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Why Should Married Women Have Their Own Tribe?

With the passage of time, friendships change as both men and women become adults and get consumed by a variety of commitments. And marriage can be a total game changer.

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Kalyani Ganesan
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Female Friendship Post-Marriage
With the passage of time, friendships change as both men and women become adults and get consumed by a variety of commitments. And marriage can be a total game changer. Yet men manage to continue to have their own circle of friends even after marriage. However, women’s friendship tends to fade away over time. Missing out on catching up with friends as often as they used to is normal. But does that mean the interactions should become infrequent or completely fade away? Isn't it critical for married women to have their own tribe—a safe space?
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Why Female Friendship Post-Marriage Fades?

Women do not voluntarily close their doors to their friends after marrying. One of the most common pieces of marital advice given to women is to concentrate on their husband and their marital family. Unfortunately, even today, both working and stay-at-home women are expected to do all or a majority of the cooking, household chores, and parenting. All this consumes their time and energy, leaving no space for them to stay in touch with their friends regularly.

Also, it’s once in a blue moon that we see men relocating for their spouse. Traditionally, women are expected to shift to their spouse's location, thus making it impossible to meet with their friends regularly. Technological advances have aided. But can it replace the pleasure of direct human interaction? Further, women are expected to gel with their spouse's friends. While this is a great way to make new friends, having their own friendship circle distinct from that of their spouse is important.

Why should married women have their own tribe?

Support system

Just because women get married doesn't mean they should only rely on their spouse. It’s normal for couples to fight over misunderstandings and disagreements. Where will women vent out their frustration, grief, and anger if they don't have their own friends? In the case of women who are stuck in unhappy or toxic marriages, they need their own set of friends to confide in. Friends can be one of the biggest support systems for women who are going through a divorce.

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Individuality

Society expects women to drop everything and invest themselves completely in their spouse's life. Why is it not acceptable for women to have a life outside of their marriage? Our society usually perceives a woman as someone's daughter, someone's wife, or someone's mother, but never as an individual with a life of her own. Women need to have a sense of individuality, be able to do things of their choice, and have the freedom to be happy with friends of their own.

Personal space

Women's privacy cannot be violated simply because they are married. Women need to have their personal space. Which era are we living in if women's entire lives revolve around their spouse and children? Sometimes, hanging out with friends or talking to them without interruptions like in the old days is just the therapy women need. Moreover, certain things like shopping, visiting the salon or spa, hitting the gym, having a girls’ sleepover, or going on a girls-only vacation like in the film Sex and the City 2 are fun when done with the girl gang. Besides, couples can't cling to each other all the time.

Women need to have their own circle of friends for their own well-being and to nurture a healthy marriage. Before getting married, women need to let their fiancé know that they value their friends as much as they value their marriage and that they will continue to have a regular social life with their friends. Women should compartmentalise their lives and prioritise spending time with friends on a regular basis. It might not be as often as before, but letting go of friendships after marriage is very unhealthy.

Men need to respect their spouse’s choice and support them by sharing responsibilities and giving them space. Society has to understand that marriage cannot remove women’s identities as individuals and that women have agency over their lives. Marriage is a part of everyone’s life. Isn’t it unfair to rob women of their girl gang while men still get to have a social life?

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Suggested reading: Female Friendships: Why Women Must Turn to Each Other for Solidarity & Power

women friends Female friendship
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