By Nandini Muralidharan
Your best friend asks you to a movie on Saturday afternoon, followed by an evening of cappuccinos and gossip.
Immediately your mind goes into overdrive you start mentally ticking off a zillion things you could possibly be doing on Saturday – movie with your husband, grocery shopping, lazing around at home watching a DVD… you get the drift?
So you tell her you will call her back and confirm. Later you decide that you will see how things go during the week, and then say yes to her if nothing else comes up.
What you don’t realize is that her time is just as valuable as yours, and that she has invited you because she wants to spend an evening with you. Not so that she can be your backup option.
Gone are the days when women used to be just home makers with no separate lives of their own. Women no longer have to stand in the kitchen and just serve the coffee when told to do so.
Married women, in spite of being independent in so many ways, still fall into the trap of neglecting other important relationships in their lives. Of course, a woman’s relationship with her husband is of paramount importance.
However, what she tends to forget is that before he came along, there were people who spent hours chatting about music with her, share thousands of cups of tea with her, and when he did come along, woke up at 3 am to weepy phone calls of “he hasn’t called!”
While you don’t need your husband’s permission to see your friends, it’s good to plan ahead and keep him informed of your plans. If your friends are married, then it’s a good idea to sometimes have couples outings where your spouses can also get to know each other.
But it’s important that you have some time, just you and the girls. So what may have been wild clubbing nights earlier, could be just drinks and dinner, or well, if you still have the energy for club hopping till 5 am, go right ahead!
It’s slightly tricky if your friends are single, because then meetings are more impromptu, and there isn’t too much planning involved. But make sure you talk to them openly and let them know that you will need some notice.
Let them know that this doesn’t mean that they’re any less important now, but this way you can commit to them and actually fulfill it.
And, it’s the trickiest when it’s friends of the opposite sex. While your relationship with a guy may be entirely platonic, ensure that your husband doesn’t feel awkward about it.
I’m assuming your husband is a normal guy, and not a crazy, irrational, possessive one. Jealousy towards a wife’s male friend is absolutely normal, and the best way for you to deal with it would be to introduce the two of them, and get them to share a couple of drinks.
Making your husband feel included is very important, and this helps him understand that you need your friendships just as he needs his.
Think of all the common stuff you enjoyed with your girls before you got hitched. Did you love dancing? See if you’d like to take salsa lessons together. Did you love going on trips together? You can still do that with some planning.
Did you love watching Master Chef Australia together? Invite her over to watch it with you, and maybe even make dinner together sometime. Whatever it is that you loved doing together, you can once again put in a little effort to plan those things.
If you’ve moved away to a different city, it’s more challenging. Maybe now you can see each other only on trips back home. But technology has ensured that we’d actually have to put in a lot more effort to stay out of touch than in touch.
Text each other silly jokes just like you used to. Pick up the phone and call even if it’s to say, “Hey, I just watched that movie, and is Gerard Butler a piece of candy or what!”
So when you feel like you’ve been a little disconnected, or when it’s been way too long that not calling feels easier than calling and sounding awkward, just remember that she’s the same girl who religiously stood by you during your stalking-the-husband days.
She was your bridesmaid, your agony aunt when you cribbed about everything under the sun. So pick up the phone and make that call.
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