Losing friends


#1

Did you lose friends as you were preparing for marriage? Or significantly change the kinds of friends you were spending time with?

It’s Saturday afternoon here, and my friends have all gone out together and I’ve declined their invitation again. I’m finding that as I am preparing to get married (10 months from now) I have less and less in common with them. It saddens me, but I don’t see the situation changing.

They try to live a lifestyle like you’d see on “Sex and the City” (but with less sex). They meet regularly at expensive restaurants for lunch on the weekends. They talk about their boyfriends and girlfriends and jobs. After lunch they’ll go to a coffee shop for a $7 coffee and talk about where they’d like to travel on vacation next holiday. Then they all go out shopping for clothes and shoes.

A couple of years ago, I was really into all that, and I talked about it enthusiastically. About six months ago I found myself being more and more silent during these conversations. Now I don’t even go. I’m spending most of my money on a master’s degree so that when I get married I can work part-time as a college lecturer but still pay the bills. My friends still call me and invite me to lunch, but if I say I can’t afford it, they don’t understand. They offer to lend me the cash until next week, but don’t get it if I say it’s not in my budget at all. They say that they work so they can afford life’s luxuries. I don’t feel that way. If I say I don’t have time, they complain that since they’re making money with just a BA, they don’t see why I feel the need to continue with my education.

I guess I’m just sad that I have nothing in common with them anymore. They can’t understand me, and I can’t help judging them and finding them shallow. At this point I don’t even feel like inviting them to the wedding. They feel that I’m changing my personality for a man and so they don’t approve of my boyfriend at all.

I know my boyfriend is a wonderful man. He encourages me to follow my dreams even if it’s hard for me now, and even if it means I’m too busy to see him sometimes. His friends are so friendly and supportive, and make me feel welcome. If they invite me somewhere and I say I can’t afford it, they’ll arrange to do something cheaper so that I can come, or someone will offer to pay for me in exchange for me cooking dinner at home one night.

I guess I’m just writing to vent, and because I want to hear that other people have been where I am now. It hurts to lose my friends.


#2

Well, you don’t have to lose them. They’re still the same people you felt so much in common with a year ago. And some of them will eventually get engaged and put away the “toys of their youth” and they might even look you up and seek your advice (unless you have spent so much time looking down on their shallowness that they get the message.) You can make the virtuous choice you are following look inviting to them. Or you can be insufferable about it. In which case, they won’t want to become like you at all. And you will lose their friendship.

And right ahead of you are the people who have children and they don’t have the time for advanced degrees and all the time and attention childless couples have, and you will resent the pitying glances they shoot your way because you just “don’t get it.” And so it goes on up the ladder.

Stop the madness. The first step is with you. Retain who you were before you got engaged. Don’t throw the fun-loving sociable part of your personality that you had overboard as you climb on the ark two-by-two. Life has a way of throwing curve-balls your way. What will you do if you get thrown off the ark because you are no long two by two for some reason? Then you will find yourself cast back among the “shallow people?”

They’re your friends. They just happen to have more time and money than you do right now. If they really want to hang out with you, then you can order a salad and talk. You can shop but not buy. In other words, friendship doesn’t cost money. Suggest a cheaper restaurant. If it’s really your friendship they want, they’ll eat a $4 burger rather than an $8 burger.

The question is… are they right? Have you tossed aside some of your personality for a man? Did you change before or after you got engaged? Did your change lead you to your engagement, or did you change after the ring was put on your finger. If so, then you can understand they may misread the cause and effect here.

It isn’t just about this set of people. It’s about how you handle your friends when your life circumstances change. Is this a pattern you are starting? Is your fiance making comments about your friends to steer you away from them? It’s nice that his friends are perfect and wonderful and so kind. But are you going to turn around someday and realize you only hang around with his friends?

What is really stinging here? That you are losing friends? Or that these friends are now glaring evidence of how shallow you used to be when you fit in with them? And so you don’t want them at your wedding? You mean they hung with you during all the lonely seeking years and shopped and gave you a shoulder to cry on, and now you have reached the pinnacle of happiness and they don’t get to come to your wedding and witness it because they are too shallow?

Be sure you aren’t losing your friends, or rather throwing them away. They were either as bad as you say, in which case you are losing nothing. Or they were young women who are making due with what comes in second place because they don’t have a man who loves them and wants to spend his life with them. So they are substituting happiness with fun. In which case, compassion and understanding and an example of what could be ahead of them is what you should be showing them, not scorn.

