The Marriage Social Dynamic

Anyone notice friends disappearing into marriage and leaving entire circles of friends? I would say about 70% of the married people I know have dipped out. This is partly due to increased focus on family, but there is still a solid 30% of my friends (roughly) that still keep in contact, hang out, go on trips, etc.

If you’re married, what does it look like from the inside out? Do you feel guilty about dropping certain relationships for a greater focus on your family, or Is there no guilt as this is a necessity … I’m asking as I have just seen the trend over the past 5-10 years and am still the happily single dude …

there’s just no time, especially when you have kids.

i have 2 groups of friends: people i’ve met as a couple w my wife – neighbors, parents of other kids etc. we go out with those folks maybe once a month if we’re lucky. nice meal, some entertainment and lights out by midnight. very civilized.

Then I have a small handful of bros that I grew up/went to college with that I actually have time for. others I’ll keep in touch with and always try to plan something but it always falls through. i see my true bros maybe once or twice a year, usually on a guys trip because we spread around the country over time. they don’t want to see my family and I don’t want to see theirs. We get together for one thing and one thing only: get fucked up and act like dipshits. we don’t care about or ask about our respective families. we just settle into the old routine before families and it’s glorious (minus pulling strange).

My wife gets so pissed when I get back and I can’t tell her one thing about how my friends’ families are doing. Wives just don’t understand.

This December 14 I’ll have been married 37 years.

Your question is interesting. What I’ve seen is that my unmarried friends tend to drift away: their choice, not mine.

Unquestionably, my circle of friends today is much different than it was before I was married. And it’s not necessarily that my friends today are married whereas my friends before were unmarried. It’s simply different.

Things change. Marriage isn’t necessarily the cause of that change.

Interesting topic… its quite true … i guess the reason really is that you have less time for friends in my case because of additional responsibilities. Plus things change … with age probably… for eg. i used to spend the night out with friends… now i have to sleep early to wake up early… start of career … less responsibilities as we’re in a junior role… as you go up the corporate ladder stakes are higher… plus some friends drift away because of difference in opinions or maturity level as we get older.

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    " data-html=“true” data-original-title="" data-placement=“bottom” data-toggle=“popover” href=“” title="">Fergeson is 100% right with kids its a totally different thing.

plus only a hand full of friends remain for life (mostly in my case my high school friends… some live in canada, states, dubai, riyadh and pakistan) but you get to meet them once a year… and if by any chance all are together at same time (rare) then we turn into the 15 years old versions of ourselves (cant help it)

I guess time and level of responsibilities are the reason for some friends to drift away.

Yeah, the big change isn’t being in a couple or even married. It’s having children.

You go to bed earlier, wake up earlier and just don’t have as much time as you used to for anything much - let along nights out drinking etc.

I feel like I notice this with my friends in the single vs. they have a serious GF. Back a couple of years ago when all of us were single or not yet married, we’d hang out, spend Saturdays tubing and drinking, etc. Now they still do that but it’s like if you’re not a couple, you’re not invited.

+1 to all of this.

I’ll also throw in–I do like the occasional few days away from the family, usually on work trips or conferences. But other than that, I really like spending time with my kids. They grow up fast, then they’re gone.

It feels like just yesterday we brought my little girl home from the hospital. Now she’s in kindergarten.

This is so true. I’m still single but one of my friends got married to his high school sweetheart. They like to go on double dates and have no time for single people.

Sometimes when Turd isn’t repping himself as the world’s most put-together badass, he says something spot on. This is one of those occasions, and this is exactly what happens.

DoW be like “taste the back of me hand, Turd”!

Yup, this.

I married fairly late, so I was the happily single dude for quite a while and experienced the same thing. Despite the fact that I am undeniably awesome, I’d say in the majority of cases where I stopped hanging out with friends who had gotten married, it was because their spouse didn’t like me.

there are three steps to the process after college.

first step. you immediately lose some people to work just because their work either demands most of their time and mindshare or they have to move far away and basically never come back. i’ve lost maybe 10% of my college friend group this way.

second step. the singles feel like 3rd or 5th or 7th wheels once everyone starts coupling up and the singles naturally start hanging out together. some people feel fine as the 3rd wheel while others do not. for some it depends on who they’re 3rd wheeling on. in my experience, half of my friends are fine with being a 3rd wheel while others don’t really care for it. i’ve lost maybe another 10% of my friend group this way.

third step. kids. they take up 80%+ of your day, period. couples who have kids get along great and can relate to each other on entirely new level but they have very little time to hang out unless they are geographically close. plus, having kids basically forces you to develop closer relationships with your parents/siblings as they want to be a part of the child rearing process which means less time for friends and more for family. some singles are fine with kids while others don’t care for them at all. probably lost another 30% this way plus have lost the interest of most singles this way. but have grown much closer to the couples and those with kids.

losing a ton of freedom with a ton of new responsibilities is exactly why I’m not interested in having a couple of kids


Some high school friends recently got married. All my bros talks about now is furniture shopping with the wife and renovating his place. I see them maybe 2 times a month and he doesn’t have much else to talk about, likewise me about work. All the gatherings now are with his wife’s (who I get along well with) couple friends, nice people but not exactly my cup of tea.

It’s a vicious cycle, if you don’t turn up eventually you lose contact, and if you turn up you have to talk to a bunch of people you have no interest in.

true. forgot to add this to my post. with kids, all you have to talk about is work and kids really. you don’t watch sports like the singles do anymore, you don’t follow music the same way you did before, you don’t go out and see movies like you did before. when i talk with my single friends, i find it hard to talk about anything but esoteric things, finance things or politics.

This thread feels backwards to me. Why would you want to hang out with married people, especially if they have kids? I am constantly making excuses so I don’t have to go to dinner with a friend and her husband and a “friend of his from work they think I might like” or waste a weekend day in a surge priced Uber to someone’s house in NJ to “meet the baby!!!” Ew.

How many cats do you own?

that you Jerry?