I remember the times of my primary school till junior college days, and in particular, something I noticed.
I remember some teachers that I really liked and somehow, after they got married, things changed. For one, they changed. They become…different. How different? I can’t really put down in words. For some, they seem less caring or loving as they formerly used to be. In fact, I remember noting that same change when my aunt got married as well. Maybe it was a change in her priorities, and I was no longer the apple of her eyes.
We all evolve in some ways; we all change.
When I got married, sometimes I wondered if people around me start to feel the same way. Do I become more preoccupied with the things of the household and my husband? Do I become a better/worse friend? For starters, I no longer hang out with my girlfriends for as long as I like without being accountable to W. I don’t stay on for friends’ engagements while W is struggling to stay awake after a long week and in bad need of rest. But who can completely understand, and how do I expect my single friends to?
More so, given that we are currently based in Melbourne and home in Singapore only for the summer break meant that we have to do a series of crash catch-ups within those few weeks. Friendships that I treasure do take precendence over others, given the limited time and energy we have.
It is in these instances that my own confusions set in as I come to realise that even my friends are changing, and that I have to re-know them. Also, being joined at the hip to W meant that in my heart of hearts, I’d like my friends to be able to relate to him the way they do to me. Sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes, keeping those friendships seem impossible. Or maybe I have changed, having spent married life away from my former communities. Or more possibly, we have both changed and wonder how we can find a place to connect once again. And we’re (just me or them too) thinking how we can re-know one another all over again.
Marriage does not exist in a vacuum – it exists and is affirmed (or worn down) by the communities it is surrounded by. It isn’t just about the love of two people but a love that exists because of God’s initiating love for us. It can be about two people growing together, shaped by the communities that they are surrounded by, and become conjoiners in this journey alongside them.