Determining what role your friends will play in your life after you’re married can be difficult for some people. Perhaps, you always spent Friday night with your pals and you wonder, should this continue? Or maybe you struggle to deal with the amount of time your spouse spends with friends. Learning to set healthy boundaries for the relationship while maintaining close friendships can require a balance.
Lori had brunch every Saturday with her good friend. Her husband, Bob, was surprised that this continued after they were married. Lori let him know that this was important to her and that she planned to continue. Bob was saddened that she did not plan to spend the time with him as he had pictured the two of them sleeping in and reading the paper together on the weekends.
Meanwhile, Lori was annoyed by Bob’s best friend. He visited several times a week and it was always unannounced. In fact, he didn’t knock when he came in either. Bob enjoyed frequent visits with his friend and often invited him to join them for dinner or to watch television whenever he stopped by. Lori felt frustrated by the lack of privacy and felt that the visits were intrusive.
It’s important to talk about your expectations about the role that your friends will play in your life. Keeping friendships is important to your marriage. However, your friendships can either support your marriage or can cause marital problems. Creating a balance to ensure that you keep your social relationships is important. However, it is important to make sure that your relationships support your marriage.
Make sure that your friends are respectful of boundaries that you set. Perhaps you decide that certain activities and behaviors you participated in during your single days are no longer acceptable. A good friend will be understanding of this. Also, a good friend will accept that your life has changed since you got married and will be willing to accommodate these changes. If you decide that stopping by every night without knocking isn’t working for the marriage, talk to your friend to come up with a reasonable plan.