Just Married

How My Marriage Changed My Friendships

By Simi Lichtman

  • Print
  • Share Share

I’ve written about the changing nature of finding friends post-college, but I’ve not yet written about how friendships themselves change, particularly friendships with men.

My friendships with men shifted before marriage, back when Jeremy and I were still dating. In fact, it was one of the indicators that our relationship was becoming more serious: I had a tendency to flirt with my male friends, and that aspect of my friendships died down as I grew closer with Jeremy. The flirting had been harmless — silly teasing — but its absence indicated a certain removal of myself from the dating scene. In a way, I took myself off the market.

Claudio Papapietro
Simi and Jeremy

But my female friendships remained more or less the same throughout dating and engagement, and probably even during the beginning of my marriage. I’m a naturally candid person, preferring open conversation to cloaking personal or embarrassing matters beneath manners and discretion. When I began choosing what I revealed and to whom as opposed to sharing anything and everything with anyone and everyone — in other words, thinking before I spoke, a heretofore foreign concept — I chalked it up to Jeremy’s influence on me. Jeremy preferred privacy in private matters, and since my private life had become our private life, it was only fair that I not blurt out all the details of it with all my friends. Steadily, though, I came to realize that there were times I didn’t share things simply because I didn’t want to.

Instead of settling down with my best friends and spilling everything, opening up all the inner workings of my life like I used to, I felt boundaries come into place. I could actually feel myself bumping up against these boundaries like physical borders, as if some more mature version of myself had placed them around certain personal tidbits without my noticing. I would share some things but keep others to myself. I didn’t need friends to be privy to all private thoughts and incidents. And, surprisingly to me, my friends didn’t seem to mind. They respected my occasional decision to deny an answer to a question or hold back. There was always something else to talk about.

Marriage gave me someone with whom to share all my thoughts, from the most trivial to the most shameful. Where I would text a friend previously, I now confide in Jeremy. Above that, though, marriage also gave me reason to be private. I want there to be a certain sacredness to our union, and opening it up to others would, somehow, reduce the intimate to the smutty, the private to mere gossip fodder. Our marriage deserves more than that.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: friendships, Modern Orthodox, Jewish, marriage

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.