Does Marriage Change Friendships?

friend.jpgSteve left an interesting comment on the previous post regarding friendship. I’m hoping that we can get a discussion going to provide a few answers.

In part, this is what he had to say:

Here’s a question I battle with everyday. I could be generalising here too; Why do single friends phone and come over your place every weekend and then once they get married, you never hear from them again.

Does marriage make life too busy? Does your partner refuse you to still have your single friends?

Steve was part of the church I grew up in many years ago. It’s been a long while since we’ve caught up. 

I left a lengthy reply in the comments section of the last post but I though it’d be worth getting some other perspectives? Are you a married person who no longer hangs out with your single friends or a single person who is losing married friends? Have you found that things stayed pretty much the same after marriage?

Here are some of the thoughts I shared in my reply.

Relationships certainly do change after marriage. I know that in some relationships one or the other partner will ‘forbid’ their other half from getting together with some of their friends. I’d hate to be in such a relationship. I would never dictate such things to Pauline and she would never dictate such things to me.

I think it’s right that a greater emphasis is placed onto building the marriage partnership than on other friendships. Things can’t remain the same forever. On the other hand I think it’s wrong to become so insular in a marriage relationship that you break long term friendships. Even married couples need to remain as part of a wider community.

Friendships are based on a lot of things including shared interests and proximity.

I think marriage does change your interests somewhat, even more so when you add children into the mix. A single person will often have different interests to a married person.

As for proximity, Pauline and I are now living across the other side of the city from where we used to live so there are many people, both married and single, that we no longer see as often.

I think that friendships begin, change and end for a variety of reasons. We all go through various ‘seasons’ in our lives. Things change, we move on.

I’d also have to say that it’s not all down to those who are married. It goes both ways. A number of our single friends stopped staying in touch after we married. While scheduling is sometimes an issue we’ve never said ‘no’ to an invitation to get together with a single friend.

So what do you think? Have you felt hurt when a friend has moved to a different phase of their life? Have you noticed this phenomenon in your own life?

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