Is a happy marriage making you neglect your friends? Here’s how you can balance both worlds
It is true that for women after marriage, their new relationships and responsibilities take precedence over everything else.
- Total Shares
Marriage often changes the dynamics of the other relationships people have in their lives, especially friendships. Once a woman gets married, she has to focus on her new bonds and responsibilities, and is unable to give time and attention to her friends.
However, the erosion of a friendship can inflict unbearable pain, especially if one is not prepared to handle the situation in a mature manner.
Once a woman gets married, she gets so engrossed with her new life that her friends don’t cross her mind, and all of a sudden, the friends who meant the whole world to her become just acquaintances.
Once a woman gets married, she gets so engrossed with her new life that her friends don’t often cross her mind.
Now she has a constant companion to fulfill the requirements that were otherwise taken care of by her friends and relatives, and friendships go from meaning everything to nothing.
However, this is not healthy.
While it is undeniable that the conjugal bond takes precedence over other relationships, we always need friends — to celebrate with, as sources of strength, and to share joys and sorrows. When there is any problem between husband and wife, friends step in and try to resolve issues without any personal expectations.
Here are some things that new brides should keep in mind, to strike a balance between their new and old lives.
Friends and relatives of the woman should have a cordial relationship with her partner: Once married, a couple loses their individuality to an extent, and have to factor in their spouse’s perspective too. Sometimes, the outlook of the bride’s friends and relatives may differ from that of the husband. In such a situation, the wife is sandwiched between her friends and her husband, putting a strain on all the relationships.
The husband might know about the wife’s tastes, likes, and dislikes, but at the end, they are two different individuals, with different approach towards emotions and relationships. In a scenario where the wife connects with certain people but the husband does not, she often has to lose those friends.
Secrets which were between the woman and her best friends are now known to the husband too: According to various religious scriptures, friendship is one of the most pious and selfless relationships, and the one who truly has this blessing is the most secure person in the world — a friend is a confidant to whom one can tell one’s greatest fears and secrets. However, after marriage, the secrets that were shared only between friends often reach the bride’s partner too. This way, the woman breaks the trust of the friend to whom she promised that their secrets would be treasured only in their hearts. When the friend comes to know about this, she becomes uncomfortable and feels cheated, thereby losing confidence in her friend and not opening up to her anymore.
The husband influences his wife’s decision on whom to keep in her life: Usually, any husband tries to protect his wife from every ill of the world, but going overboard can have an impact on her other relationships. After marriage, some husbands start playing an active role in deciding who should be in his wife’s life. The point the husband misses is that how he perceives his wife’s relationships might be very different from her own perceptions — the basis of relationships differs according to the logical, emotional, and spiritual quotient of every individual.
Women often give up on friends their husbands are not comfortable with.
But often, if the husband dissents from a common friend or relative over any issue, the wife too has to keep a distance from that friend or relative. Even if that friend shares an outstanding bond with the wife. If the wife goes against her husband, then it is assumed that she does not respect her partner, and her relationship with her husband is estranged.
Loss of ease of communication with friends: “True friends are those who came into your life, saw the most negative part of you, but are not ready to leave you, no matter how contagious you are to them.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson, ‘The Infinity Sign’
A true friend is open to accepting her friends at their worst, and provides a comfort zone to them where they are never judged for their actions and can be their true self. However, the casual way in which the bride’s cousins and friends interact with her might not be liked by the husband.
They are expected to be cautious of how they talk in front of the bride’s partner. For example: If she is argues with her friend, resolving it is more difficult, as the partner is also judging that argument. In case of any misunderstanding, earlier, the friends could sit and clarify matters in their own way, but now, when the partner gets involved, he doesn't forget and forgive things as quickly. The husband unintentionally creates a wall of formality between his wife and her friends, which makes them slowly drift apart.
The bride doesn't have time for friends anymore: Once a woman enters her husband’s threshold after marriage, new relationships welcome her arrival. Now, these relationships become her priority. She might not be readily available when her friends or family are going through a difficult phase.
“Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life — and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next.”
― Dean Koontz, ‘Fear Nothing’
The bride should balance her decisions without getting overly influenced by her husband. It is true that marriage requires us to be in-sync with our partner, which can take a toll on our friendships. To solve this, we have to learn the tact of balancing the partner’s interests without unduly compromising our interests.
It is essential for a wife not to lose her own judgement for her husband’s love, and follow him blindly. She should draw a healthy line, where her other relationships also have some space to breathe.
Every relationship has its importance in life; one relationship cannot replace the other. Friends are the last resort when all relationships fail, so the bride should not let go of those who have always been there for her, and she has been there for them.
It is essential for a wife not to lose her own judgement for the love of her husband. (Photo: PTI/file)
Open communication before committing to marriage: If one is committing for one’s entire life, it would be beneficial to have an open discussion about one’s priorities before the wedding. As a woman, the would-be bride should make sure that not only her husband, but also her friends, respect her interests and individuality.
Good communication will ensure a lifelong, loving partnership.
Marriage means going through a lot of transitions. It includes moving into an entirely new environment with new people and responsibilities.
However, life is about being with people whom we care about and who care about us. Undeniably, marriage is one of the most important relationships, but other relations have values too. The bride should try to blend her two worlds together. While she should be affectionate to her new connections, she should always be in touch with her friends and not make them feel left out.