Friday, July 31, 2009

The End of the Sleepover Era

Don’t worry—this week, I’m cooling it with the heavy theological/philosophical stuff.

Daniel’s birthday was this week, and I was all excited about being able to wake up and bring him breakfast in bed now that we live together, but I didn’t wake up in time, which upset me greatly. After work, Daniel helped load a truck for someone who was moving, so he didn’t get home until around 8:00. We went out to grab a couple of sandwiches and an order of mozzarella sticks to go, and ate them in bed while we folded laundry… at 10:00 p.m. Not exactly the most exciting birthday for Daniel, but I promised him a special day on Saturday, with an ice cream cake and candles, and the standard birthday royalty treatment all day.

This weekend, I turned down an invitation to an Assateague Island camping trip bachelorette party for a friend from college who is getting married on September 6. In my e-mail RSVP, I couldn’t even give the real reason for not being able to go. I had no concrete excuse. No prior plans. When you’re the only married person in a group of friends, how exactly do you say what you really want to say:

“When I got married, it was with the understanding that my life couldn’t be the same as it was before. I knew then that the sleepover I had with my bridesmaids the night before my own wedding would be the end of my fifteen year long sleepover era. I just can’t spend a weekend away from my new husband. If the party were not so far away, I could come for part of the time and then head home to my husband at the end of the evening. Really, though, I think that camping at the beach is a neat idea for a bachelorette party—I hope that you girls have an awesome time!”

To me, this explanation was too long and complicated, and I did not want to somehow sound rude. Thankfully, my friend (the maid of honor) did not ask the question that I would have felt uncomfortable answering.

Does anyone have a similar story that they could share to make me feel better? If you do, please share! By the way, make sure that you are here next Friday—Daniel’s writing! I don’t think he plans to do more than one, so it may be on the long side… and he won’t tell me what he’s going to write about, which makes the control freak in me a little nervous.

You’ll hear from me again on August 14th!


effulgent7 said...

Hi- I have been reading for a while and lurking, and really enjoy your blog. I got married on July 3 and reading this was so helpful as I was preparing for my own wedding!

Anyway- I totally understand why you did not want to go on the camping trip. I don't really want to go anywhere without my husband these days, I am so excited to be married and be able to be with him all the time! I have already turned down one party invitation because it's just too far away and because my husband and I are still adjusting to married life. (My situation is compounded because I moved away from my friends in MD to another state) I always appreciate when I am invited though, just in case...!

Anonymous said...

I've been married for a little over a year and totally agree. In a way it is harder for us because my husband and I have basically the same group of friends as he moved to my city when we were married. So we decline an invitation to do something, and either get inquisitive eyes or the question "What are yall doing, we're your friends in this town right?"

Sometimes we have chores and tasks, but sometimes we just want to sit on the couch in our pjs and watch tv or read (me) play xbox (him). It's hard to explain why doing these seemingly boring tasks, that we can do any time, is preferable to an enjoyable evening with friends. But I've come to reason that we don't need an explanation. When we're single we're entitled to "alone" time, and the same is for couples. And good friends understand that and respect your privacy as a couple while also continuing to invite you to things!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have been married for 9 years now, and have 2 kids (5 y.o. and a 9 m.o.) Among the group of friends that I had before I met my wife, most are still single in their mid-to-late 30's, and the 2 sets of couples don't have any kids.

They don't fully understand our reluctance to sacrifice our weekend family time for the sake of "hanging out like we used to." And as the years go on, that divide seems to grow more and more.

Kat said...

I can totally relate! My husband and I have been married for 1yr. 8mo. and we still dont want to leave each other for even a one day overnight thing. We are in our mid 20s and it is tough when most of our friends are single and dont understand that "oneness" yet. Especially on the weekends when we finally get to spend more time together sometimes we just want to hide and do nothing together alone. Which I am learning that this alone time is sooooo important to our marriage it helps us recharge and do things we need to do together.
So don't feel bad because this is good for your marriage and nowadays we must do whatever we can to protect and preserve our marriages, there are enough forces trying to tear us apart. So have fun together! Yahweh-Shalom!
p.s. I love this blog and think it will help a lot of marriages and soon to be marriages!

Anonymous said...

While I do think it is important to have 'couple time' with your spouse I also think it's important to have an identity outside your relationship.

