Marriage, if not well structured and built can lead to the destruction of the individuals involved and their external friendships. With men, in most cases, after marriage, they still hang out with their single friends, they meet at pubs to throw back some beers, discuss the hilarious soccer match between Chelsea and Southampton. They discuss cars, and their jobs, strike deals and act silly as though they were all still single. Yes, the married man would end up leaving early, but the point is he hangs out with his buddies even though they are single, and when he is in a tough spot, he asks for advice.
The picture is pretty different for many married women; there is already a tag of achievement attached to marriage for women, so really, I am not surprised. Many married women after marriage find it difficult to hang out with their single friends, and even if they do, they are either giving her tips on how she can get married too (in case you haven’t noticed this is annoying, I’m telling you now that it is), or they are going on about how wonderful their marriage is… even if it isn’t.
You see, it is an unwritten rule for married women to keep their problems to themselves, and even if they choose to speak to anyone about their issues, it must not be the unmarried friend who has no idea what it’s like to married, hence can’t possibly give any good advice. So I find that when married women hang out with their unmarried friends, they exaggerate the good parts of their marriage; some of them make up stories to prove they are enjoying the marriage… all of this done to prove a point even though they are burning underneath. If some married women do share their stories, the advice of their unmarried friend is very unlikely to hold water to them. Afterall, how can she give advice based on what she is yet to experience?
I’ll tell you now that your unmarried friend might be the exact voice of reason you need. Sure, she does not have the experience, but that is what makes her the person to listen to. I’m not referring to the wayward ‘don’t give a damn’ type of friend here. I’m referring to that friend who has a good head on her shoulders and can help you see reason; that friend who knows you deserve better and is not afraid to tell you; the friend who reminds you to take your power back when you are becoming a shadow of yourself; the friend who tells you to be a goat when you have to, because sometimes being a sheep makes it easy for anyone, your husband included, to walk all over you.
Many married women tend to believe marriage is an added work description they must fulfill alone, but the more stories I hear about horrifying physical and emotional abuse, the more I ask myself if things could have been different if they asked an objective single friend for help. You might wonder why I’m not asking you to run to your fellow married friends. Simple… they might be in the same boat as you, with no intention to get out. This is not to say all married women are being abused, please don’t get me wrong. The truth is it is hard to tell these days because many women are becoming experts at hiding their issues, so you might be running to them for advice and find yourself still stuck in the same rut.
Don’t cut out your unmarried friends simply because of your marital status. Their advice might change your life for the better. XOXO