What Your Girlfriends Will Give You That No Man Can
Yes, your husband, partner or boyfriend may make your heart zing, but girlfriends can give you something a guy can never do.
My husband and I dated for four years before we were married last spring. We have a very happy marriage and I feel lucky to have a loving, supportive partner. Throughout our relationship, I’ve often received comments from friends, coworkers and overzealous relatives that, despite being completely happy and committed, we still “really have our own lives.” I’ve even had female friends tell me they wish they could still go out with their friends like I do. What?!
I wasn’t always sure how to interpret this type of feedback, and at times I found it a little offensive. Was I not spending enough time with my husband? Did I miss a chapter in the Perfect Wife Manual?
I couldn’t figure out how my book club meetings or girls’ happy hours were anything that extraordinary, and why any woman would deny herself this type of activity. But then I started to notice that the women I knew that spent more time with their female friends always seemed noticeably happier.
There was nothing scientific to this-–I simply had the realization that there’s something wonderfully intangible that women can provide each other. It’s more than girl talk and pedicures; female friendships provide a unique blend of emotional support that you’ll never get from a man. Not because men aren’t sensitive or in touch with our needs, but because they’re an entirely different species!
Once I started paying attention, it dawned on me that my girlfriends who spent every waking minute with their other halves were never the ones I’d turn to when I needed to vent or seek advice. The ones who were excited to meet up for girls-only activities were the ones I related to the best.
Granted, my husband and I typically spend every night together, and we’re really not that wild or unusual. But a few times a month, we both enjoy a night on our own with our friends. And I’m totally okay with this. I think it builds trust and keeps us from becoming too dependent on each other. And let’s face it; he didn’t want to see “that chick flick” with me any more than I wanted to go to the gun show with him.
But it doesn’t stop there. Girlfriends are there for more than fun, we’re there for one another through everything-–good or bad-–with unwavering support. Over the years, through love and loss, promotions and glass ceilings, mood swings and bad hair cuts, my friends have been by my side, eating ice cream and offering advice.
Don’t get me wrong, my husband is my best friend, and he’s always the first person I turn to for support and advice. But I’ll admit that I don’t think he always understands everything that goes on in my head – nor do I expect him to.
The reality is that it takes a lot of effort to maintain a balance in life. Between the craziness of family, work and whatever else life throws out, it sometimes it feels like we need Super Woman powers to guide us. Everyone’s lives and relationships are different, but I’m confident that time with the girls will always be an important way to stay happy and balanced.
Jessica Taylor is a corporate communications professional in Phoenix, Ariz. Find more of her writing in her blog, (Mis)adventures