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.
- Why young men don’t marry (traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com)
- The Thoroughly Modern “Frenemy Marriage” (bigthink.com)
- Marriage, Is It For Everyone? (cunysps.wordpress.com)
We were one of the last of our friends to get married, and now the pressure is still on us because now everyone is having children. It’s a constant battle of “Keeping up with the Jones’.”
That being said, I don’t believe getting married put any pressure on our non-married friends who are couples. They all know that we were together for eight years before we got engaged. Really, we set a benchmark for them, that it’s okay to take things slow.
Silent pressure sucks and when there’s expectations, there’s stress. We’re trying not to worry about it, but seeing that you have pressure even being last, looks like it’d happen either way.
Its tough even at 29 and 30 its also tough to find friends. We realized that you really have to start over with your close circle together as a couple to find friends you and him get along with.
Doesn’t it seem like it was a lot easier to make friends in elementary school? Sheesh I don’t even know where to begin to find friends haha.
I think it’s really important to have friends that aren’t ‘couple’ friends. Do things alone – it’s good for you. You don’t need to do all your socialising together, and you will make friends as a couple, but don’t force it or rush it.
I have very few friends (not necessarily by choice but after high school, people go their separate ways). He has his friends. We’re more of the loner types anyways.
This is why I don’t like to discuss relationships. Let the friend sort it out in their own way. I also don’t hook up people, I may introduce, but not with the intent of hooking them up. That is their own choice. I don’t want to be blamed for anything. Btw. I don’t like to do everything with the girlfriend, and she likes to do everything with me. This is an issue.
Yet, what do I know? Only what I know… To each their own, this opinion is just as useful as anyone’s else who may think the exact opposite.
You’re right Abiate; I don’t even have the energy to deal with it anymore. I’ve washed my hands of it.
Hi Brandi! As a new follower I’ve been catching up on your posts. Yes, I agree that married friends are very important. We found ours through our church’s pre-marital counseling we participated in with other couples and friendships bloomed from that. What’s been nice about that is we have shared values/faith so it makes our interactions pretty seamless. Whatever social circle you end up finding your married friends consider looking for an activity/shared interest group. Good luck!
That’s kind of where we are right now… We are the only married couple around… and we wish we knew more people are age who were hitched and i’m a few years older than you…
But I guess I tend to be the first person in my friend circle to really tackle the biggies in life… I just can’t wait till everyone catches up!
Haha same here! It’s so frustrating! Catch up friends lol
I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years and I’m 22 (we bought a house so we are practically married), and everyone thinks we are crazy. We don’t have any coupled friends.
Ignore the naysayers. We did and we’re very happy. They don’t have to live in your relationship; you do!
Hubby and I have been married for over 5 yrs now and we have 1, I repeat, 1 married couple we’re friends with. Unfortunately, we dont live close, we’re a state apart but my husband plays x-box online w/ the husband and I’m good facebook/phone/longdistance friends with the wife. We recently hung out with them when we went to visit my husbands’ mom this summer.
All our other handful of friends are long-term co-workers or college friends. I did have a really good friend once whom my husband’s college buddy was dating. They broke up shortly after we were introduced to her and I liked her so much, I stayed cool with her myself. It made our hanging out in a group awkward though since they were on rocky terms. And worse, as soon as she was done grieving over her breakup w/ her ex/our friend, she turned her attention (and desire) towards my husband and her jealousy and hatred towards me! It was truly disappointing to us both. I had liked the girl and sincerely considered her a friend but ya know…taught me a lesson about hanging around sad single heffas. Most of them are single for a very good reason…
OMG that’s gotta be awful and so disappointing. You try not to think that single women would be that desperate but then someone proves you wrong. Just like you said, most of them are single for a good reason.
We’ve been together six years and got engaged this year (but won’t be getting hitched for another couple of years). We don’t really have any coupled friends and I struggle to see us socialising with other couples in that way. Given most of our friends are still studying, some living at home, some not having had any serious relationships… it’s highly unlikely any of them will be getting on the marriage bandwgon for many years yet.
I don’t think we’ve put pressure on those around us at all, though, apart from one couple (now broken up) where the girl definitely was more into it, and wanted the perfect relationship, and I think may have felt a bit cheated because they had been together since about 15, so much longer than us.
When I announced our engagement to my girlfriends, I also got the feeling that one of them (who expects to be proposed to any time now) also felt a bit shortchanged.
So… I don’t feel the need to have couple friends, necessarily; I can talk to my friends about relationship issues, whether they are single or coupled up. T and I have some mutual friends, and a lot of individual friends, and it all works out.
That’s good that your friends don’t feel pressured, and I definitely can relate to some friends feeling shortchanged. For now, we’ll just deal with the friends we have haha. And congratulations on your engagement!