Everything to me. Or not.

April 10, 2017

“I have many “spouses”–men and woman who are there for me in ways
my husband 
simply cannot possibly be.
I love him, but he is not everything to me, and if I thought he was,
I’d be disappointed and lonely.
We have a
good marriage, a tight “family” bond between the two of us,
but it is rounded out by a myriad of wonderful

and compassionate people whom I couldn’t
or wouldn’t want to live without.”

One of my favorite and most interesting Facebook friends left this comment here a few months ago and I was quite taken with it because it expresses EXACTLY how I feel, too.

Being everything to another person is an impossible task. It just can’t happen.  I like to say that I have a short attention span, but it’s more that I like a variety of interactions. I get a lot from my husband, don’t get me wrong. But not everything. He gets a lot from me, but it would be delusional for me to think I was everything to him. I don’t want to be. I want him to have other friendships and outside stimulation. Then I want him to bring that energy back to me and our relationship.

Does that make sense?

I do have a few close and excellent male friends. They are brother-friends, they are nephew-friends and they are men whose company I enjoy. Whose discussions I enjoy. And that takes nothing away from my husband.

I also have a few close and excellent female friends. They are sister-friends and niece-friends and somehow, that seems more palatable to society than a married woman having guy friends.

Which is pretty silly if you ask me.

In that same vein, I’ve been thinking about this old memory: As a young newlywed I remember making plans to go to the mall to shop with a girlfriend, who was also married.

“Let me check to make sure my husband has something to do, first,” she said.

I was taken aback. He can’t figure out something to do by himself? I thought.  Even at the age of 22, I thought that was strange.  No outside energy there.

Four marriages. Yes, four. Two to the same man. So I think I have a pretty good idea about what works and doesn’t work. I know that one man can’t be everything to me just like one girlfriend can’t be everything to me.

What works is for couples to have their own individual lives and friends, as well as a life together and friends in common.  What works is for couples to take the outside energy they get and use it to enhance their marriage.

I’d love to hear what you think about this.

36 comments on “Everything to me. Or not.
  1. Robin rue says:

    That actually makes perfect sense. My husband is my best friend, but sometimes I need to talk to a girl because they understand things different.

  2. Diane says:

    Balance. And a little bit of space. And definitely outside friends!
    I love my husby. I do. But there are a few things I simply can’t talk to him about. I know it would hurt him to know that. (Another thing I can’t tell him!) 🙂 That is what my girlfriends are for.
    Thank you, girlfriends!

  3. Hi Carol! I so understand the sentiment but my reality is that Thom really is my best friend and closest relationship in all accounts. While I enjoy and appreciate contact and friendship with others–and no he isn’t the “same” as a “girlfriend,” I nearly alway prefer his companionship to anyone else. We will be celebrating 40 years of marriage this year and I love him more as each year goes by. Rather than call our relationship “codependent” I prefer “interdependent”. We have grown up together and both face and see the world in such a similar way. He knows the very best parts of me (and yes the worst) and still knows how to mostly lift me up and inspire me on an ongoing way. I am the person I am to a large extent because of him. I KNOW that not everyone has this relationship with their spouse and don’t even want one. But it works for us. FYI…we think it’s a “past-life” connection but haven’t explored that completely! ~Kathy

  4. Hubs is definitely my go-to person about 90 percent of the time, and I truly enjoy spending time with him. But I’d be bereft without my women friends, or without the freedom to experience some things on my own. As you and others have said, women friends bring something to the mix–particularly that sense of “getting it” that few men possess–that enriches my life immeasurably. And I would chafe to think that I was the be-all and end-all for someone else–I don’t want that responsibility. Having friendships with others really does bring energy, new experiences/perspectives back to the marriage, and helps keep things fresh. Great thought-provoking post, Carol!

  5. Amber Myers says:

    I love being with my husband, but I also need my girl time too. Luckily he understands that.

