Frienships And Marriage

This post was published in Women’s web http://www.womensweb.in/2015/02/marriages-pushes-friendships-out/

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Last night , when I was browsing through my old albums with my daughter, I saw lot of ghosts! There grinning at me, were my best buddies, whom I shared my wonderful teenage and graduation paths.

My 7 year old asked me “Mom, who are they?”

images (2)It seems implausible that the group of people that you were closest to on the entire world, the people with whom you shared the most wonderful moments of your life suddenly disappear after your life’s milestone – Marriage! One day, two, three,……….years roll on, you’ll think yourself, I haven’t seen them since long…And then what did happen?

Here’s the question that I have been battling with over years. Hope it relates to all married and single friends of mine too!

Does Marriage change Friendships? Does it make life too busy?

Marriage is a breakthrough in one’s life that often alters our relationship with our partner as well as with people around us. Relationships certainly do change. A greater emphasis is placed on building marriage partnership than on friendships. Things can’t remain the same forever. On the other hand, I think it’s wrong to become so insular in a marriage that you break long term friendship.

Marriage is a partnership, and that partnership means priorities, responsibilities and change. Moving away to another part of town/country changes everything. Keeping in touch through phone calls also becomes less frequent as your friends also settle down.

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Our friendships are based on lot of things – shared interests, proximity, career based, colleagues, and school / college mates. Marriage can alter friendship, but it’s important to recognize that your circle of friends are as important as they were before. I do understand that for initial few months or even a year of grace; can be spent on focusing new life and relationships—to the exclusion of previous friendships!

The drifting away always begins subtly. You don’t call your friends as often ( or take pains to contact them if numbers are changed), or forgo get-togethers, meet-out’s. Conversation topics with your friends get limited. The gap widens when we bring kids into our new life. Many of my mom friends will agree with me in this. When we have kids, it becomes so, so easy to lose ourselves in them. Friendship, now moves on to common grounds like parenting, pre-schooling, etc. we tend to lose importance to friends who don’t share our common grounds!

So, why does marriage change friendship?

I never fully understood the change it brings but with my limited experience as a married woman for 8 plus years and a mother of two, I can relate to few so called reasons.

Major Transition: Besides the obvious transition of moving and merging two different households, marriage throws in front of us a lifestyle of time-tested routines, well-worn habits, unchallenged preferences and blending of minds.

Shift in focus: A woman’s first priority and responsibility becomes her spouse and the new relationships that follow. Her priorities shift and focus towards a new, unique formation: she tries to establish a new family of her own!. That doesn’t mean married women don’t need friends but the point is, it does change the social dynamic.

Consumes time: The previous two reasons naturally lead to less available social time. Establishing a household, relationship, a way of life and of course maintain them requires a lot more time and energy.

download (1)Yes, changes are expected to happen after your marriage. But it takes efforts on all sides of friendship to maintain it. When you upgrade your title to ‘Mrs.’ it shouldn’t be at the expense of who you were before marriage. Though social media tools and smart phones play a vital role in today’s re-union of friendship, it does need a foot front on our part to be really connected with friends again.

Now, what do you think? Have you felt hurt and ignored when a friend has moved to different phase of life or have you noticed this drift in your own life? Do you really feel the need to be connected again with your friends?
The ball is now  in each of our own court!

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