They Do Exist.

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.

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

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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12 Responses

  1. As a single woman, whose dear friend just got engaged last weekend this post definitely spoke to me. I definitely feel that nonexistent wall between us because I cannot even begin to fathom what she is feeling and going through because I've never been there myself. I feel left behind and not enough, but these feelings are such a poor reflection of the truth. I know Satan wants nothing me than for me to doubt my friendships and my worth as a friend and a woman. I cannot and will not allow my relationship status to define my worth or to effect my friendships. Thank you so much for sharing!

    July 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

  2. Kait

    Excellent article. A spin off suggestion: the "Mom Club". As a married woman who does not plan on having kids for a LONG time (if ever), there's definitely some tension when one cannot contribute to the birth story gab sessions.

    July 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

  3. I am absolutely walking through this too. It’s hard when more than half of my girlfriends are getting married and I’m hoping I don’t end up being that aunt Sarah that kids wonder why she isn’t married yet. I have a hard time admitting what I’m going through to them because I feel childish even at 23. It’s hard to relate to them when I’m just talking casually about guys or life ad they already HAVE a husband. I don’t know. I’m really struggling. But I think this is where it’s awesome that we love Jesus. We both are growing in holiness even if it’s differently and that puts us on equal even though different playing fields. Hm. This article blessed me! Thanks!

    July 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  4. You know I do feel that wall sometimes. Its like im entering the age where everyone and their mothers is either getting engaged/married/pregnant while I, on the other hand, enjoy my friends, my life, and my puppy *sigh*

    July 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

  5. I am a newlywed and to be honest I feel left out of the single and free club sometimes–don't get me wrong I LOVE my husband and being married. It just seems like my friends who are single don't understand that I can't be as spontaneous about hanging out as I used to or they don't include me b/c they assume I already have plans with my husband. We're all insecure. None of us are trying to hurt eachother and I think it's important that we express our needs to one another b/c we can't read each other's minds.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

  6. Pingback: Ask A Married Woman: Should You Let A Guy Know You're Into Him? - Good Women Project

  7. Erica

    Great response!
    The one thing I would disagree with is the statement about it being harder to make and get close to friends as one gets older. This may be a cultural norm in our society, but as someone with a relatively transient life style, I've HAD to continue making friends throughout my life, and it has actually gotten easier as I've aged. As I watch my grandparents age and move into retirement communities, I've seen the benefits of those who have honed and matured their friend making skills and those that let them atrophe.
    Friendship takes work, always. That work changes and shifts with major life events, and that can throw in a learning curve one isn't expecting or doesn't know how to navigate. But being willing to continue reaching out, learn new flexibility and communication skills, and to constantly pursue one's friendships and friends will pay off long term.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

  8. I see so many friendship die, because they were based purely on hanging out. Or because they are centered on relationship status, i.e. all you talk about is boys, or husbands, or kids, or whatever. I have seen friendships like this "die".
    My friends who remain through all stages, are friends whether or not we have time to hang out. We have things to talk about, beyond our relationship status. Those are the tie that last. I am grateful for those friends!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm

  9. amelia

    From a married woman with kids, I humbly voice that the feeling is truly universal. As the first of our friends to have children, we often felt excluded because they knew we couldn’t just pick up and go…(fill in the blank). Even now, our friends that have just one child do things together while we (with 3), are left out because there’s ”not enough room” or they thought it would be too much trouble for us to come. All that said, I’ve found that whatever stage of life I am in, the Lord has a specific task and often specific people that I am blessed to minister to and be inspired by. I have ceased to hold hard feelings about others presumptions, and simply look to love those who are in my path today. And-perhaps most importantly-I try my best to initiate things with friends. We invite the single ones over for dinner (not to set them up-I promise!:), get a sitter once in a while to have decent peaceful conversation with another married couple, and sometimes we even bring the kiddos along to a dinner party (when we know they are welcome) just full of single people. Go figure! In all things, may our love and friendship abound for one another.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

  10. Jennifer

    "Just because you aren’t married NEVER means you aren’t valuable…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."

    It's really hard to believe that when you continually see otherwise. My two closest friends are both moms; one's married, one's divorced. They've said several things lately that they don't realize are hurtful. Everyone that I work with is married or widowed with children. I'm pretty sure everyone at church is either married or a mom or both, because that's all they seem to talk to each other about. I'm not trying to overhear them, but when no one's talking to you at church or Bible study and you're just sitting there, you hear snippets of things they are saying.

    The older I get, the more "out of the club" I feel.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

  11. marvelouscara

    I'm recently married too, and I'll be honest: my good friends and even friends I wasn't close to before I got married are all interested in continuing a good relationship with me. It actually was a pretty big fear of mine, but none of my relationships have been hurt by it.

    September 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

  12. Jennifer

    As a single woman I have felt the love and nature of life through my own growth. I know am self centered here but I think the truths of laws of attraction among friends comes easier. I now understand more about married women and how they function. Are there times when I feel walls closing in at unbearable moments when see the big diamonds on the hand sparkling. Yeah but you know when I was being a friend of a friends engagement or birth or any other social function. When I say am happy for you then respect that don't make it into a way to gossip to someone else. eh hemmmm even in family circles being the single woman with no kids. I love my freedom and loves my challenge to dare to forgive to love. Dare to be and give love to others whom treat you kindly … we all are allowed bad days just be careful w/ certain others as kind people want to be respected and loved as well.

    March 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

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