I have been married for only 5 months but I really enjoy planning a weekend away with my girlfriends without spouses or children. It gives us a chance to relax together and have girl-time.

I'm not criticizing choosing to hang out with your spouse over friends- certainly there are many great reasons to do that, but I'm just saying there needs to be a balance.
I enjoy the blog- thanks for all your work on it!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that this post and the comments surprised me. Although I am not yet married and do enjoy spending all my time with my fiance, I do not see my marriage as the end to the occasional girls' night and sleepover. While I can understand forgoing sleepovers in an early marriage when you can't bear to be apart, I don't see another obvious reason for this rule. Sarah, do you plan to attend an overnight sleepover for the bachelorette parties of your younger sisters?


Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for awhile now - lurking, not posting. I want to let you know that I am glad you are continuing it now that you are married. I am getting married in June 2010. I like hearing about *real* married life - and I appreciate how candidly you explain the joys and the struggles. It's easy to dream about the fun things about being married, but I know there will be challenges, too. Reading your blog will likely help married people see that the struggles are part of life and marriage and are normal! Haha!

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Dear newlywed,

I always enjoy your blog, and find it full of helpful information and things to consider. However, I oftentimes find myself feeling a bit blue after reading it. Perhaps I am reading to much into it, but I feel that sometimes you dwell on the "sad" parts of marriage more than you express the joys of it.

While it is perfectly legitimate to feel nostalgic and look back on the time of your life when you were younger, it is so important to view your marriage as a new chapter of your life full of excitement, challenges and whatever else it may contain.

Regarding the end of a sleepover era, I understand why you want to spend every night alone with your husband at this point, and why simple outings with your friends may no longer contain the same appeal. I myself feel the same way at times; and to be honest I don't always have the best excuses to tell my friends.

But it is important to remember that married life is about sacrifice, and I don't just mean the sacrifices you have to make for each other. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your personal comfort as husband and wife and your desire to be alone in your home, and make the decision to go out and be social. I in no means am trying to downplay the importance of being alone and cultivating your relationship with each other and the Lord, but as a married couple, especially a YOUNG married couple I ask you to consider one thing:

You two serve as an example to all of those singles around you. Those who may or may not be considering marriage, those who may be trying to decide what marriage means to them, those who have unfortunately been turned off by the idea of marriage due to the media, etc.

As I have learned from personal experience, all of your single (and married friends) look to you as an example of the JOYS of marriage and married life. It is also important to continue to cultivate old friendships as well as new. Your life as a married woman should revolve first and foremost around God and your husband and future children, but you must also be a light to the world.

I am not saying you should have attended the sleepover (that is a trivial matter in the grand scheme of things), I am simply trying to express in a broader sense, the importance of sacrificing your personal comforts at times to serve others. I am sure many, many people look up to you as an example of how marriage (esp young married life) can succeed...people these days need this reassurance. I know I look up to my young married friends, and truly see the joy they share as husband and wife when they go out into the world and share that joy with others.

Sarah H. said...

I think some of you may have misunderstood me in this post, so I thought I would add a point of clarification: the camping trip I turned down was four hours away, making it a little more than a simple girls' night. And while I do know that spending time with my girlfriends is important, I don't personally see sleepovers as being really compatible with married life. I'm not saying that everyone should agree with me or that it is a rule, just a personal understanding- I intend to be honest and open with my readers about how I feel. Thank you for your comments!

KT- to answer your question, I absolutely plan to attend the bachelorette parties of my sisters, and my friends! If it is an overnight party, I will be there until I feel tired enough to head home, rather than sleeping on a couch or in a sleeping bag.

Francis- very glad to be of service. Not to worry, clearly I'm already taken!

Christina said...

Anything you do for the benefit of your marriage is a good decision, one you will never regret!

Casey said...

Hi Sarah- I have not read your blog before, although I have been meaning to do so.
I do want you to know that I totally understand that you could not come to the bachelorette party. We of course love you and like to spend time with you, and so you were invited, but the fact that you didn't want to be away from Daniel is no surprise- you love him so much! I am not at all upset with you; when I received your decline I figured your reasons were something like what you wrote in your blog. So don't worry about what anybody might think about these types of decisions you and Daniel will have to make- you two are the ones in this marriage and so you two get to make the decisions :)
I hope you don't mind that I read this blog! And I look forward to the next time I see you and Daniel!