Sunday, November 27, 2011

Keep your friends close.......yeah, that's close enough

So I was going to do a post I considered to be a bit controversial and I chickened out half way through writing it. It may be posted at some point, I will keep you posted. So onto the word for today.


I wrote a bunch of stuff in my secondary school signing out (or 'parting' book or yearbook or whatever it was called where and when you went to school) book and I felt very deep with myself. One thing I remember writing was that you don't get to choose your family and that's why friends are special and that why we have the duty not to let horrible and detrimental people into our lives. With all my self-righteousness and soap-boxing of old (most of which I look upon with mixed emotions now) that is one of the things I believe I still stand by till now.

I LUUUURRRVVVVEEEE my friends and I would do most things for them. I have said once before that I am a very loyal friend. They just make life that little bit more fun and colorful. Some friends have even crossed that barrier of being just really good friends, to being brothers and sisters from other mothers. Friendship is a beautiful relationship and the effort required to water and nourish it, must be made. But it cannot be denied that there is also a dark and ugly side to friendship.

How can your friendships affect your relationship? Well let's examine it, shall we. A lot of us make friends before we fall in love. These are the people that have been with you through thick and thin, people that have rejoiced with you at your highest and force fed you chocolates at your lowest. They form the entirety of your social network. Like I said earlier, some have even been absorbed into your family. Without realizing it, your lives have become intricately interwoven. Then you meet and fall in love with your boo. Now you're all boo'ed up but you still adore your friends. "What is the problem here?" I hear you ask.
Here's the problem: putting your friends over your significant other. I can't tell you how many times I have witnessed friends driving a wedge between couples. I have witnessed a divorce occasioned by following the terrible advice given by friends. (LS-O, if you're reading this, yes, I am talking about THEM). Have you ever seen friends actively and vindictively competing with their friends spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends for said friend's sole attention? I have and it is disgusting.

On this topic, married women, approach the bench please. You people kill me taking every advice that proceeds from your single friends' mouths. Are you normal? She's not married but she knows tons of stuff about how you should deal with your man. Really? Some advice is good. But here's one thing my mum told me: you never involve yourself in husband and wife matter. I try to follow that and keep my advice to myself. My married friends, if you've noticed, I give you a wide berth. Oh, you have? Have you ever wondered why? Aside from the fact that I'm a tad envious (lol) I don't know what may come out of my mouth and my life that may be detrimental to you. We are in different stations in life now and I know I'm very opinionated. You may tell me something that I will blow out of proportion and try to press my advice on you. I just try to respect boundaries these days and respect the fact that your husband is your bestie now, not me. So whilst I'm not saying cut off single friends, realize that your life experiences are not the same and whilst she's probably trying to help, it may not be in your best interest to always follow her advice. Learn how to filter information and advice.
Please bear in mind that single friends are not your only downfalls. Other married friends can give you hurtful advice or have an adverse influence on you that may jeopardize your relationship. Again, they may genuinely be trying to help but what applies in their lives may not necessarily apply in yours. Be careful.

Women to one side, men are the biggest culprits when it comes to carrying friendships on their heads. Women are traditionally what is known as 'man-paynts' so they tend to adopt their husbands friends and their wives as their own friends (sometimes completely forgetting about their own friends but whatever) Men do not see anything wrong with carrying on as they did before they got boo'ed up. Men are just generally very clueless and this is irrespective of age. And status in life. I remember a friend's husband, the weekend after their wedding telling his wife that he was going to chill with the boys after she spent the whole afternoon making him an elaborate meal. The poor girl burst into tears! He wasn't being insensitive, he just didn't know better. This is a mild case of putting your friends before your better half. There are worse cases of friends trying to force their will in their boys homes, always picking on their friends' wives, involving themselves in what their friends kids should and shouldn't do generally lording in their friends' homes and lives.
The problem is more compounded when men insist on still hanging out with their single....nay....scratch that....irresponsible friends. They don't see anything wrong in taking you away from your home and 'hanging out' till the small hours of the morning. It is all fun and games but how do you justify such behavior? My cousin's former colleague was known to regularly spend entire weekends outside his home cos he's hanging out with his boys. A married man with kids. I mean warrahell? If you're not ready for a relationship or you're too immature for one, then do the world a favor and don't bother. A lot of men use their friends as crutches. They are that link to the life they once had and like a comfort blanket, they are very unwilling to relinquish the past. And some stewpid friends are happy to encourage their friends in this foolishness. It makes them happy that they still have their friend irrespective of how his woman feels

