“I’ve been married for almost six years. The biggest thing that changed about my social life after getting married was the structure of my socializing. Before I got married, I had friends that I could just call up and hang out with, or I could even just show up at their house. We could just sit, chat and laugh for no reasons, go for a dinner or for a movie.
After marriage, everything became very difficult and instead of just calling up a friend, I began finding excuses for not going out with them.”
“After I got married, my social life suffered. It took a while, but I got things rolling again with a new group of friends. There would be a new movie that my husband didn’t want to see, so I had started going out with my friends again without feeling any guilt or regret.”
This is a fact all your life suddenly changes after your marriage. When a couple marries, many people who were once central in their life are displaced. Relationships with parents, siblings and friends become secondary as the significant other takes precedence in life.
As two people from different family environments come together, they try to strike a balance and make things work. In this process, they have to make major adjustments and compromises. While doing this, they are trying to define their own identity and evolve as human beings. In such a scenario, it comes as no surprise that people change.
Have you felt that ever since you got married, even the closest of your friends avoid you? There is hardly any get-together in which you are invited. You phone hardly ever rings and of course, you are the last one to find about interesting stuff that happens to your friends. If something like this has happened to you, then you often might find yourself wondering what has changed. Just think over it and you will find the answer. It is you who have changed after marriage, simply because now the priority and focus is shifted towards your spouse, new family and new relationships, which are very complicated as well as delicate.
It’s because your husband has become your primary friend and the person you spend most of the time with. Without him, you would be lonely, but while you still miss your friends and want to see them, but he fills the “friend” role as well as the “husband” role most of the time.
Different circle of friends
Before marriage it is possible for you to maintain your relationship with your friends because every day you meet them, you can chat with them, and you can share or discuss your important issues with them. Marriage changes a person’s social status. They will probably get acquainted and make friends with other married couples, rather than socialise with their single friends as much. Often, both partners may have had a different circle of friends prior to marriage and neither of them feels close to the other’s friends, which is a major factor for not being socializing after marriage.
Research shows that singles spend more time with friends than family. Once people marry, the ratio tilts the other way. When they have kids, they spend even less time with friends and more with their own family. People struggle to maintain their friendships that span across the marriage fence whether they stay in their present location or move.
This happens with most of the couples in the first few years of marriage – after all, one of the reasons you marry a person is because you want to spend a lot of time with him. But at one point of time when honeymoon period gets over you realise that how important it is not to lose relationships with the people who you cared about before you were married. When marriage gets tough, which it inevitably does, you have to have people to turn to other than your spouse who can help you through that time. It is important to recognise that your circle of friends is as important after you get married as they were before. When couples get married, the first few months can be spent focusing intently on each other – to the exclusion of previous friendships. While most of us don’t do it deliberately, there is a line of ruling out that seems to divide us from our single and married friends.
Feeling of isolation
While you become busy with your family life, your friends have nothing stopping them. They are meeting new people all the time. They are embarking on new adventures, making new friends and trying out new things that you can’t do anymore. As a result, you feel left out and alone. This sudden isolation can really hurt you; however you have to be understanding of one simple fact. Things change after your marriage. Not only things, you change too. Expecting everything lateral to be the same when so many things change in your own life, is not possible. Couples are often faced with tension when it comes to friendships outside of their relationship. Conflict can arise when one person has the need to be social and included with others and the other desires to have their on and is withdrawn from social events. Understanding and accepting each other’s differences are basic to nurturing the friendship within your own relationship and developing friendships with others.
If you spend all your time with your spouse, and find yourself bringing every conversation back around to him/her when you’re with other people, then there’s the danger, too, of losing your individual identity to your identity as a couple. It’s not fair to your friends who love you to abandon them once you get married, but you also don’t want to torture them while you spend time together with endless stories about your spouse.
The truth is, our marriages can be wonderful, but they cannot meet every single need we have. Our lives are built on the structure of multiple relationships. The relationships we have with our families, our spouses, our children and yes, our friends are very important. We need different support groups for different reasons. We are not just wives, we are also women. Our husbands are not just husbands, they are also men. Support and understanding is vital in all aspects. And, an easy social life shows security in your relationship. It means you both can develop relationships with others without feeling insecure or jealous. All you need is time, effort and commitment! Hang onto your friends and family. Just because you’re married does not mean you should abandon everyone and everything that existed in your life before marriage.
You still need social outlets to re-energize yourself for your spouse. Don’t expect your partner to be yours over everything. It is important to have a strong bond between you two but it does not mean that you or your spouse does not need any space. Otherwise both of your life becomes claustrophobic. Friendships provide support, keep us from feeling lonely, and make us well-rounded people. Encouraging and supportive friends understand that your best friend is, and should be, your spouse, but no matter how close we are to our spouses and kids, we often desire to have a kinship with others.
Social life is an essential part of our daily lives. Therefore, it is important to maintain your social life after your marriage. Introduce your friends to your spouse and maintain social contacts with them as a couple after the marriage. This could help to reduce conflicts related to time management. Furthermore, this could also help to widen both your social circles and enhance your relationship with your partner.