Now That I’m Married, My Friends Ignore Me!
Here at HappyNiceTimePeople, we’re not afraid to be servicey. Email email@example.com with your advice questions on any topic. Now, on to a question from a gal whose girlfriends have abandoned her in her first year of marriage. She seems happy with the matrimonial situation but decidedly un-glad about the massive exodus of chick pals from her social life.
Ever since I got married one year ago, my girlfriends have ceased asking me to hang out. They go to bars and restaurants and clubs on nights when I am fully available and eager to see my ladies, yet they do not invite me. It’s not like I drag my (awesome, btw) husband along to Girls’ Night or something. It’s like I’ve suddenly been shut out of their troop of singletons. What gives?
You know, you aren’t the first person to make this complaint to me. Apparently it’s rather a common phenomenon (perhaps folks could share their own stories on this topic in the comments, to make you feel less alone and stuff). And I’ve been thinking on it, turning it over and over it my mind, really trying to figure out why this is, and then it clicked: you and your girlfriends no longer have a common goal.
Bear with me here, because I’m about to say some things that may sound a little old-fashioned and perhaps even less feministical than I would like. But truths are truths, even when they don’t conform with our political ideals. Your girlfriends may be strong, fabulous, powerful women. They may be independent and badass and all that jazz. But in a society in which we are repeatedly bashed over the head with the idea that one needs a partner to be whole — well, in that kinda society, you’ve grabbed the golden ticket, Sansa. And they haven’t. They’re still searching for it.
When one perceives oneself as lacking — in money, in talent, in partnership, in whatever — there is a tendency to gather together and bond with others who perceive themselves as lacking in the same fashion. And when the glowing beam of heavenly light miraculously shines ‘pon one of you and you are raptured up into the Land of Haves, the Have-Nots may feel a bit grumbly about it. I’m not even talking about jealousy. They may simply feel that you can’t understand them any longer, or wouldn’t be interested in their interests, since this Big Giant Bag of Lack has been turned into a Sack of Plenty, at least in your life.
There’s also the argument that like-minded people simply tend to flock together. So if your daily concerns involve what’s happening with, I don’t know, the blender in your kitchen (that is what marriage is about, yes?) rather than what’s going on with your Tinder profile, maybe you are going to gravitate to blender people rather than Tinder persons.
I suggest you choose the friend who matters most to you. Give her a call (or lure her out to coffee) and speak frankly but kindly about your concerns. Avoid accusations and instead use I statements — “I feel,” “I think,” “I miss,” etc. In a way, you’re giving her a great compliment by telling her you desire to spend more time with her.
Repeat this process with other friends as necessary. If they still don’t include you, perhaps they’re not the greatest friends in the world. Choose to nurture new relationships in which you feel fully met by the other person.
And for what it’s worth, I love my married friends. They often have nice food and booze and they can afford better hair care products that I use when I crash in their spare bedrooms (they have spare bedrooms!), and they laugh at my unmarried lady stories and then sigh gently (in resignation? in contentment? I don’t know! I just love their nice things!) They create a familial atmosphere where I feel nurtured and welcomed, and in turn I hopefully entertain them or at least remind them of how glad they are that they aren’t single anymore.