I personally feel that the leave to cleave principle applies to friends as much as it applies to parents. Friendship has its place but it should never take precedence over the other important relationship in your life. How do you build confidence and belief in your partner if at the drop of the hat, your so called partner takes his/her friend's side over yours? Or is easily manipulated by a friend?

Relationship signals to me, the beginning of a new friendship that supersedes all previous friendships. Yoruba people pray and say 'e she ore ara yin kale'. Which means 'you will both be each other's friends for life' that is how it is meant to be. It is pertinent that no outside party is privy to the lives you lead outside of the public eye, irrespective of how old that friendship is. Your best friend is your partner and don't you ever forget that.


  1. As always....take your high5, CherryKoko....

  2. You do have a point but I'll take it as an opinion and not an advice. Social need is very important and everyone needs it. A wife/husband alone cannot provide that. The friends made the person you married who she/he was and shouldn't be disregarded after the wedding. The only rule I believe any married couple should follow when dealing with friends is, what happens in our matrimonial home stays in our matrimonial home. Those that "isolate" their friends because of their marriage are the worst hit by mid-life crisis. It becomes difficult for them to relate with their friends they had distanced themselves from and begin to regress, doing things they did when they were young and picking habits they had dropped.

  3. HoneyDame, as usual, thanks for stopping by. Much love.
    Ade Moss' son; thank you for your comment. But I think you've misconstrued the point I was trying to make. I was just trying to say everything has its place. Your social needs should not outweigh your matrimonail loyalty. And I think some friendships have the propensity to stunt the essential development a relationship needs to thrive and that was the point I was trying to make.But I see your point.
    Thanks for your comments guys

  4. You make great points ma Cherie. especially about wives who abandon their own social circle and implat themselves in their husbands.

    I wouldnt run away from my married gfs or not listen to them when they want to offload...singing 'everybody hurts' lol. I just try not to dispense advice.

  5. Beautifully written, Ronke! Interesting read!

    But just 1 point - Most people, these days and in our parts, marry because of societal pressures and standards. So they really do not marry that one person who is their friend. If one marries for the wrong reason, there is just NO WAY one can place 'that famous husband' above friends.

  6. Preach it ooooo. It totally baffles me when I hear people say that they have a best friend who is not their spouse. I also lend my ears and shoulders to lean on for my married friends, but I don't give advice. I always tell my married gal friends to talk to their mums or pastors wife or some married person that they hold in high regard.

  7. Ginger: I agree. I don't run away from them either. The wide berth is necessary when it comes to the 'so what do you think?'Portion of the conversation. And I don't think much of women who abandon their friends for their spouses. It leaves you alone and without any functioning social faculty. I think you should be able to organize your life in a way that one facet does not interfere with the other.

    Abike Wey: I COMPLETELY agree with you! I think that's the biggest cause of our problems in this day and age

    Che: I think that's a great idea. Talking to your parents or someone in some sort of position of authority is certainly preferable when it comes to serious emotional problems.

    Thanks for the comments guys.

  8. You nailed it! I love my friends & I try as much as possible to not-give advice even to those in relationships particularly wen ur hearing from just 1 side. Advice-giving is very tricky. I generally go for d "just take it easy" "be patient" & "it is well" replies (even tho I hate em)

  9. very well put together. nothing again remain to talk.


Say What?