Are you a single woman with many married friends? Do you feel like they all abandoned you and have changed so much since they got married?
Maybe, meeting up with them has become one of the hardest things, like striking oil but not finding the right equipment to get it out.
Have your wonderful friendships been neglected and you will like to rekindle them? Then read on.
This is the second part of the two-part series that highlights the many ways our marital status affects out relationships.
In the first part, I considered five things I believed most single women will like their married friends to know. You can read it here.
Not having any personal experience in the area of marriage, these five things were culled from my interactions with married friends and from some of the points mentioned by Kate Wharton in her book Single-Minded. It is clear that our lovely married friends have a few things they would like us to know.
Here are five things you should know about your married friends:
Marriage is not a bed of roses, it is hard but can be beautiful
She wants you to know that marriage is hard work. It requires a lot of patience, compromise and understanding.
She wants you to know that the fact that you don’t see her often doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. Her role and responsibilities changed with marriage. Her new family is now her top priority and they require more of her time.
Remember that marriage shouldn’t be your end game. Some married women had been more preoccupied with the wedding day and some of that euphoria of being a Mrs. and had not thought too much about what happens afterwards.
She wants you to know that if you’re looking to get married as a means to solve your problems (have someone to ‘complete’ you, stop the wagging/nagging tongues on your case, have children and lot’s of sex), it may not turn out that way.
It’s not all about sex
As a single Christian woman, she knows you are living the celibate life. You have mentioned a few times how difficult it’s been to remain steadfast and not indulge in your desires and temptations.
But here’s one thing she wants to say: Sex is not all it’s made out to be in popular culture. It’s great though not because it’s perfect and magical. There will be moments of confusion, scrambling, too short, too long and not so fulfilling sessions. A deeper connection with your spouse is more important than sex.
She needs you to know this and remember it.
I recently read this vulnerable and honest look at sex, by a married woman.
She would love to meet with you but may say a whole lot about her marriage and children
Our lives evolve and change is the most constant thing. As a wife and mother, her new life revolves mainly around her family and as her friend, she wants you to know she will be talking about them more often than not.
She wants you to know that she is not saying these things to make you jealous or to seem inconsiderate but to share her life with you and she expects the same from you even if you’re not married.
She wants you to look beyond her marital status. Even though this has changed, she is still the friend who’ve always known and needs you to stop focusing on the negatives and rather consider the positives.
Yes, her life has changed but you also get first-hand lessons from her experience in managing a home and taking care of her family, these can be helpful in interactions with others even if you do not get married.
She doesn’t want to feel guilty for being happy or sad about her marriage or her life
She may have a great home, great kids and a loving husband. She may also have an unloving and selfish spouse, no kids(even though she wants them), recurring money problems and everything in between.
In either of these scenarios, she may be happy or sad and may talk about the joys and pains of her marriage.
She wants to be able to speak freely without feeling guilty or judged. She has often heard some single women say things like “at least you are married”. She thinks this is unfair as it supposes that once a woman is married, that is the end of her problems and sorrows. For many married women, it is only the beginning.
She will like you to help out in meaningful ways and would love to meet up
She will welcome offers to babysit, to help out with chores and even invitations over at your place. But beyond these, she also wants to have girls only drinks, like old times.
She needs you to realise that being married doesn’t mean she should always be with her spouse. Once in awhile, she will be happy to hang out without her kids and spouse.
She wants you to know that being a wife and mother doesn’t mean she loves the domestic life and that’s all she needs from life. It’s more about loving her family and doing what she believes she should do, which is take care of her family as best as she can.
Lessons Learned – our marital status and friendships
The biggest lesson from writing these posts has been the realisation that each side feels misunderstood. Many single women feel their married friends don’t understand them or how things are and many married friends feel the same way about their single friends.
In addition to that, we also have to realise that not every friendship needs to be rekindled. Some should be allowed to die if there is no genuine respect and understanding. If it is one built on unhealthy competition, comparisons, jealousy or envy then you have no business trying to make things work.
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
“The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.”
This highlights two things: honesty and communication. Friendship is built on the foundations of trust and understanding. You have to be able to tell your friend how you feel.
The point is not to say everything that comes to mind without care to how she may feel. But to think about the effect of such things and share in an honest and loving way.
What do you think about these revelations? Do you agree?