By H. Daniels
After you get married, your life changes. It may not transform drastically (especially if you both live together already), but it will change. You will find that you are not only a strong individual, but a part of a strong union as well. As your life moves into this stage in your life, it will get chaotic and a bit difficult to juggle your married life, your professional life, and the rest of your personal life as well. This will be something that you have to get used to and something that will differ with each person.
How do you do it? How do you balance all of these important parts of your life?
The hardest struggle will be balancing your married life and the rest of your personal life (including time with your friends). You can’ neglect your friends because as you get older, they will be one of the constants in your life. They will be a great support in a lot of your endeavors as well as a comfort when you and your husband are having issues.
Respect My Priorities!
Your life has changed; there is someone in your life who expects to be the number one priority in your life. Take a moment to assess the priorities in your life. Where do your friends fall on that list? Where is your new husband? What about the rest of your family? How about your professional life and work?
Also take into account “personal improvement.” You should make time to improve upon yourself and have some time to wind down, relax, and reflect. These are just as important as everything else in your life because if you don’t make time for yourself, you won’t be in good shape to take care of the rest of the things in your life.
One of the biggest reasons for friend-fallout after you get married is breaking promises with your friends. Yes, your husband and family should come first but remember that your friends are a part of that circle too. They are your family – or at least they should be treated as such.
Make sure that you aren’t breaking the promises that you’ve made to your friends. Have you promised to meet them for lunch? Write it down on your schedule and don’t double-book. If you’ve already broken a promise with them, don’t do it again. Two broken promises in a row is bad juju. It is a way of telling them that they aren’t important – even if that’s not what you intend.
Break Old Habits & Make New Ones
Before you were married you had an old set of habits. Those are long in the past. Partying with your friends all night and coming home in the wee hours of the morning probably won’t be your normal Saturday night routine anymore.
Make sure that your new habits involve both your husband and other people that are important to you. I’m not saying that you have to trade in your convertible for a mini-van. But you do have to realize how your relationships have changed.
Try to plan a girls’ night once a month. Get together with your friends every Friday to catch up on what’s been happening the last week.
Make sure that you talk to your husband about how important it is that you both keep in touch with your friends. Keeping that individuality (your sense of self) is important in a relationship and this is one of the ways that you do that. Your friends helped mold who you are and who your husband fell in love with. Neither of you should want to do that.
Stay open-minded and be open to making new friends as well. Your single friends may not always want to hang out with you and your husband. They might want to go out and hit the bar or club. Don’t be afraid of making new friends with your husband. Join some meetup groups on MeetUp.com. There, you will be able to find new friends that have things in common with the both of you – as a couple.
That way, you can have your girls’ nights once a month (or once a week) and have a “date night” with your husband and your new couple friends.
Behold the Power of Social Media
The great part about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr is that you can still keep in touch with your friends, even if you can’t see them as often as you used to. That being said, nothing can make-up for seeing each other once in a while. At the minimum, you should at least have one girls’ night a month so that you don’t actually lose those friendships and so you don’t drift apart.
Don’t Skip Out on the Major Events
Birthdays, graduations, and other celebratory events are mandatory. You may be tired. You may have worked six days this week and this may be your only day off but this will also be her only birthday this year. This will be the only time that she graduates with her Masters. You need to make these events to show your support because that’s what friends do. Don’t forget your friendly duties.
Random Texts of Appreciation
Just like you love random texts from your husband, you should be sending texts to your friends. A simple, “Hey! Miss you!” is good enough to let them know that you still think about them, despite your hectic schedule. Remember to ask them about their lives and don’t just blab about what’s going on in yours.
Mom! You’re Ruining My Life!
Sometimes things just happen. Friends move away. Coworkers get better job offers elsewhere. Friends will drift apart. If you find that you’re suddenly all alone in town, you may need to take some extra measures.
Plan a yearly reunion. Get in touch with your college friends (Facebook is great for that) and plan a yearly trip to the old campus, the bar that you used to hang out at, or some other central location. Reminisce about old times and remember to create new memories too. Remembering the good times is important but it is more important to build on those and create new memories with old friends.