Why Having Girl ‘Friends’ Improves Your Marriage
We were about two years into marriage when the conversation happened. I shouldn’t have been surprised by it, but it still caught me off guard. Looking back the warning signs were everywhere.
My husband was exhausted from trying to meet my relational needs, and I was frustrated with him failing to meet them. One night as we chatted (more like rambled about my day), my husband looked at me and said, “Babe, I love being your best friend, and I don’t want that to change, but I think you need a best ‘girl’ friend too.”
For years I had devoted every ounce of emotional energy into our marriage, and I thought that my husband could meet my emotional need for community. Unknowingly, I wanted my husband to fill the role of a ‘girl’ friend as well as my husband.
But the more I looked to my husband to fill my need for community, the less he felt like my husband.
What I didn’t realize is that we are created with a need for relationship with other women. Women who understood the struggles of womanhood. Women seeking Jesus. Women living out the life I wanted to emulate. And as much as my husband loved me, he just didn’t ‘get it’ when I talked about certain struggles.
I prayed diligently. I made myself vulnerable. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I studied friendship. And then I did exactly what God told me to do- I invested in being a friend first.
Over time, a lot of time, I began to see God multiply the investment I made into other women’s lives. The short conversations turned into long conversations. The quick visits over coffee began to lengthen and soon I found myself building solid, heartfelt relationships with women.
As my emotional need for community was met by other women, I found myself going to my husband with the needs he was able to fulfill, and our marriage flourished all the more.
The work of building community with women isn’t always easy, but the investment is always worth it. For myself. For my girlfriends. And for my marriage.
Wife Step: Today, reach out to one woman and invite her to coffee or lunch.
How has having a tribe outside of your husband improved your marriage?
Natalia Drumm is a writer, speaker and teacher with a passion for building community and engaging women in the Word of God. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they are raising three little boys in their home town of North Port, FL. Natalia and her husband serve in their local church as marriage small group leaders and life group coaches. They have a passion for healthy marriages as they have seen the restorative power of God in their own marriage and family.
Natalia is an assignment writer for Lifeway Women and serves as the Bible Study Content Editor at Living by Design Ministries. She also volunteers at Proverbs 31 Ministries on their proofreading team and leads a COMPEL Discovery Group. Natalia writes over at www.nataliadrumm.com where she creates devotional study books on issues relevant to womanhood and living in the fullness of God’s design for womanhood.
When not writing, or serving at church, Natalia spends her time running, reading and enjoying a good Netflix binge. She’s also not be one to turn down a cold Coke and hot chocolate chip cookie.