By Nicole Huffman Hollins
When a woman gets married, one of the issues she is faced with is how close she should remain to her single friends. This may become a serious dilemma because other married couples, her mom, her pastor, her dog, all say that it is improper to maintain close relationships with women who are not in the “club.” Before you decide to give your single girlfriends their pink slips, the following are three things you should consider prior to dishing out walking papers.
1.) If she was good enough to be your friend before you got married, she should be good enough to be your friend after you say, “I do.”
I often hear the argument that married people should only hang around married people because their single friends will unduly influence them. If she was truly a friend before you were married, did she change once you were married? If you are concerned about her negative influence, chances are you should not have been friends with her in the first place, because that is a character issue that was there before you jumped the broom. A true sister-friend will not want any harm to come to you or your marriage.
She is not the type of person to influence you to do anything other than seek answers for your marriage yourself. Furthermore, during times of distress, your single friends may surprise you and have your back in a way that your married friends either cannot or will not. Needless to say, your sisterships are bound to go through some changes because you have to devote time to your family; however, completely shutting out your friends for no reason other than relationship status is another matter. If she was good enough for you when you were single, and if marital status is the only thing that has changed, she should be good enough to be your friend after you are married.
2.) “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just a trite saying.
Reaping and sowing, karma, or whatever else you call it, is real. Put yourself in your sister’s shoes. You may have had a friend-girl break-up with you after she got married or met her new boyfriend for the moment. Did that make you feel warm and tingly inside? Chances are it did not and the closer you were, the more it hurt when you were cast aside. Remember how you felt when you are deciding whether or not to continue your relationships with your single friends. Speaking of karma, what if one day in the future you find yourself a single woman. How would you want to be treated by your friends?
3.) Divorce is devastating, but it is not Ebola. It is not something you can catch.
When someone is the casualty of “The Big D,” on top of having to deal with her emotions and thoughts of failure due to the marital break-up, she also must contend with the emotional fallout of losing her married “friends.” This happens because her divorce is viewed as a highly contagious disease. It is akin to having Ebola and her married friends do not want to catch it. If you find yourself deciding whether to sever ties with the divorcee, ask yourself, “Other than her marital status, what is different about her that makes me not want to be her friend?” If she did not suddenly become a threat to your peaceful existence, or you are not on the outs for some other reason, why the unnecessary break-up?
I have experienced being ditched by my “friends” as a divorced woman. With the exception of one of my college friends, both pre-marriage friends and post-marriage friends decided it was best to step away. The loss of those “friendships” made the marital break-up even more painfully heartbreaking. This is why I make it my mission to not un-friend someone in real life simply because of a change in relationship status. If being in a relationship with a sister-friend becomes toxic, that is one thing; however, to dump her just because she is no longer, or never was, in the “diamond club,” that is an entirely different matter.
Healthy female relationships are a gift and real friends are hard to find. That is why it is important to think long and hard about ditching your girlfriends because they do not have a ring. Your single sisters deserve so much better than that.
BMWK, did you keep your single friends after you said, “I do” ?
Nicole Huffman Hollins Bio
Speaker, Writer, Attorney- Nicole Huffman Hollins is the creator of Now With Nicole Enterprises and Money Fit Kids, a Financial Literacy Program for Children. Her mission is to provide programs and services designed to help women, couples, and children experience the freedom that results from bringing harmony to their faith, family, and finances. A native Texan, Nicole, makes her home in Houston with her husband, Barry, and son, James.