A certain stigma is attached to having a male married friend if you an unmarried female and vice versa. The challenge in a gender-mixed friendship is implementing personal boundaries, establishing a certain trust regarding your friendship intentions and creating a safe foundation where the friendship will grow. However, in view of the fact that a man or woman merely wears a wedding band, this shouldn’t signify they are obliged to put an end to all relationships with the opposite sex.
Clear and truthful lessons were extracted from my previous marriage; including teachings concerning faith, trust and reliance. Recently entering a new relationship, my mind is set on viewing the days with an open mind. My previous relationship consumed my true self in relevance to the fact that I began living for my partner. Developing and sustaining friendships did not appear important due to my view of what a ‘good wife’ was. My outlook on being the ‘good wife’ included meeting my partner’s needs first and putting myself (including my friendships) second. Looking back I see how I dissociated from several meaningful friendships; merely due to my partner questioning or not agreeing with the relationship.
When the time of need arose in my life, it was dubious as to who would be there for me (thankfully many of my true friends remained by my side). Being an observant person, I have witnessed many colleagues and friends live two lives. For example, you may be the feeble partner at home…the one without a voice and says ‘yes’ to everything. However, you may then become the one in the workplace that dominates and suddenly converts into a leader. That sounds exhausting to me. What is the point of being in a committed relationship if you cannot be your true self? Not knowing who you are can confuse your inner mind by causing you to question which character is the ‘real’ you? Help your partner see the benefit of having friends and concentrate less on the gender of that friend. You married your partner for a reason…assuming one of those reasons is trust. Now utilize trust. True love is marrying your best friend but it is acceptable and beneficial to encompass external relationships such as true friendships.
An expression that is frequently spoken in marriages is, ‘Well I had my wedding ring on…’ Why do (most) men feel the need to justify bad behavior by reassuring their wives that they were wearing the infamous wedding band? Once you’re labeled as a married man or woman, people fear they will be deprived of the attention of numerous people who might have been interested in them if they were single. You become a stereotype, a label and/or classified. Such stereotypes include; if you are married and act removed then you’re whipped. If you’re friendly (even innocently) then people may think you’re going to cheat. Some men and women choose to go band less insisting they are doing it for a more innocuous reason than adulterous intentions: an unwillingness to be publicly defined by their marital state. They want to be seen as people before they are seen as married…which (to me) presumes that one cannot be both. The purpose of the wedding band is to convey deep emotions of eternal love, eternal commitment and eternal togetherness. A ring is a complete circle with no break and no end or beginning which symbolizes eternal love. Ancient Egyptians and Romans believed that the ring finger of the left hand follows the ‘vena amoris’ or vein of love; which is directly connected to the heart. Therefore, many wedding rings are worn on the left ring finger, as it was believed to link a couples’ destiny.
Enter in a relationship or marriage with the knowledge that the wedding band is not a symbol of confinement; it shouldn’t force you to choose friendships or marriage…you can have both in an open and honest relationship. Strive for happiness in every relationship. Know your true self, know what you deserve and (as a brilliant man once told me) know your worth.