Don’t throw away the friends of your youth so quickly. You may need them someday.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but go back and read how you just described your friends and imagine how they would feel if they read it.


#3

I think it is very common to experience this as your priorities and values change. I hear so many girls agonize about who to choose for their wedding party, and unless they are relatives, often never even see these women again after the wedding. it is even worse when you have your first baby, like a glass wall comes down between you and your childless friends. there is one mandatory shower then the luncheon to see the new baby, and that is it, those friends are history.


#4

I have not seen or heard from my Maid of Honor since my wedding day :frowning: We had also been friends since 3rd grade!!!
I write, send cards for every holiday, have left messages, still hear nothing. Nothing happened at the wedding, nor before, nor after. I think it was just she decided it was easier to cut herself off since she is not married.
It is sad, although I keep her in my prayers, and hold no remorse.
Anyway, I would just suggest to be prepared for your friendship with you single friends change after your marriage.


#5

Same here. Since I got married, my friends and I don’t really talk. We have nothing in common. One of them, who was my best friend since ‘97, is into going to dance clubs every Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday. She lives the Sex and the City life (with the sex and all). I was into the clubbing once or twice a week, but I wasn’t like her, that she hooks up with almost wevery guy she meets. She still lives like this and complains I don’t got clubbing any more. Another one of my “good” friends had been with her boyfriend for about 5 yrs and she’s been having pre-marital sex (and she’s Catholic) since she met him. Since I married, I’ve seen her 3-4 times. We make plans to have dinner as couples, but they always cancel. It’ turns out the married couple has nothing in common with the not married couple since we don’t like to drink and go out partying the way they do. They drink and drive :(.

My other friends, the ones who do believe in sex after marriage, well, it’s like they live in total diff. worlds. They love to go out to bars and go to the city to party, again, we don’t. They complain I want to go to bed early (hey, even my sister complans about this), and that I have to work the next morning. They don’t have the responsibilities a married person has. One of them complained to me that since I married I don’t do fun things any more. All I have to say to that is that they don’t know what it is to be married. Having to go home to cook dinner, by 6pm we eat, and then after dinner we really didn’t feel like going out.

JW, friends come and go. And you will find yourself more friends once you’re married and have kids. It’s not easy, sometimes I get lonely and wish I would go out with my friends, but hey, I’m not complaining.


#6

I’ve been married 20 years and I can count the number of “pre-marital” friends I stay in touch with on one hand… and have plenty of fingers left over to type this message!:smiley:

Singles and marrieds DON’T have a whole lot in common. Change doesn’t have to kill a friendship. If it does, then it wasn’t much of a friendship to begin with. The circle of friend (no, that’s not a typo :wink: ) that’s left from my single days also got married the same year, has a family, has bills and dentist appointments and all that stuff that comes with married life. When we DO get together, we have a great time (it’s nice that our husbands like each other and our kids are pals), but we understand that the reason our friendship works is because it’s very low maintenance. Just because we don’t call or e-mail each other every week (never mind every day!) doesn’t mean we don’t care about each other. If there were ever a need, we both know we could call each other and the other one would drop everything and be there. I should add, until recently we didn’t even live in the same state!

Here’s something to think about: soon you will be uniting your life to that of the person who should, God willing, be your best friend EVER. That’s what happened to me. For the last 20 years, I’ve never felt lonely or left out or out of place. My husband has been the greatest blessing in my life. And he feels the same way. Pray and strive for that kind of marriage. At the end of the day, who is it you’re going to be with anyway?


#7

Just Wondering, I was one of last of my high school friends to get married. And the thing that struck me when I read your post was that I felt like I had been abandoned by the married friends. As has been posted previously, single people and married people don’t have nearly as much in common as singles with singles, or (to a lessor extent) marrieds with marrieds.

As should be the case, married people spend much time with the spouses, with co-workers, and with their children. Marrieds also have a tendency to draw closer to their own extended families, especially as brothers and sisters marry and have children.

I didn’t really make any long term friends at college (and they all lived too far away to spend time together anyway.) But I eventually met new acquaintances at work and some of them became friends. I do still keep in a certain amount of contact with old high school friends. But the truth of the matter is that when we get together our conversations tend to be largely reminiscing. Once we catch up on history we don’t have much more to talk about.

