Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Single friends shouldn't change just because you're married
Maryland: My husband and I, both 24, were the first in our social circle to get married. Most of our friends have more active dating lives than I ever had. I don't feel jealous — I love my husband — but something they all seem to do really bothers me.
Whenever we meet up in groups, to chat or have drinks or hang out at the park, the conversation always turns to everyone's latest dating woes. The guys and the girls are equally guilty of indiscretion, but it's the girls I always seem to notice. They go on and on about the club scene where they live and their polygamous sex lives. They wear revealing clothes that I gave up after high school, and they often get hit on by strangers while we're hanging out.
I don't feel they should be talking and acting that way around my husband, a married man. I would prefer he not be thinking about our female friends' wild sex lives or noticing how hot everyone thinks they are. I know this is why married couples naturally gravitate toward other married couples, but these are the friends we have and I do not want to trade them in, so to speak.
Can I say something to my girlfriends about how uncomfortable I feel, or since I'm so outnumbered do I have to just suck it up and be miserable around them all the time?
Carolyn: Oh my goodness. Were you miserable around them before you married?
I can't speak for anyone but myself, obviously, but this married person does NOT gravitate to other married people because the single ones are flaunting their hotness.
I don't even know what to do with this idea — do I rail first against the idea that people cover themselves up when they get married? Because plenty of people dress the way they do because they like it, and don't change a stitch of what they choose to wear after marriage.
But then that demotes to second-rail the whole idea that single people = temptation = a group to avoid once married, when railing against that deserves at least to share top billing.
How 'bout — I'll rail against the idea of controlling what your husband sees.
People have eyes and ears and temptations no matter what they've vowed to whom or why. If your husband misses the single life, he's going to do that whether your friends raise provocative discussions or not.
People who marry young probably do struggle more with the whole issue of regrets and what they may have given up, and their immersion in a world with a lot of raging singles does contribute to that struggle. However, this is the choice you made, and it's going to stand on its merits alone.
In other words, if the only way you can keep your boat from sinking is to put it in dry dock, then that's a choice you and your husband need to make together, I would suggest after as open a discussion as possible. If your boat really is leaking, I also wouldn't suggest blaming it all on the ocean.
Tomorrow: Maryland and readers reply.