Like many newlyweds, my husband and I had a rocky start and made mistakes in the beginning. This was exaggerated by our move abroad and move back to the States because the constant stress of packing up our lives and being away from family and friends made it difficult to find our groove. Eventually we figured things out, but some of the mistakes I made early on impacted my relationship with other people in my life. I have struggled with this for the past year or so.
Before I explain, let me just say that my husband is my best friend and partner in crime. When we stood at the altar in 2011 and repeated our vows to one another, we both promised to put each other before anyone else. We decided that we would have a date night every week, that we would do activities as a couple, and that we would help each other achieve our individual goals. Not only would we cherish each other, but we would be each other’s biggest life cheerleaders. This was important to us because we wanted to maintain a healthy and fulfilling marriage. And that is why these mistakes and this particular situation is so upsetting.
My big mistake? Venting to my friends about my husband. Seems innocent enough, right? That’s what I thought, too. I didn’t think anything of it because the issues were insignificant and usually centered around B getting annoyed with my penchant for overpriced drinks at Starbucks. I told my friends these stories in a sarcastic manner and tried to be funny, but little did I know, they would take these stories to heart and use them against my husband at a later date.
At the beginning of the year, I remember trying to plan a girl’s trip over the phone and by the end of the call, I wanted to cry to my husband and mom. Instead of planning fun activities, the conversation had somehow shifted into why I was becoming a boring friend. Because I no longer went out and partied every weekend, I was being made fun of. And because I spent so much time with my husband, I was weird and didn’t have my own life. I tried to explain that it was difficult to meet people because we were moving around every 6 months and I wasn’t working, but they didn’t seem to understand. Plus, I liked spending time with my husband! I was no longer interested in drinking and clubbing, I enjoyed cooking with B and watching our favorite shows, plus we both enjoyed fostering dogs. I tried to brush it off.
A couple of weeks later, we drove a few hours away for our girl’s weekend. I remember being miserable during the drive to this city because my two friends were constantly taking digs at me… I did this wrong… I did that wrong. These people who were supposed to be my best friends made fun of me the entire time. I spent the drive either texting B in the backseat or driving the car while listening to music. I wanted to go home.
While we were having lunch a day or so later, I couldn’t contain the feelings bubbling up inside of me. I asked them why they were being passive aggressive and it all came out. They wanted to know if I was really happy in my relationship because B seemed controlling. My husband wasn’t accommodating enough and didn’t act excited to see them, etc. I didn’t understand this because B had been working the entire time, but I shrugged it off. My other friend told me, again, that I was weird for not having my own life. I spent way too much time with B and needed my own hobbies. I tried to explain that this is what happens when you get married, and she claimed that I was rubbing it in her face because I was married and she was not. She then told me that she had different priorities and was more interested in advancing her career, in a tone was completely condescending. I couldn’t defend my marriage, but she could talk about her ca-reer? I moved to DC on my own right out of college, and I had a great career on Capitol Hill. I had no problem being independent so it was hilarious to hear passive aggressive comments like, “Well, I just don’t need a man to be happy”. Yes, my husband makes me happy. Why does that matter?
The attacks continued and they both brought up that I didn’t spend enough time with the friend who lived near me, even though I had hosted Thanksgiving dinner for her and her friend, completed a race with her, cooked her dinner when she got a promotion, met her for yoga once a week, taken Christmas photos for her, and gone out with her. We had only been in the States for four months and I was already failing.
They talked about each other being so brave for advancing in their careers and for my one friend moving out of state, yet I was the needy girl hanging on to my husband. I didn’t get any support. Ever. Long story short, that trip ruined my relationship with them. Even though we attempted to smooth things over, everything changed for me. I realized I was a punching bag and that there was a double standard.
After not communicating with these friends for months and months, I reached out last week. I’m not sure what will happen in 2014, but I do know this… I’m much happier when surrounded by positivity. 2014 is going to be my family’s year.
And that’s why I chose my husband over my friends.
Have you ever been put in this difficult situation?
Filed Under: Lifestyle, Marriage