You can maintain friendships from before marriage but it does take some effort.


#8

One of my very best friends, was one of my bridesmaids, and had actually introduced me to my husband.

We continued to speak on the phone pretty often for a few months, but then we just stopped seeing each other, talking or anything.

It’s been 10 years, and I think about her often, and I miss her, but no contact. It’s sad.


#9

I guess the problem is that they are the same, and I’m not. I enjoyed going out to expensive restaurants, but now that my expenses have doubled and my priorities have changed, I can’t afford to. Yet when I invite them to eat dinner at my house, they generally refuse the invitation.

I wouldn’t say I’ve given up my personality, but I have changed a lot since I’ve met him. I’ve realized that I can still have a great time but that I don’t need to spend $100 every time I go out. I’d like to be able to share this side of myself with them, but every time I make an invitation to something that I think my friends would enjoy, they refuse it.

My fiance/boyfriend (no ring yet) is actually encouraging me to try to bridge the gap between me and my friends. He doesn’t understand why we can’t get along, when he gets along well with his married and single friends. I am at the point now where I’m hanging around more with his friends than my own.
I guess one of the problems is that my friends are trying to talk me out of changing. They keep making comments like “why would you want to tie yourself down? your boyfriend doesn’t even have a well-paying job - what do you see in him? are you going to support him? he’s Catholic, so he probably wants a dozen children. you don’t want children, do you? why would you want children?” and other stuff that’s really starting to offend me. When they said stuff before that I disagreed with, I used to just let it pass, like water off a duck’s back. Now I find I want to stand up for what I want.
I don’t understand why they’re so surprised, when I’ve always said that after a few years living it up overseas, I wanted to go home, settle down, and raise a family. I even used to toss ideas around with them about what kind of business I could run with a future husband that would allow me to earn money and still stay home with any future children. I can’t understand why they are so surprised that I’m actually following through on my plan. I thought they’d be happy that I’m pursuing the dreams I’ve always had. I guess not.

Yeah, a friend of mine got married right after high school, and we lost touch shortly after that. We had nothing in common. I felt bad about it, but … I guess it’s my turn.

I guess to some extent I am the one abandoning them. The truth is, I’m leaving the country for this marriage, and it’s really unlikely that I’m going to be living near these friends again. My boyfriend is Filipino, I’m Canadian, and we don’t want to stay in Korea. I’ve told my friends that I was planning to leave before, and they always said, “no, you’ll never leave. You’ve got a good job, you make lots of money with no expenses, why would you give that up?” Now I’ve met a man that I love, and the life I live is no life to raise children in, so I’ve found a reason to give this lifestyle up. There’s no childcare here, we have no family to help us out, and the Korean school system is not supportive of biracial children, so staying here isn’t really an option we’ve considered. I guess part of the resentment my friends feel is that he’s taking me away, literally.


#10

**From your description it sounds as though you are maturing and your priorities are changing while they have not yet found a reason to grow.

If you value their friendship in any way at all, make a sacrifice every now and then like fitting that restaurant trip into the budget. Or go for a $7 coffee and catch up on the girl talk. Encourage them in their pursuits even if they are “shallow” (as long as they are not immoral). One day they will most likely be in your situation and it is then that they will appreciate the effort you made to stay friends.

Remember what is is about them that you DO have in common and focus on that. If they say something that offends you, let them know (gently). Thank them for their concern and acknowledge that they care about you.

By all means, if these girls are your friends and not mere acquaintances, DO invite them to your wedding. This could be a great example to witness to them what it means to be married.

As for me, I didn’t have many good friends to begin with but I only talk to one pre-marriage friend now. We lost touch for awhile when she married (years before I did) but now we have more in common again… I talk to one other friend I had from my single days but our relationship is still on the “shallow” level. We don’t have much in common but speak every few months just to say “hi”.

malia**


#11

They keep making comments like “why would you want to tie yourself down? your boyfriend doesn’t even have a well-paying job - what do you see in him? are you going to support him? he’s Catholic, so he probably wants a dozen children. you don’t want children, do you? why would you want children?” and other stuff that’s really starting to offend me. When they said stuff before that I disagreed with, I used to just let it pass, like water off a duck’s back. Now I find I want to stand up for what I want.

