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!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • 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.