I want to get married, but I am afraid of losing my friends. I know of many people who have lost their friends after being married. Please explain to me why people, especially women, lose their friends after marriage?

Dear Struggling,

An old saying is, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” However, some friendships are more like paper. They fade. It happens. Careers, lives, interests, and goals change.

When you get married, your focus changes. It is no longer all about you, but about you two as a couple, and eventually about the children as well if you become parents. You will find that you may drift apart from your current friends if they remain single because your interests no longer are the same.

All of us have just 24 hours a day. If we are also working or attending school, we find that after spending time with our husbands, cleaning, and cooking, etc., there just isn’t as much time to spend with our friends. At the same time, we can develop rich friendships with other couples, and that is important. We all need people who share our same interests to be a part of our lives.

Your true friends will stick around because your relationship is based on each other, not your common interests. There is a huge difference between having a BFF and having several “hanging out buddies.” Don’t worry about whether you will keep your current friends or not. Instead, consider the change in status as a positive winnowing process to determine who your true “through thick and thin” friends are.

That being said, being married doesn’t mean you should neglect time with your friends. When the time comes, include a way for each of you to have a regular “friends” time in your marriage. It will make your relationship stronger in the long run. Your spouse should be the most important “other” person in your life, but he should not be the exclusive one.

Guys need to have guy friends, and women thrive on having girlfriends they can confide in. Married couples will have different interests and should encourage each other to pursue them. It is OK to include your spouse in your interests occasionally, but never assume you can fulfill all of each other’s needs for companionship.

It is a matter of prioritizing life to include the things that are really important. Of course, to plan one thing into your life usually means less time for other things. Make sure that the things on your schedule are really important for your life goals. However, you don’t want to become so overscheduled with other things that you shortchange time with your spouse as well as with a few best friends.

You will be fine. You will find ways to balance your time with friends during your courtship with your future husband. If you have close friends who have not only survived the process but grown closer to you through it, make them your bridesmaids! They will most likely be around for a long time.

If you need to talk with someone about how to juggle friends and marriage, our free, confidential online mentors would be happy to help you sort it out. Just use the "Connect" tab below.

This article was written by: Issues I Face

Photo Credit: Alexandre Chambon