Tag Archive: married friends


Lisavd

10 years ago, I was never going to get married. I was a single mom, had my own house, my own business and my own car. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted, and with whom I wanted.

I was happy. Until one day I wasn’t.

I had broken up with a man whom I thought I loved, and I was just so tired of hurting and fighting. Frustrated I ran into my garden and started shouting up at the clouds. My neighbour must have thought I was deranged, shouting out loud and shaking my fists. I told God, as I supposed that was who was up there, that if he thought marriage was so fabulous, and such a great idea, then he should choose a man for me. My exact words were “please mail him to me, because I sure as feathers (actually I used a rather less delicate phrase), wasn’t leaving my house to look for him”. I stomped back into my house, poured myself some coffee and burst into tears.

A few weeks later at a total loss about my life, I asked a friend to take me to church. One of the nights, I went to a meet and greet at church, and I sat looking around. I spotted Cobus and smiled at him. I hadn’t said a word to him, but as I looked at this man, God told me that this was my husband. I thought I had lost my mind and left.

I went home that night and in pure shock, blocked Cobus out of my thoughts, and forgot about him. A while after this I was saved, and had a quiet conversation with God and told him that I was ready for him to change my life. Months after I was saved, a friend emailed a group of us inviting us to a function and I replied to “all”. Cobus was on that list, and he took the opportunity to email me and invite me out for coffee. That date became dinner and a year and a half after that, we were married. (Remember how I had told God to mail a man to me!).

The point in sharing this story with you, is that I want to tell you what I believe you as a single person should consider.

God knows what is good for you, what is right for you and especially what you need. It is not that you are not thin, rich, good looking or available enough. The problem is that you are trying to do Gods job. You are enough but you don’t know what makes another person function. You don’t know their pains, their dreams or their beliefs. These are things that you only learn after you meet someone. God knows these things about each and every one of us. So surely it stands to reason then, that he should know who would be good for you, better than you would.

I have not walked an easy path, and my childhood left me broken, angry and making really bad decisions. However, the moment I let go and asked Him to guide me, I made good choices and the best of these was allowing my husband into my life.

It’s not an easy thing to do, which is why you need God’s grace. You sit on my couch and tell me how you were meant to be alone, and that is why you have your sport/ job/pets/ friends which keep you busy and leave no time for romance. I don’t believe that. God made us to love one another, and be in community with one another. How then can you say that you are meant to be alone?

I believe that God is my Father in heaven, and that he wants the very best for me. I know this, because I as a parent, want the same for my children. I cannot force them to trust my judgement, my experience and my love, but the moment they ask me for help and allow me in, I will be there for them. I know that God is the same.

I’m not saying settle and be with anyone so that you are not alone; I am saying trust in the Almighty to choose the very best for you, because that is what He wants for you and what you deserve.

Yours in being blissfully married, 7 years on.

Lees. x

[For more stories of what Married Friends would like their Single Friends to hear, think about, and know, click here]

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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]

 

I started out by inviting a bunch of my Single Friends to share some thoughts they really wanted their Married Friends to hear, consider, think about and respond to and some really great posts came out of that, which you can read over here.

When someone gets married, the dynamic between them and their single friends always changes, sometimes more than others. especially when it is the friendship between a guy and a girl [yes, those platonic ones can and do exist].

Often the dynamic gets a little weird. the married person is trying to figure out how much time they can spend with the single person while still honouring their marriage and partner and the single person is trying not to intrude on the marriage but still wanting to be friends. Yet, this is seldom something anyone ever talks about – people just try and figure it out and sometimes friendships are damaged and even destroyed completely.

Sometimes there is hurt. Sometimes there is awkwardness. Sometimes there is confusion. Often there are words that need to be said or advice to be given and maybe it doesn’t always feel like there is a good opportunity to say those things to those who need to hear.

In giving the singles an opportunity to share some of the things they might be feeling or possibly some questions they have, I thought it might be helpful to try and create a platform to help them be really honest and open and real and just share some thoughts and ideas they have for their single friends and maybe just single people in general.

If you are a married person reading these and feel like you have something to add, please drop me a line.

Meet Shana and Carl and some thoughts Shana had two years into their marriage

Meet Alexa and Charles Matthews and some thoughts Alexa has after recently being married

Meet Lisa van Deventer and some thoughts she has for her single friends

 

 

 

sam

When I first agreed to write something for this topic for Brett, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to tell my “married” friends as a “single” person. Sometimes I feel so frustrated with the labels we place on each other and use to define where we think someone should be at in their life Journey. Don’t get me wrong, after a lifetime of “single” (I’m 42, never been married and don’t have kids) I could write a book on what I’ve wanted to tell my “married” friends over the years. But then I’m sure they could have written the same book in reverse.

We all have things that have been said and experienced in the past by someone we thought didn’t “get” us or our current life experience. I didn’t want this article to be about what I experience as faults in my married friends behavior. I didn’t want this to be a critique or judgment on your lack of “getting” me. There are things about my life you will never “get”. There are things about your life that I will never “get”. What I want to write and discuss are the many ways in which my married friends have supported, encouraged and blessed me over the years and maybe if you’re a married person with single friends you can take some of these ideas and apply them to your relationships, because at the end of the day for me it is about the relationship with the friend that counts, married or single should not be a consideration. If we take the label away (married, single, divorced, widowed) and treat people the way we want to be treated.

