As I’ve mentioned before, I consider myself to be incredibly lucky. I have a large handful of incredibly close girls and gays. So close, in fact, that they have jokingly named themselves my “Committee.” I’ve always been a talker. When life hands me lemons I don’t automatically make lemonade. Instead, I’m likely to pick up the phone and talk, and talk, and talk about the lemons. I call my Mom, the Committee and sometimes even my husband. After hashing through whatever issue I’m facing multiple times, I’m usually able to come to a decision and I may even make that metaphorical lemonade.
I often hear the romantic notion that people should marry their best friend. Now, I’m not saying that Andrew is not my best friend. He is my best friend. He’s also my partner, my confidante and one of my favorite playmates. But, he certainly isn’t my only best friend. In fact, I have so many people that I consider best friends that my bridesmaids joked about it during their wedding speeches. I got married in my early thirties and by the time I was walking down the aisle I had formed a large, and in my opinion, completely awesome support group. For years I had been relying on a patchwork of silly, intelligent, funny, insightful people to help me tackle life’s challenges. My marriage didn’t change that and I don’t think it should have. Andrew knows me well enough to know how much I value my nearest and dearest and I’d like to think that it’s one of the reasons that he loves me.
I believe that focusing on my friendships makes my marriage stronger, not weaker. I am not, and have never been, the type of woman that can have all of her needs met by just one person, male or female. Expecting Andrew to carry the entire burden of emotionally supporting me through life is a recipe for disaster. Devoting time and energy to maintaining my friendships leaves me more refreshed and centered when I’m at home. I feel incredibly lucky to have a husband who understands my need to operate my life by “Committee” rule, even when that means I interrupt an important discussion to call one of my girls, have to juggle our schedule to show up for their important events, or that I run away periodically to spend some quality alone time with the other important people in my life. If both Andrew and I divide our focus between our marriage and our friends and family our little nuclear unit will be enriched.
How do you balance friendship and marriage? Parenting and friendship? Friendship and work?
For more interesting musings on the importance of female friendship I highly recommend checking out the book and the blog MWF Seeking BFF.