When we first got married, I had a bit of trouble branching out to other people besides JB. Which is understandable. We had only been dating for 5 months or so, and had spent a collective of 21 days total face-to-face with each other. I was really excited to get to know him better, to be able to communicate without dealing with cellphones, internet connection, and roommates or parents listening in. I had just moved to a new town where no one really knew me beyond acquaintance-level, and was learning how to be a wife and what that entailed.
There can be too much of a good thing.
I think that it’s important to spend time with your spouse, don’t get me wrong. We prioritize time together, from weekly date nights to eating breakfast together in the early mornings, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
We also need time apart.
Overall we have found that time apart can strengthen the bond we have, and make each other more grateful for the other. It took awhile for us to comprehend this, as we spent every evening together for the first month and our first night apart was 6 months into our marriage. It’s important to have separate hobbies, interests, and friends.
I realized after a few days of JB solo time that I craved time with girls, but didn’t have any friendships that were established here in Mississippi to help that. I would subconsciously (or consciously) expect JB to react in a way a girlfriend would, and be hurt when he didn’t sympathize or validate my feelings. It took awhile to establish a community here where I could be open & honest, but after a small amount of awkwardness and a little cultivation, I am so thankful for the friendships that have been forged.
This Saturday, JB kicked me out of the house to throw a bachelor party for one of his friends. I could have chosen to be hurt by his lack of wanting to hang out with me on our precious weekend time, but instead chose to seek out time with girlfriends, going out to dinner at the new Thai restaurant in town and chatting about the nonsensical things that somehow refresh a woman’s soul. I spent the night away from JB, went to church and sat by myself, and returned to a house full of smelly boys (ok, ok, they were well-behaved and even cleaned up after themselves…). When we had some time together Sunday afternoon, it was nice to catch each other up, and talk about the experiences we had apart.
We will always like each other a lot. But it doesn’t mean we’re the only two people in the world. We love our community here and make other relationships a priority as well. So don’t ever feel like you can’t ask your married friends to hang out! I was a great third wheel to many a marriage when I was single. And I hope y’all will never hesitate to invite yourself over, steal the only seat next to me and let JB sit with the boys, or feel like our friendship isn’t important anymore.
We like you a lot, too.