The most important way my married friends have built this relationship with me is to include me in their family’s lives. Simple things like inviting me to dinner irrespective of suicide hour, busy husbands, chaos in their homes…when I arrive they rope me in to bath the kids, read  bedtime stories, have a glass of wine while they cry on my shoulder and show me the other side of the “happily ever after” story. I like being part of your story, I like that you trust me with your kids, your not so perfect day and your authentic life, good and bad. This for me is real.  Some of my friends apologize for the chaos and my reaction is always the same…DON’T!

I have married friends who make time to spend one on one time with me without their husbands and kids; spontaneously inviting me to walk on the beach, a half-price movie night or to join them for Wakkaberry on a hot Durban day; or spending a whole day while in Durban on business just hanging out. These moments are precious and special to me. They don’t assume because I’m single I already have my whole weekend mapped out and am too busy for them.

Nearing the end of my Dad’s Illness with Cancer I was probably in the worst space of my life dealing with the reality of life and death, loss and anger were constant emotions. During this time one of my married friends had just had a little baby boy. As marrieds with kids will know that this is not an easy stage for a mom, especially if you have older kids, life is busy and crazy and you have a new baby to adjust to. It would have been understandable if our friendship took some time out for us each to deal with the space we were in, but no. That wasn’t what this friend did. She didn’t step back; focus on her own situation and emotions. She’d phone and say…”I have dinner for you come by and pick it up after work”…and I’d get there and she’d say “stay and have some wine and here hold my baby while I quickly finish up”…and you may not get how much that meant to me. Firstly that someone would care to make me dinner when I was struggling just to get through the day and then secondly being able to hold that beautiful baby while he slept in my arms helped hold something together in me.

P.S: if you have not done any of the above or included your single friend in your family lives do not expect your single friends to babysit whenever you need them. We are not a free babysitting service. However if you are the kind of married friend described above then there is nothing I won’t do to help you and your family if it is in my power to do so.

Life is messy; at 42 I don’t have time for surface friendships, ones where labels are used to define the relationship. Each friendship I have is unique and special and fulfills a need in my life and hopefully your friendship with me fulfills a need in yours. It is about being authentic with the people you choose to spend time with. Don’t assume because I’m single and childless I want to avoid the messiness of your life. My life is not filled with social engagements, cocktail hours and bar hoping, I’m no longer 20 and those things are not my priority (although I do enjoy a good cocktail or two ;)). Don’t assume we are selfish because we are single. We want more than anything to be a part of your lives and for you to be a part of ours.

[For another post on what my single friend Deborah Dowlath would like her married friends to know, click here]

when i asked Kate if she would write me a piece for this series, she ended up with a much longer post which i asked if i could share as part of the Taboo Topics series on Singleness that has been so encouraging to so many people and she agreed. but i still wanted to keep the end of this article and share it as part of this series as it gives a person with a particular point of view’s response to the same question, so here is what Kate Sherry had to say to her married friends:
‘Married friends and family, I love you. I love how you complement each other, and how you restore my faith in relationships when the media gets depressing. I love how you include me and open your homes to me. But I would love you to love where I am too, and acknowledge that marriage is not God’s only solution for a full life. It simply isn’t true that “God has someone for everyone” and you don’t need to say that it is to “make me feel better”. Not everyone is destined to get married, any more than everyone is happy being single – which I am. Let us accept and enjoy each other’s differences, and get on with the more important business of reflecting God’s all-embracing, all-honouring character to a fragmented world.’

single

i was 35 when i got married and so i still feel like i have some kind of grasp and authority when it comes to speaking for/with the single community and definitely have a huge heart for them, especially those who are a little older and wanting to be married [as not all of them are – marriage is definitely not the end point finishing line of you-have-made-it’ness although it has too often been presented that way… don’t worry, for me that was quickly replaced with having-children-is-the-end-point-of-having-arrived which can be as awkward and much fun if you are not specifically intending to have children] so i get it [at least a little bit] is what i am saying…

when i put together a Taboo Topic on Singleness, it immediately became the most popular theme of that series which took me a little by surprise but just goes to show that this is a relevant issue for a lot of people, and some of my good friends have written some amazing stories over there.

and so i try to be conscious of you, especially when i post quite a lot of stuff on my blog about marriage and relationships [which i also have a super huge heart for] and as i’ve been preparing for what is going to be a fairly long series [and facebook onslaught] i thought i should try do something for the singles audience as well and the idea of ‘Things I wish my Married Friends knew or did’ came to mind.

when someone gets married, the dynamic between them and their single friends always changes, sometimes more than others. especially when it is the friendship between a guy and a girl [yes, those platonic ones can and do exist]. and while it is a change for both people, the married person gets to be with another person, while the single person often is a little more by themselves [or a lot]. so it really seems like the single person loses more when that happens.

and often the dynamic gets a little weird. the married person is trying to figure out how much time they can spend with the single person while still honouring their marriage and partner and the single person is trying not to intrude on the marriage but still wanting to be friends.

sometimes there is hurt. sometimes there is awkwardness. sometimes there is confusion. and often there are words that need to be said or advice to be given and maybe it doesn’t always feel like there is a good opportunity to say those things to those who need to hear.

so i am hoping that giving some of my single friends a platform will help them be really honest and open and real and just share some thoughts and ideas they have for their married friends and maybe just married people in general. if you are a single person reading these and feel like you have something to add, please drop me a line.

Hear from Craig Botha

Hear from Chantelle Finaughty

Hear from Busisiwe Ledibane

Hear from Kate Sherry

Hear some positive vibes from Sammi Taylor

Hear from Chris Jacobs

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