It’s no secret that hubby and I married young. While most of our friends are in their senior year of college, we chose a different route (although we still plan on continuing our education somehow). College is known as a time for hooking up, casual dating, or serious relationships, but very rarely is it a time to settle down and choose your life mate. But, we’re weird and we did it differently. This has affected us in a different way though: we don’t have married friends.
I’ll rephrase that: we don’t have mutual married friends. I’ve met so many awesome people in Marriage Chat, and I would definitely consider them my friends. However, online friendships and relationships still differ from those you can interact with “in real life”. Hubby has the same best friends since elementary school. I have a really good friend, Audrey*, that we set up with his best friend, Lamont*, last year when we first moved in our apartment. Around that time, his other best friend, Nate*, recently got a girlfriend named Ashley*. So we would regularly have couples nights at our house or at their houses. It was fun. In January we had a falling out with everyone, but it was fixed a couple months later.
Since we’re all friends, of course everyone’s business would end up flying around. The girls would share and the guys would share, so then all the couples would know what the other couples would go through. It obviously caused some issues along the way. Well, we were all supposed to get together for hubby’s birthday. Come to find out, Lamont and Audrey broke up. I heard the story from hubby first, then heard the story from Audrey. Clearly, it puts us in an awkward position because now we can’t really do couple’s nights like we would like to. Even Ashley and Nate seem to be on the rocks. Now where are the couples we’re supposed to hang with?
Admittedly, we probably put too much pressure on our friends to be like us. None of it was intentional, but we seem to have put the expectations and set the bar up too high. We would constantly tell them that we were different, the exception and not the rule. When we showed them our first apartment, the girls instantly wanted to move in with the guys, and the guys told hubby “you messed it up for us!” When we announced our engagement, of course they got wedding fever. But the difference is hubby and I have been together for 4 years now. We’ve been through a lot. The other couples have barely made their 1 year mark. They’re trying to rush things along.
Married friends would be cool to have because there wouldn’t be that pressure. It wouldn’t be us influencing our friends to play house before they were ready. It would be conversations that, well, married couples have. Breaking up is a lot easier than filing for divorce, that’s for sure. When you’re married, you have that extra barrier to make things work. When you’re in a relationship, you can have the last straw and say you’re done with minimal interference (besides the obvious feelings of depression).
It hurts me to see our friends in pain, and it puts us in an uncomfortable position as a couple too. I believe we’re pretty rational people, but we still can’t help but to be biased. “Your friend did this wrong”, “Well your friend did that wrong”. I’m not letting things get in the way of our relationship, no matter how awful things may get.
How long did it take you to have married friends? Do you find your marriage puts unrealized pressure on your friends in relationships?
*Update: It came to my attention that this article was actually read by my friends and definitely hurt some feelings. After addressing it with them, I’ve decided to change their names to protect the innocent/guilty and preserve my friendships. I want to publicly apologize to my friends as well.