Why do people seem to lose their friends after marriage?

Written by Dr. Ginger Gabriel, Ph.D., M.F.T

losefriends-imgI want to get married, but I am afraid of losing my friends. I know of many people who have lost their friends after being married. Please explain to me why people, especially women, lose their friends after marriage?

Advice: All of us have just 24 hours a day. If we are also working, going to school, etc., we find that after spending time with our husband, cleaning, cooking etc. there just isn’t as much time to spend with our friends. Most of us just schedule a lunch per week with a best friend, one night a week to spend with an old friend or a Bible study/ prayer group and just make sure that we aren’t so overscheduled with other things that we don’t shortchange time with our spouse and a few best friends. It is a matter of prioritizing our life to the things that are really important. Of course, to plan one thing into our life, usually means that we won’t have time for other things. Make sure that the things on your schedule are really important for your life goals.

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61 Responses to “Why do people seem to lose their friends after marriage?”

  • Luis says:

    Truth…Some people have tons and tons of so called friends. These arent true friends most of them are what i would consider a associate. I know two people that befriend just about everyone that walks in their path. Ive known both of them for a while now, but sometimes i feel like a number to them. I have a harder time and usually dont befriend many people. I have a few friends that I have known for 20 years. The last true friend that i added to my small circle was about 10 years ago. One thing i would say some friendships arent meant to last forever. When a old friend got married i knew it was the beginning of the end for us. See our friendship was based on going out. She controlled him like a dictator. She basically owned this man. She pretty much bankrupt him in the process as well. I even saw her put her hands on him. After about 2 years of this i decided ( it was a hard decision) that it was in both of our interest if we parted ways. Besides what i mentioned the dynamics of our friendship was never the same. At first say the first year he tried to do a hybrid of sorts. Were he tried to keep her happy and tried to keep his friends happy. Then he basically dedicated all his time and energy to satisfy her every whim. He promised me that he wouldnt change much and for a while he didnt. I actually believed this might work out ( but deep in my head i knew it wouldnt). Before him i had a friend that i knew since senior year in high school. We would try and go out but she would make it hard. I would pick him up and moments later she was calling with some problem. I remember on a few occasions she said she was been followed. She would say that the baby fell and we got home it was all BS. All this was just to get him to come home. I grew tired of this and although im still friends with him, I found other people to hang out with instead.

  • Truth says:

    One more thing. Someone said in an older post that friends are essentially dime a dozen, no big deal I’ll just exchange old friends for new ones. Wow. Not sure what your “friendships” have been like but actual, solid friendships are rare and they should be cherished. Not treated like some commodity.

    People who say things like that are usually the same ones who come crawling back to their “ex friends” after a breakup or divorce, and can’t understand why their ex friends give them the cold shoulder. Everything is all about the spouse and friends can take it or leave it? Divorce rates are up to 80% in parts of the U.S. See where that mentality gets you after the papers get signed.

  • Truth says:

    The source of the problem can be seen in comments like “I try to let him keep his friends,” “I try to LET HIM keep some of his hobbies.” Seriously? Are you a spouse or an insecure control freak?

    Spouses who try to control their better halves have issues and sooner or later it is going to become a major problem. Time with friends is important in life. If my SO ever tried to tell me when I could hang out with my friends, which friends I could see etc she would rapidly become an ex-SO.

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  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Anna, you are certainly correct in that strong friendships require a commitment on both sides . . . but as Dr. Gabriel pragmatically points out, “there just isn’t as much time to spend with our friends” after one gets married” and this is just as true for men as women. That’s the biggest factor (and extremely so after children come along!) and it’s really not that in this new phase of life, married people feel that the “single” life is beneath them, unimportant, or trivial.

    There’s another factor and it’s that as you age, life gets more and more complex with more and more issues to face, and then married friends also drift from one another. I would add to Chris’ comments that a Singles Group at a local Church is a very place to find common interests among single friends. One of the things I/we learned there is that you are really not ready for marriage until you can happily live singly.

  • Anna says:

    I think there are two main reasons why a number of married women lose friendships after marriage, particularly their friendships with single women. The first, that single women are jealous/envious of them. As a single woman, I can say that those envious women DO exist, & women like that feel a sting of insecurity or enviousness at times when one of their “ride-or-die” single gals decides to join the “Married Ladies” club. It’s not right, and it’s wholly selfish & unfair, but some women feel that way, and cut-ties (gradually or immediately) with friends who no longer share the “single” label with them. The OTHER main reason I’ve seen as that sometimes women marry and completely put their single past behind them. They’re no longer interested in the lives of their single girlfriends, or they’re dismissive about what their old friends have going on now, because they (the newly-married) have entered this new phase of life and feel that the “single” life is far beneath them and thus, unimportant/ trivial. For example, I have had friends who leaned on my shoulder thru break-ups and make-ups for YEARS during courtships. Once they got married and it was my turn to discuss my dating life ups and downs, they couldn’t be bothered listening or being there because they were married and therefore just didn’t “get” the dating game anymore – even though when THEY were dating their future husband, they’d call me at 1am to discuss a text for an hour, etc. When friends no longer seem invested in you as a person, you start to place less value on that friendship, and stop making the effort. I think in order for ANY friendship to survive a major life change, BOTH friends need to make the effort to relate to one another, even if they don’t share the same “life status” anymore. I think it’s lacking the ability to make that effort that ultimately results in friendships failing after marriage.

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    nayeli….one thing we learn when we marry is that our spiritual marriage to christ is really the one that counts since earthly marriage is only for this, earthly life. use your time to seek a closer walk with the lord and help others to do so also. seek those out who dont know about the salvation of christ and be a soul winner for jesus if for now, your husband prefers to be a friend winner, you can be wiser. blessings!

  • Rashid says:

    I hope I am right in this because I like to be with my wife all the time and then after when we had children I go take them out or we go together. Cook special food together. I don’t it was wrong to stay together with wife think her as friend and partner. Following YOU Think It Was Wrong. Bless to all

  • Luis says:

    As long as he is home by a decent time let him go. Do you really need him in the house all the time. As long as he doing his part to i dont see a problem so as long as he comes home.

  • nayeli says:

    And i dont know what to do?? My husband prefers to be with his friends most of the time..

  • Sharon says:

    good article and good comments here I try to let my husband have his friends he went to school with. and also let him have his hobbies on the ones he likes I try not to squash his likes things he likes or people he likes.

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