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friendship after marriage

9 Surprising Ways Your Friendships Change After You’re Married

It’s not just acquaintances who are affected -- saying “I do” can even alter your relationship with your BFF.

Photo: Thinkstock / The Nest

Tying the knot may be all about cementing your relationship with your mate -- but such a massive change can create ripples in all of your other relationships. Here’s a look at how your marriage may change your friendships, for better or for worse.

You may become a real homebody.

After a long workweek, cuddling with your honey at home may sound a lot more appealing than braving another overcrowded happy hour. But that doesn’t necessarily signal an end to getting together with your pals. “Your single girlfriends might welcome a night at the movies with you and your partner or an invitation to dinner at home,” says Irene S. Levine, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and creator of The Friendship Blog.

Someone may start seeing green.

While your suddenly-single-again pal may envy your paired-off life, you may be surprised to find yourself wishing for those footloose and life-partner-free days. “Jealousies may crop up in either direction if one friend is envious of the lifestyle of the other,” Levine says. To keep envy at bay, it’s important to accentuate the positives in your own life to help minimize grass-is-greener thoughts.

You may actually have more time for your friends.

When you’re no longer seeking out your soul mate -- or picking out wedding cake flavors and china patterns -- you may find yourself with more time to devote to cultivating friendships. “Once you've tied the knot, you may be more secure in your relationship and have more time and mental energy to expend on nurturing your female friendships,” Levine says.

Your single friends might start settling down.

Even the most confirmed bachelorette may start seeing the positives to married life once she realizes how blissed-out you and your mate are. If you’re the first in your social circle to tie the knot, don’t be surprised if you start getting a lot more wedding invitations in the near future.

You may lose a friend or two.

Just like romances, not every friendship is built to last until death do you part. So don’t be surprised if some of your friends don’t stick around past the wedding day. “If your friendship was based solely on looking for men together, you may have little basis for the relationship anymore,” Levine says.

Your spouse may become BFFs with your BFF.

In rom-coms, heroine + best friend + love interest usually equals serious trouble (see My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Truth About Cats & Dogs and Something Borrowed). But in real life, why wouldn’t you all get along? Odds are, your mate and your best friend share plenty of interests with you and with each other, and they may even have similar personalities. And even if they don’t end up as BFFs, it’s likely they’ll be happy enough to spend some quality time together with you -- without that “fifth wheel” vibe.

You might need to plan playdates for your mate.

Married men have a tendency to deprioritize friendships -- and aren’t exactly masters of planning prowess. For instance, my girlfriends and I pulled off several elaborate weekend getaways to Vegas, while my husband couldn’t even organize a guys’ trip to see The Avengers. So help your guy out once in a while -- score him tickets to see his favorite team play and suggest that he take his guys out for a night at the ball game.

You might start seeking out more couple friends.

It’s a win-win when you find a compatible couple to hang out with: You get quality time with your mate and your friends in one fell swoop. But keep in mind that finding that dream duet can be trickier than you’d imagine -- just because your BFF is in a committed relationship doesn’t mean your mate will get along with her guy.

You still need that “girl time.”

That whole happily-ever-after, married-my-best-friend flush may make you feel like you don’t need any time away from your mate, but remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder. “It's important to preserve some relaxed ‘girlfriend time,’ when you and your friends can talk to each other,” Levine says. “If you feel guilty about taking the time away from your spouse, remember that it will make you a better person and better wife.” Spending a little time away with your girlfriends gives you a chance to unwind and relax -- and gives you juicy stories to share with your mate afterward.

-- Lisa Milbrand

See More: Newlywed Central