"I just can't give you attention anymore Nwando, I've got so much on my plate! I've got the kids, I've got my businesses, I've got christmas preparations, I've got my husband's siblings coming to town with their families..." Her voice trailed off, at this point I should have gotten the message, and I had.
"Oh please, do not insult me! I know you've got a lot on your plate. And I never did ask for attention. But, you were my best friend and there were times I needed you. Still, I understood that with everything you had going on you couldn't be there".
This was from a conversation I had with a friend yesterday morning. We hadn't spoken in a while for various reasons but yesterday we needed to talk about something and somewhere in between we inadvertently began to talk about why our friendship is no longer what it used to be.
I wasn't surprised to hear her express the same sentiments many ladies did last week on Bella Naija, in a post about how married females shun their single friends once the wedding is over.
Now here are my thoughts, based on personal experiences and observations. It is true that some great friendships die an almost sudden death after the wedding, but contrary to what some single ladies would say, it's not always the married one's fault. This list is not exhaustive but I think these are the most common factors.
1. Dynamics change. And this is most likely why you ladies stopped being friends. Being married is wayyy different from being single. Take my friend above for instance. Now she's got a husband, pregnancy, babies, rent, school runs, in laws, cooking, a job(!), among other things to worry about. You on the other hand are still worrying about going on dates, the next vacation location, that boss at the office, those f*ck-me shoes, weekend plans... You soon find that you're just not operating on the same frequency anymore, you begin to have fewer and fewer things to talk about. Also because of her new life, your married friend is going to have less time, especially to talk about things that are now considered trivial to her. You, still being single are going to have zero or little interest in talking about ante-natal, diaper rashes, colicky babies or annoying mothers in law. Ergo, you both begin to drift in opposite directions.
2. Married friend suddenly feels superior. Funny but contrary to what some young single women think, I find that this is seldom the truth. Yet, some ladies do view marriage as a badge of honour; an initiation into an exclusive club, and if you've not attained this rite then you're no longer worthy of association.
3. Single Friends don't want to hang out anymore. Aha! Now you may not know but this is quite often the case. The single friends stop involving the married one in their social plans. It's never anything personal, they sometimes just think that she wouldn't be available/interested/allowed to participate.
4. External Factors (Hubby). I used to think this only happened in Nollywood movies, but I must've forgotten that art imitates life. But the truth is some husbands seem to think that single friends could _______________ their wives. (Please fill in the gap because I don't know what they think the single friends would make their wives do).
5. External Factors (Family). This is very African. The married friend's family think you should stop being friends. Probably because
-They see you as a bad influence.
-They think you're no longer on the same level with her and she should start spending more time with people on her level.
-They're worried you're jealous of her and might try to sabotage her marriage, either by ill-advising her or making moves on her husband etc.
Now these are 5 reasons I think married and single friends part ways after the wedding. Some friendships are fortunate enough to withstand any change in status or circumstances. Unfortunately some aren't.
Have you ever been on any side of this fence? Do you agree or disagree? Ever lost a friend because you got married, or because she got married? Does this also apply to the men folk, I'm really curious?
Please share your thoughts.