- February 1, 2016 -
How to Maintain Your Friendships in Marriage
As you’ve likely discovered by now, there is plenty of advice on the internet around the process of “two becoming one” in marriage. And there should be. But for the next few weeks, we want focus on the importance of maintaining your twoness in marriage, as well. What we mean by that, to put it simply, is the importance of continuing to be your own person.
Marriage is a combined journey, not a vacuum. One of the most valuable things you can do for your marriage is to create enough personal space that you still have stuff to catch up on at the end of the day. And sometimes creating that personal space looks like calling your best friend to see if she wants to go see the new Amy Poehler and Tina Fey movie with you.
Maintaining friendships when your whole life is in transition can be hard, but it’s worth the challenge. Here’s where to start:
When you get engaged, there’s sometimes an unspoken expectation that the next season of your life is going to be all about you and your spouse. If you’ve been engaged for any length of time, you’ve likely felt this play out—whether it’s your friends distancing themselves, assuming you’re busy with planning, or feeling as if all your social interaction revolve around your wedding plans.
But planning your wedding shouldn’t be as important as connecting with the people closest you. So dismiss that unspoken expectation and stay present in your friendships. Take initiative, ask thoughtful questions, and steer away from letting all the attention fall back on your big day. You’re friends will be grateful for the effort. Afterall, your wedding lasts a few hours, but maintaining healthy friendships will matter for the rest of your life.
Marriage takes a village! Who’s going to be in yours?
Encourage your other half
Remember, this isn’t just advice for your own life, but advice on how to love your future spouse well, too. Encourage your future spouse to initiate quality time with friends. And give him or her the space to do so. When the opportunity arises, remind their friends how thankful you are that they’re in your future spouse’s life. Instead of feeling bummed about your future spouse spending time away from you, celebrate their investment, and take that time apart to pour into your own friendships. The more regularly you practice this, the more you’ll be able to stand back and admire the individual you fell in love with.
Stay tuned. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting more pointers on how you and yours can foster a healthy sense of self in your marriage. Here’s to creating your best days ahead!