Here’s something you might not expect to hear in your first year of marriage. I was pouring out my heart to my husband about something or other. Probably crying. Maybe repeating myself from this or another time. And after listening for a bit, he asked me if I had talked to any of my girl friends about it.
What that sounds like is, can’t you complain about your girly problems to another girl?
But no, that’s not my husband at all. This guy lets me cry on his shoulder. He gives me advice when he can. And occasionally when all else fails he gives me chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, a spoon, and no judgment. James is definitely my best friend, and we have open communication on pretty much everything.
But do you want to know something real? I can take advantage of that fact. I can depend on him to fix every single problem or feeling. And I can forget or avoid conversations with others, because he’s always there, he’ll listen, and he usually makes me feel better. Furthermore, he often sees things from my point of view, and wants to make me happy.
All of that is good for me, but holding him to a standard that is not exactly easy or fair. And it’s not always the most beneficial for either of us.
And hey, we also fight, we have issues we can’t solve alone, we get in ruts, and we just need help sometimes. That’s normal.
It was a bit of a news flash to me, and it might be for you, but here goes: Your husband does not want to be your only friend. I might not know your husband personally, but I would bet that he feels relief when he knows that you have friends who have your back. It’s a good and healthy thing.
My closest female friends can relate to me in ways our husbands can’t – with physical things like periods and pregnancy; and emotional things like insecurity and criticalness, things my husband just doesn’t struggle with. They can give advice on things like my faith, job and relationships, and they can give an often-helpful outside perspective on my marriage, too.
This does come with a disclaimer. I’m not saying you should go to extremes. Just as it isn’t good to set all your hopes on your husband, you shouldn’t set them on your friends either.
And then – I’ll just say it: Guy friends are great. But I don’t recommend going to them to meet your emotional needs. It’s just not a recipe for success for your marriage. You can argue that point if you want, but it just doesn’t make sense to me that another guy would be meeting my emotional needs.
So build that support system! Find a tribe of ladies that you can hang with, that you feel comfortable talking to, that you love, and that love you back. I’m not saying it’s always easy. But it makes a world of difference.
Finally, don’t forget that you can always go to God in prayer with your problems. I can often see the troubles right in front of me, and forget I have a compassionate creator waiting for me to reach out to him. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 is a good example of God’s heart about this.) Talk to him, lay out your perspective on life, and see how he responds. Sometimes it’s through those friends or your husband.
How do you make friends?