The importance of friends
I feel sorry for women of a time when marriage meant abandoning your own social circle for your husband's. This pity is rooted in the fact that I am certain that women need friends. And that women with friends make better wives.
When you say your vows, your life changes. But you do not, intrinsically, become a new human being. Recognizing that helps to put a new, married life in perspective.
I read The Girls from Ames while on my honeymoon (That's it in my hands above. Funny enough, a gift from another good friend!). It's the story of 11 girls who grow as friends through their lives. The author cites many studies about marriage and happiness for women. Research showed that the happiest women had long, successful friendships with other women.
I think it's important for new wives not to wrap the cozy blanket of "us" around every future experience. You're still you and you need your friends.
Though I've been thinking about this post for a while now, I knew I had to write it this week. I just spent four days on a beach with incredible friends. We talked far into the night, and laughed, and accessorized each other before going out to dinner. At one point, a friend said, "There are just some things you cannot talk to your significant other about." So true! And those things aren't snaky secrets, they're things other women understand. They are tears, doubts, thoughts that other women understand.
I missed Patrick while I was in North Carolina, but I returned feeling like I'd just had a soul-hug. Releasing some of those cares into the safe harbor of friends makes me more able to give to him fully.