinner. I have to say, once kids come in... It all changes, again. Good luck!!

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  2. This is for real! And since you're still a newly wed, hanging out at home together is not only acceptable, it's pretty much expected.

    You might be ready now, if not, when you are then plan a girls night and go do something with just your friends. I struggle with this one because when I have time with my husband, I just want to be at home and not abandon him or lose any time with him. But hang out with girls that are married or not. Married women, or women in long-term relationships is easier because they get it. They know what you're going through and can appreciate it.

    And then, it's true, you have to make couple friends. I don't think it matters if they're also newlyweds or not, just other couples. It's basically like dating all over again, and it's incredibly hard to find the right match because the husbands have to get along and so do the wives, but that's not always possible.

    Anyway, just keep trying and it will work out. Things will happen and change, but for now enjoy being a newly wed and spending ridiculous amounts of time at home with your husband. Those days don't last forever.

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  3. I agree with Tiffany about making other couple friends...no matter how long they've been married. We've just had other couples over for dinner and it helps to see who we mesh the best with. Have you met any couples in your ward that you like?

    I've definitely found that it's harder to stay in contact with your single friends (especially when you move to a different state....and ESPECIALLY when they're the opposite gender). Plus, your single friends just assume you don't want to come anymore....which may or may not be true. But it's still nice to be included, right?!

    Anyway, making the friends together is key, in my opinion. That way girl nights and guys nights are easy to plan, as well as group date nights. I can't imagine any other couples not liking you, so just start inviting people for dinner! It's a lot of fun, and even if you don't end up being best friends, it's neat to get to know people and exchange dating and engagement stories. =)

    PS: We never came down to Utah...that's why I never called for lunch...but I'll let you know next time we're there. =) Good luck!

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  4. How did I get so blessed to have people with such great advice in my life? You ladies are wonderful. I will try to use this advice the best I can. I think dinner dates with married couples are good idea. And my friend Raschell had great advice about not being afraid to mix friends either--how else do people get to know people from different walks of life? Seriously, I heart you guys.

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  5. amen and amen to the dinner invites. feeding people is the best way to bribe them into friendship. and it's true, it's like dating again, but harder, because you're matching up twice as many personalities, but introduce food into the equation, and it's usually smooth sailing.

    i think it's also really good to plan "doing" activities--rock climbing was our go-to in provo, but any active hobby is good for saying, "oh, hey, do you guys like ____? we're planning on going this saturday, it'd be fun to have another couple/group..." yup. just like dating. and i'm all over hanging out with single people, too, as long as they don't feel like they have to have a date in order to really be invited, cuz let's be honest, how sucktaculous is that?

    basically, in brief (yeah right), same rules as single life, except you just have a lot more food and actual planned activities involved--that part might take some training, as our generation tends to have forgotten how planning ahead works, which is sooo frustrating at first, but then it's totally worth it. and yes, it's normal to pine for friendlies. so good luck and no worries, because c'mon, it's you guys; what's not to like?

    i should probably just resort to email at this point...

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  6. You have received some very sound advice in the above comments. Dinner invites and games nights are a good way to get to know different couples and especially find out if your personalities and interests will click. Remember that those couples are most likely feeling the same way about making new friends. Also don't rule out older couples. Some of our dearest friends to this day are old enough to be our parents:).
    And we still have retained friends from our newlywed days. Still, don't forget your single friends. When they marry they will possibly bring their spouse into your circle. It doesn't always work. But it can.

    Interestingly, this comes full circle when you get older and you continue to make "couple friends" and they are young enough to be your children. Age is relative really.

    You'll figure it out and will find a comfortable balance with marriage and friends:)You are at an awesome time of life!

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  7. Post married social-life changes for sure. At least for me it did. For jake, it seems it's same ol' same o' in the friends department. (Can you say "COD Night"? ) But he's always been better about keeping in touch with his friends then I am with mine.

    Looks like you've got a bunch of good ideas already, but since Jake is playing COD and I'm procrastinating making dinner.. I'll add a few of my own.

    Two strategies I use:

    One- married couples (tried and tested).. the really great ones have become good friends not only as a pair, but individually. I've been known to steal a wife or two for some girl time! I've also really been lucky, that Jakes friends have some really awesome wives (The prettier half of the 1082 club).

    And Two — running buddies. I swear by them. married and not. I love those girls. I guess this strategy would go for any sort of "hobby".

    Three.. (I know, I said two but I thought of this one especially for you (DISCLAMER: I can't say I've tested it fully, or even at all actually but I've heard that there's nothing like forging friendships through the trials of motion-picture making. Feature film? ;)

    Good luck, and if all else fails.. Trip to California. You know you want to!

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  8. Elyssa, I always forget about food being the great unifier of all things. It's true. It's a great social buffer. I just have to keep getting better at cooking it. And what you say about planning is shockingly true! It's so funny how little planning I felt like I did when I was single, and now that I'm married it's like if it isn't planned, it ain't happening.

    Trilby, that is some of the sweetest advice ever. It's so true, my own parents have befriended older couples who became their closest friends, and in the reverse, they have younger friends whom they are also very close with. And single friends are interesting for me, because I was single for a while (or, longer than a typical LDS woman :) that I almost only know how to socialize with single people, but they seem less inclined to. I suppose they think it could be awkward. So that's a little bit of a challenge. But you make me want to really try harder and make it something that everyone truly WANTS to do, not HAS to do. Is Coryn back yet!??? ;)I need my besty.

    Rachel, I love your candor here! I said, "Uh huh, YES!" throughout. It's interesting, Tom has not had a problem retaining friends either (COD being just ONE of many things he does to stay involved with friends). But I'm sort of stuck between trying to put our new life together, being completely jealous that he has had a pretty seamless go of it, and me wanting girl time DESPERATELY. On any given day I'm a recluse or a social butterfly (in in this case, a butterfly in a mason jar). It's hard too when Tom and I enjoy doing most of the same things together, so separating the activities gets hard. Maybe I should take up running and join a running buddies club. Or maybe you and I should take up professional water golf ball retrieval? ;) And even if it didn't fail, I would LOVE to come visit you again in Cali! Last trip? Too short. Glad we got Powell though. :)

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  9. Here's all I know...as long as we are in the same state there is no getting rid of me as a friend!

    Because I looooooooove you. And I even like Tom. And I am so not opposed to hanging out with both of you.

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