They say “Good friends are like diamonds, precious and rare, Fake friends are like fallen leaves, found everywhere.” But you say, “I do not have any fake friends”…well my dear, just wait until its time to plan your wedding. I swear the best of friends can turn on you like old milk. Some of us are lucky enough to have friends who stay true and support us through our marriage, but some of us have lost those who we considered true friends during this time as well.
In marriage, your priorities change and your focus now becomes your husband and family. Some friends support this change and others become less supportive. For me, some of my main friends seemed a little distant after I said “I-Do”. The ones that I used to hang out with, go grab drinks, trash talk men, and just have a good time with were now missing in action. I felt like I had did something wrong by getting married to someone who complimented my happiness. Where did I go wrong?
I realize that in the age of social media, most (if not all) women share their feelings (unfiltered) via Facebook TM or Instagram TM , but even though most posts are related to family, society, or life in general and are generally positive, you have to be careful of the underlying jealously that exists. Some friends will speak negativity over your happiness because they have yet to find it. Those who hold your past ways or past events over your head. All of this can be stressful and it is at these times that we have to reflect on our friendships and determine who is really here for your happiness and the success of your marriage.
For me personally, I had a friendship of 15 plus years fall apart during my first year of marriage. My friend Tasha* and I had talked about being married together and all of the accomplishments that would be achieved, home ownership, all while saying we would remain friends through the end. We both were young mothers between the ages of 19, experienced and supported each other through traumatic events, and bad relationships in our early twenties. Tasha eventually married her child’s father later on and regardless of the hard times they had gone through, I still supported their union.
When I met my husband (my boyfriend at that time) we were long distance. He was in Mississippi and I was in Washington state. Tasha belittled my then boyfriend and constantly let me know why things wouldn’t work in a long distance relationship. Her words hurt, but with me being so in love, I ignored the little things and kept on developing my relationship and eventually my boyfriend moved to be with me in Washington and proposed within months of his move. Tasha wasn’t happy for me in the way I expected. Her response was, “Dang, I never thought you would get married.” I was heartbroken. Not so much by her statement, but more so by the fact that my best friend thought so negatively of me and my happiness.
Moving on, Tasha and her husband were at our reception, but our friendship never repaired itself as the damage had been done. The last straw was Tasha’s request to have my husband mentor her husband to become a better man. I refused. That was not my husband’s job. And just like that, our friendship ended.
In the fallout of our friendship I had to reflect on myself to see what I could have done differently? Should I have offered my husband up as a mentor to hers? Was I holding a grudge for the things that she had said about my husband prior to us being married? All of that ran through my mind, but in the end, I wasn’t going to put my marriage in jeopardy for the sake of a friendship. The cost was too great. My husband was worth more and came first.
So when you are trying to focus on being a great wife and a supporting friend, make sure to assess the strength and stability of your friendships and look out for the following:
Fake Smiles, Cheers, and the Jeers
When you all have your girl’s brunches or girl’s nights out (which will become a lot less consistent), those who haven’t seen you since your nuptials are all ecstatic and want to see your ring and hear about the honeymoon, but your best friend is sitting nearby putting on a fake smile, or rolling her eyes, or side-eyeing everyone who is fawning over your new love. Pause. If you catch this, then you may need to have a conversation with your friend about what underlying issues exists. If someone cannot truly be happy for you on the outside, then they damn sure aren’t happy for you on the inside.
The “I’m So Happy I’m Single” Rant
When you two are together and discussing everyday life, of course, your conversation will now most likely include your husband and what plans you two have together. The hard part is what your friend gives you back. If her response to your plans are “I’m So Happy I’m Single because…” then she may have an issue hearing about your future with your husband. If she’s So Happy She’s Single because “…her life doesn’t revolve around anyone else” or “…she doesn’t need permission to do what she wants” or “…she’s too independent” then she’s a Single LIE! It sounds good, but in reality we all want some form of companionship. It does not have to lead to marriage, but everyone enjoys having someone they can confide in and who will accept them completely for who they are. Don’t let your friend put down your plans and make you feel bad for planning a bright future with someone you love and who loves you back unconditionally.
You’re a Lousy Friend Guilt Trip
You never call me anymore. We never hangout. You two are always gone somewhere. What about us? Does this sound familiar? Let’s just be honest, when you get married, your best friend will NOT be your best friend anymore. Your husband should be your best friend. I’m not saying you need to confide in him about every instance of menstrual cramps and which type of panties fit better (trust he will notice this on his own), but any “secrets” or inner thoughts you have, you should feel comfortable enough to share these with your husband. But your friend needs to understand this and know that your husband comes first! So be a woman and kick the guilt trip to the side and let her know the changes in the pecking order in your new life as a new wife!
In the end, your friends may come and go, but your Marriage is FOREVER. Truly understand who, among your friends, has your best interest. Your friends should support your union and you being a wife. They should understand that your husband and family are your most important priorities. There is nothing wrong with making time for friends or girl-time, but make sure your friends understand the NEW pecking order in your life. Also use this time to develop new friendships. THE GOAL: Find like minded couples to hang with or learn more about your husbands friends and their significant others as well.