...or time with "friends"...or lack thereof.
For the married people in the audience tonight: how important to you is time with friends? For the wives, this would be time spent with "me and my girlfriends." For the husbands, this is commonly referred to as "time spent chilling with the guys." For the purpose of this post, such activities preclude one half of the marital corps.
I suppose I should add some further restrictions on the circumstances. How important is time with friends if you could be spending that time with your spouse? (I have no problem with Harmony visiting and being visited by friends from church during the daytime while I'm not there anyways.)
I ask this question because of some "hanging out" that Harmony, Luna, and I did recently with one of my good friends from college (who was also the Best Man (tm) in our wedding). Somewhere in the course of the hangout, he made mention that if/when he were married, he'd still "have to" exercise his option to have time with the fellas. Since I've been married, I've never felt the urge to exercise this option. Especially when I think of my time this way: On average, I spend the majority of my waking hours away from my family :P I wake up around 6 AM and get home around 5 PM. We start getting ready for bed at about 8 or so, and I usually fall asleep between 9:30 and 10.
If I regularly spent time with "the guys," cut out a good portion of time that could've been spent with my wife. Unless it's a special occasion, every once in a while, or unless Harmony can come along, it's just not really that worth-it to me. I firmly believe that spending time with my wife is one of the most important interpersonal activities I do on this earth (aside from things like, say, performing CPR on a cardiac-arrested child. Luna says "and feeding me!"). When I get off work, I look forward to seeing my wife and dog. When we have children, I imagine the desire for home will only increase. I imagine that my desire to "hang out with the (nigh non-existent) guys" will decrease even further.
We go to a church where there's only one other young married couple within 5 years mean age of us. All other people, married or not (especially married with children), are busy with their own lives. In my life, "the guys" do not exist. They are not there. They have not been there for at least 1.5 years. They even started getting phased out of my life back when my relationship with Harmony was blossoming. I don't know if it's a bad thing that I never initiate hanging-out-time with other men in my church, but those men are just as busy (if not busier) than I am, and just as likely to decline a regular hanging-out-time.
So I don't really have "friends" or "buddies" anymore. Not like I did in college. But I'm okay with that. Is that so wrong? At-large culture would probably tell me that I need to "get out more and socialize." Not that I care about what at-large culture has to say about socialization, amen homeschoolers?. At-large culture seems to say that I'm weird if I spend most of my time at home, with my family.
To sum things up in bullet points:
- I grant that spending time with friends is important...
- ...but nowhere near as important as spending time with your spouse.
- For me, spending time with friends is fine...
- ...especially if we can do it as a family...
- ...or if I can do it while Harmony is otherwise occupied or away from home.
What do the older married people have to say about this? And by older, I mean anyone who's been married longer than we have.