Ask A Married Woman: I’m Single And I Feel Left Out Of “The Club”
Editor’s Note: This month we are answering our readers’ questions to married women! Tomorrow you’ll hear from just about everyone on the panel on whether or not you should initiate with the guy you’re interested in. Today, Rhiannon Field answers the question asked below. Rhiannon blogs here and tweets at @mrsrhifield. – Lauren
Question from one of our readers: Once you married, did you find it difficult to relate to your non-married friends? As a single person who has seen many of her friends get married, I often feel like my relationship status prevents me from being part of “the club”, like married women are a part of an exclusive group and no longer know what to do with me. Is it paranoia, or is there really a wall between single and married individuals?
Rhiannon: My heart really goes out to you, girl. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all felt like we’re not a part of the “club” at some point or another. Whether it be the Friends With Boyfriends Club, Friends With Perfect Skin Club, the Married Friends Club, or what have you. We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt like we’re missing out on something, and perhaps even cried a little over it (or as in my case, spent many nights sobbing over feeling left out).
I’ll be honest with you, right now that I’m married without kids, at times it feels like I’m not a part of the Friends With Kids Club. It can be a bit disappointing and at times even hurtful, even though I don’t feel like it is the right time to begin having children. That being said, those friends of mine that are mothers, have been dear friends to me and continue to make an effort to be my friend, despite my current lack of children. Yes, it may be harder for them to make time to hang out than it is for me, but they are still my friends and they continue to value my friendship. I’m sure there are things they feel like they can share more with their other mom friends, but we still connect in a lot of different ways and through different aspects of life.
The same is true for my unmarried friends. My oldest and best friend is single, and I never want to lose her friendship. She has walked me through some of the lowest points in my life, and she stood by me on the greatest day of my life–my wedding. She knows more about me than other human being on this Earth, besides my husband, and I truly value her friendship.
She may not know a whole lot about having a housework schedule, or the stresses of making dinner for a man who doesn’t consider vegetables to be real food, or keeping intimacy alive in marriage, but she is there for me in any way that she can be. Even if it is just being an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. She’s there to make me laugh, and to wipe away tears. And I will always be there to listen to the cries of her heart, support her any way I can, and share anything I’ve learned with her. I cherish and admire so much about her, despite her relationship status. In fact, that isn’t even something I regularly think about when I’m with her.
Dear friend, I’m tempted to tell you flat out that your friends haven’t put up a wall just because you don’t share your relationship status. I can’t though, because perhaps they have. Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying your friends are mean people. I’m assuming that if they’re your friends, they are people you love and trust and who love and trust you, in return. Believe me when I say that people who genuinely care for you, probably aren’t deliberately trying to hurt you or make you feel left out. They may not even realize you’re feeling a little left out, or that you have suspicions that they don’t consider you one of them.
If they’re newlyweds they may be struggling with the major transition that is marriage. They may have a lot of questions and feel lost or like they’re doing something wrong at times. Or they may be reveling in the immense joy of marriage and all that comes with it. If this is the case, it is no wonder that they would turn to other women in the same situation for support or just to connect with other women sharing their experience. Feeling lost leaves most of us searching for others who have already walked through this struggle, to tell us it’s going to be ok in the end. As hard as it may be (and I can relate, I tend to take just about everything personally), you can’t take it personally.
It doesn’t mean they value you any less as a friend. It means we are all human and we are relational creatures. We all look for other people who are in similar situations and share similar circumstances to confide in and spend time with. Remember though, the older you get the harder it is to make–and keep–friends. Fight to keep them. Continue to let them know that you value their friendship and you don’t want to lose them as friends.
Being the amazing woman that I don’t doubt you are, I’m sure there are myriad qualities your friends value in you! Just because you aren’t married NEVER means you aren’t valuable. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Being married doesn’t suddenly mean your life is perfect and you have all the answers (trust me on this one!). You still have so much to offer and still have the opportunity to be an amazing friend, with so much to offer to others, even when it may not feel that way.
In the end, the best thing you can do if you continue to feel like a wall has been put up between you and your married friends is this: Talk to them. Be honest. Don’t blame or accuse. Express how you have felt as a result of their actions. And most of all, keep an open heart. We all need friends around us.
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