Sometimes I get a little angsty and write posts about things that bother me. This is one of those posts.
Lets talk about marriage. No, this isn’t going to be a post about the joys of marriage and how wonderful it is when people find true love, get married in the temple, and start making babies. Instead, it’s about what happens after your married friends say I do.
I think the odds are tremendously good you have a married friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. There are a few possible reasons for this: they are still living in the honeymoon phase and haven’t surfaced to accept that life continues after marriage, they know you had a secret crush on your FHE sibling who is now their husband/wife, or they just don’t respond to you anymore. Sadly, this seems to be the norm. All of my friends know that I typically will defriend an acquaintance on Facebook after they get married. I do this as a preemptive move to protect myself from the eventual annoyance and heartache that will come from their terrible human-skills that follow being newly married. Let me explain.
We put a large emphasis on getting married in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We do this because we know that exaltation isn’t possible without a partner in crime. So we train our kids, generation after generation, to go to seminary, choose the right, go on a mission, get married in the temple, then live happily ever after with little rug-rats of their own creation. What seems to have been lost in translation over the many generations these ideas have been passed down is the importance of maintaining human connections with others. Yeah, I totally get it. You finally found your “best friend” and everything is rainbows and happiness now. Fun fact: every best friend you had before you found your newest one still exist.
It’s super easy to become infatuated with your fiancé, then spend some time in the newly-wed honeymoon phase. Completely understandable. Put please, don’t forget about the rest of us.
I have had many friends get married to only eventually lose said friends. Marriage has an interesting way of ripping people from other relationship responsibilities with the cleaver called “spouse”. Your marriage does not excuse your choice to stop functioning as a decent person. Having a new best friend doesn’t remove or relieve you from your duty and responsibility as best friend to the people you’ve known for years.
What’s even worse than the behavior of brides and grooms, is the behavior of their now-lost friends. It is simply accepted. When someone gets married we just accept that they are now lost to their higher cause as a spouse. “Oh, well Suzy doesn’t have time to go eat lunch with me, I mean, she DOES have a husband now!” “I miss having wings with my buddy Brad, but hey, he’s married now.” I apologize if this view seems extreme to some, but let me be frank: Marriage, in no way, excuses you from being a good friend.
This common excuse is just that, an excuse. It’s not an acceptable reason to not call, text, snap, see, eat with, spend time with, gossip with, go buy those cute cardigans that are 40% off THIS WEEKEND ONLY with, your pre-marriage friends. I may be biased. As a gay Mormon, and somebody who may end up living alone and celibate for the rest of his life in order to keep his covenants, I am especially worried that every friend I have will get married and disappear off the radar, leaving me alone with what I can only assume will be way too many cats.[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Having a new best friend doesn’t remove or relieve you from your duty and responsibility as best friend to the people you’ve known for years.[/mks_pullquote]
So, to conclude my angst filled rant, I would invite and challenge married couples to seek out your friends. You only get the next 50-70 years with them. You’ll have eternity with your spouse. Friends of the betrothed, seek them out, don’t give up on them. They are lost in the eyes of the person they love, and they are being obedient to God’s commandment, but remind them that others exist outside of their sparsely furnished studio apartment. Marriage should be the beginning of a loving relationship, not the end of others.