alexaandcharles

Things that I wish I could say to my single friends….

When I saw Brett request this I thought “pick me pick me”!  Then I started thinking about how to write this with honesty & candour but in a way which honours my husband, marriage and my friends.  I am so aware that I am still VERY new at this – Charles and I only got married 6 months ago (on the 9th November to be exact!).

  • I still need my girlfriends and my husband his mates!  Yes, we have entered into a new way of being, of living, of relating to others but I realised very quickly that people were “giving us space” to settle into being married.  4 weeks after getting married I had a dramatic declaration moment (read this as:  I wept and stated): I was missing my girls.  My husband needed guy time, I needed girl time – we are both aware that we can’t be everything to the other and are okay with that.

 

  • Please give us choices as to whether we are available or not – rather than assume not.  Rather than “giving me space” because I am married – which I value that you are considering, please still give me choices as to whether I can participate or not.  I nearly missed out on what has been one of my BIG adventures with girlfriends based on an assumption.  So grateful that I was given the choice after the friend realised this- but with the freedom to decline (This adventure had cost implications which needed to be budgeted for – and we could budget for this since we knew we had to!).

 

  • Everything is negotiated: This has been the hardest thing about getting married for me; my space isn’t MINE – I can’t control the noise, the different way we do things or the fact that our schedules are different which influences sleep, wake up and other stuff.  This is the part of marriage that has revealed my selfish, frustration and struggle to adapt at times!  In honouring Charlie, I can’t always express what details of the negotiation are– this doesn’t mean I am excluding you from my life.  When I do share this stuff it is really okay for you to express that being single is easier some days or to remind me that actually I chose this in choosing to get married and even though it’s hard would I choose to have my single status back – no.

 

  • I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be single BUT that doesn’t mean that I pity you, think that I am better than you or that I am trying to marry everyone around me off.  It also means that it’s okay to say THIS IS HARD and I will still get it.   One of my biggest bug bears was married people telling me repeatedly how hard marriage was when I expressed feeling loneliness rather than solitude.  (I got married at 39 – being single wasn’t an intentional choice for the most part – getting married was)

 

Most importantly I guess I wish I could tell my single friends how much I value and want them to be a part of my story; that at times I am less available than before for very practical reasons often and I know this is hard – I feel like a bad friend some days.  I want my single friends to know how much I love connection time, giggles, chats and tears time too.  I want them to know that it’s not about the SMug *smug marrieds club* or the singles club and that there is ALWAYS room for a cuppa tea on the couch (sofa) and a chat – some days we will need to negotiate the time though ;)!

Alexa and Charles Matthews met at church in Jozi– which still shocks Alexa as she thought that this may happen in her 20’s but really didn’t expect it to in her late 30’s!  18 months later, on a rainy day and with a lot of adventures in life (including long distance skype dating and relocations to Cape Town) & love –  they got married. 

[For some other thoughts on what other of my Married Friends would like their Single Friends to know, click here]

[For many other thoughts and stories on all sorts of relationshippy things, click here]

 

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