You have a lot to be proud of for having good strong values. But we are all called to witness to the Faith and to the Truth. You can do this with your friends by continuing to be loving and cheerful and happy. By your enthusiasm for the right path and by showing them the joy you find in these good things, they may question their own woeful paths. But they can’t do that if they never see you or hear from you again. You are a trailblazer among your friends. Blaze a good trail! When you stand up for what you want, emphasize the goodness of it, make them want it too. :thumbsup:


#12

A man’s perspective:

There’s a line in an old country music song: “All the fun my friends are out trying to find, I have waiting for me at home.”

I think you’re just growing up. I had a close knit group of male friends in high school and college. Thinking back on it now, all we did was drink and carouse. A lot of them were drug users. Conversations were very shallow. I left a lot of our gatherings feeling depressed.

I met my wife-to-be during this time. As the months went by, I spent less and less time with my drinking buddies and more time with her. I felt a happiness in her presence that I had not known before.

Long story made short: As we approach our 28th anniversary, I don’t make much effort to see the old drinking buddies anymore. If I happen to see one of them somewhere, we have lots of laughs and reminisce, but there’s no longer any reason to hang out with them.

My wedding was a very Catholic event, and my buddies have no interest in the faith. I did not invite them.

“When I became a man, I put away childish things.” - St. Paul

It looks like the original poster is moving into a bright and happy future. If you keep Christ at the center of your marriage, the happiness you feel now will get stronger as the years pass.

  • Rob in Oregon

#13

I agree with both Malia and Liberanosamalo. You are “growing up” and you have good strong values. Maybe you can be a good example for them. I was always more mature than my friends (same age and older then me), I was always told I wasn’t as fun as I used to be in high school. Well, that was high school. People grow up and want to settle down. You have found a man who makes you happy and you want to have a family. Your friends cannot understand that now, but I’m sure one day they will. As Malia said, you can still go out with them. Go to get a $7 coffee. Do you guys have a good coffee shop you like? You guys can go sit, drink some coffee and have fun. That’s what I used to do with my friends when I had no money. That’s one thing we all had in common (and wanting to go to the gym every day). So after the gym we’d go have some coffee or a salad for dinner.

Just remember that maybe they haven’t found their husband-to-be and don’t understand you yet. Heck, my sister is about to turn 30 and she still doesn’t think the way I do. I was more than excited when I found out I was pregnant, she was excited for me too, but she said “Why would anyone want a brat running around? They’re too much to handle”. I was in a different spot in my life than she is in hers. I was happy about being a mom, she thought kids only hold you down. But hey, her boyfriend has 2 kids and she’s even thinking she wants one a few yrs after she gets married.

Try and understand them. Women nowadays want to wait longer to marry, and the longer they wait, the more they look at finances and a future husband’s profession. Heck, even my grandma questioned why I wanted to marry a painter when my sister was dating doctors, mortgage brokers, politicians and accountants. Your friends don’t know how special your boyfriend is. But you do. You see in him the wonderful person he is.


#14

From reading this post, I guess I should count myself lucky! My maid of honor was my best friend 8 years before my marriage and still is now.

My life changed…A LOT. Hers has changed very little. But she loves my kids, my kids LOVE her and she gets along great with DH. We invite her to everything and she comes when she is comfortable (she is agnostic and single). So some things she doesn’t feel comfortable attending but she is supportive. She has always been supportive of me and all the changes I’ve experienced since finding DH. I in turn have supported her thru the loss of her mom and having to take over care of her dad.

We may not share a common faith, but she is one of the best people I know. I’ve always told her she’d make a great Catholic. :smiley:

We used to do things that I can no longer afford. She will do them with other friends and sometimes she springs for the bill. But we have also been creative and changed what we do for entertainment. Rather than go out, she will come here and we’ll together experiment with a new recipe. I host most things at my house as it’s easier with the kids and her dad is at her place. So it works out. We both value our firendship so we make it a priority.

Friendships evolve, you may keep these friends, you may not. But I wouldn’t count them out, as they mature they may head in your direction. Change is always hard. Luckily it sounds like your fiance’s friends are becoming yours too and that is always good.


#15

I know what its like to feel like your losing friends:( All of my close friends are in college and since I am not in College its like they forget about me or like I am invisible when I am around them:( I guess its just life


#16

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