Hello. I’m Shana, and I have a husband. He’s Carl. 

We haven’t been married very long but we are married nonetheless. 

I’m not really a writer, so I’m not really going to make this sound good or write particularly well, but over the past 2 and a half years of marriage I’ve been putting together a mental list of things I’d like my single friends to know. Here goes (all harshness unintended):

1) When your married friends don’t invite you to their wedding, don’t take it as a personal slight. Weddings are expensive and making the decision of who to invite and who to leave off is extremely difficult. They don’t hate you, they just have to draw the line somewhere. Also, if you are bleak, please please please don’t tell them. It only really makes them feel more crap about the decision. If you’re in the position of planning a wedding one day, you’ll see what its like, and you’ll wish you were more understanding and made things more about them than you. They love you, I promise. And they’re probably as upset as you that they can’t have you there. 

2) When your married friends get back from honeymoon, don’t give them knowing looks, or slap him on the back in a what-a-man kind of way, or ask “soooo, how was it?”. Or worse: “soooo, how’s the sex?”. Sex is intimate, and personal and a little scary. And it certainly doesn’t involve you. Don’t make us embarrassed, or draw attention to our sex life in a public setting. We don’t want to talk to you about it. We want it to be private, we want to protect it. Its for us, not for you. And also, I’m pretty sure an honest answer might make you far more embarrassed than it makes us. 

3) When your married friends leave a social gathering early, please don’t make remarks about how we just want to go have sex. Firstly, if that was the case, well done, you just killed the mood. Secondly, most likely is we’re tired, and we work a lot, and we need sleep. And now going home means we don’t have to leave the person we love for the night, which is awesome. So we really just want to go home. I promise married people don’t only have sex, we do other things too (surprise). 

4) Please don’t ask your married friends when they plan on having kids. It’s like asking for a sex-schedule. if we want you to know, we’ll tell you. What if we can’t have kids? What if everything isn’t great? What if we just had a miscarriage or don’t want children at all? How would your question help in those scenarios? It wouldn’t. Also, everyone asks us, so it kinda gets old. 

5) Please don’t ask your married friends if they’re pregnant whenever they have gastro, or take a sick day, or look bloated. Don’t look at their fat tummy and make a comment. It’s just fat. We know it’s there. If we have news to tell you, we’ll tell you when we’re ready. 

6) We’re married. Which means that we’re going to be affectionate to each other in public. If it’s really overboard, of course you can tell us, we don’t want you to be uncomfortable. But we also don’t want to have to keep completely apart. Because we’re married, and that’s good. Please don’t roll you eyes or make comments when we move to sit next to each other or show our affection. 

7) We’re married (I think you’ve got that point by now though), which means some of our priorities and responsibilities have changed. It’s new for us, we’re also trying to get used to it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hang out with our friends. Which reminds me, please don’t refer to your friend’s wife as a “ball and chain”, or a “kill joy” or ask him if he needs “permission” to hang out. We’re not his mommy. And we really do value his friendship with you. We don’t want him to give that up. Ever. We want him to prioritise spending time with you. Just maybe understand that timing is sometimes an issue. 

I guess I could continue, but I prbably shouldn’t. Just know this: we love and value your friendship. Maybe you’re closer friends and you have the place to ask these questions, or make these jokes. But maybe not, and maybe doing so will hurt or embarrass us. So just think carefully next time. Let’s not make things awkward. 

Ok that’s me
Bye now

[For more thoughts from Alexa and Charles on what they would like their married friends to know, click here]

[For many other thoughts on all sorts of relationshippy things, head over here]