  6. My husband wants to be my everything, as he wants me to be his, it just doesn’t work for me. This is a second marriage for each of us I was single 18 yrs between my first and second marriage and depended greatly on my girl friends. Now I am closer to my daughter and sisters, and then my girl friends. Hubby doesn’t understand and gets his feelings hurt if he feels I am sharing things with them instead of him, so there are always “secrets”.

  7. I agree that no one person can be everything. As you said, that is a recipe for loneliness, and a lot of disappointment. I travel a lot, and my husband can’t, but we can get along just fine on our own. Partners need variety in their interactions! Keeps the energy flowing.

  8. Haralee says:

    It takes a village to be happy. I think that is the reason as we all age it is important to still make friends and younger friend. One person one size does not fit all!

  9. I don’t think one person can be everything to another. That is a lot of pressure to put on someone!

  10. Exactly. My husband and I love each other but we dont expect perfection from each other.

  11. Nellwyn says:

    It’s so funny to be reading this right now because I was just talking about this over lunch today! I totally agree that it’s important to cultivate multiple types of relationships because different people bring different things into your life.

  12. I am definitely someone who needs their own space. I like to mix it up and be with friends and also be by myself. I go crazy being with the same person 24 hours a day. As someone who is a widow, it’s important to have separateness because one day that person may not be there anymore and you have to be able to survive without them.

  13. On a recent girls weekend I mentioned to my 2 best friends that although I dearly love my husband of almost 27 years of marriage, he is not my best friend. They BOTH agreed and said they’ve felt guilty for feeling the same way about their husbands.

    Love of my life, for life, yes.
    BFF, no. That’s what my girlfriends are for. 🙂

  14. Sondra Barker says:

    I am not married yet nor have been married before,but one piece of advice I have always heard is that your husband should be your best friend. I do agree its good to have your own time and his as well, but also time together.


  15. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s really nice to have a life outside of your marriage life. It’s healthy, mentally and emotionally. I think everyone should have a life to share with their spouse and another one to share with friends. If you allow yourself to focus on just your marriage, you’re going to fall apart when something happens and you have no one else to turn to.

  16. Nay says:

    Completely agree with this too. I’ve had relationships fail because the man wants my life to revolve around them and I just can’t do this.One of my closest friends is a man and to me it’s normal to have male friends but some people assume something is going on.

  17. Bel says:

    Everyone seems to need girl time away from their spouse. I’m not married but I need to spend time with other guys away from my S/O. I don’t think this is a bad thing but society frowns so much at it. They have their own gfs and once in a while we hang out. but thats just me

  18. My husband and I love each other deeply, and we have a mutual trust for each other. He has been working abroad for 8 years now, and our marriage wouldn’t have survived if not for the love and trust and respect. In that sense, we pretty much do stuff on our own for the most part of the year, and it works for both of us.

  19. Amen to that. When I see couples let go of their friends and individual lives it makes me question why. It is important to have your own identity outside of marriage or a relationship too x

  20. Hubby is definitely my bestie and the one I prefer to experience almost everything with specially new experiences. Everyone is different and I can see how some need more outside time with other friends and some like myself are perfectly fine with significantly more spouse time.

  21. I think in a way is a relieve for any spouse to know that you can find help with other people you love.

    As much as our spouses might love us, nobody has all the right words for every single situation. It is a great idea to keep our circle completely open, to include people who we truly trust!

  22. It’s such a delicate balance when it comes to marriage. But I agree that both partners need to have something that gives them energy that they can bring back to the marriage. If the marriage is everything then things will crumble because they cannot keep all of the appearances up. They will run out of steam and then be angry and bitter with each other. You do have to have other things that excite you. And they can’t all be your spouse.

  23. kelly reci says:

    Very inspiring! I love it. I’m really interesting about this topic.

  24. Julie Syl says:

    What great story. It really sounds good. I never experience this kind of situation. This post helps me now to handle this kind of matter.

  25. Hannah Marie says:

    I am not married yet but I have few friends that I hang out with. I don’t want someone to be my everything because if there will be a situation, I won’t be able to stand alone. I don;t want to depend on one person alone.

  26. Geo says:

    I agree with you, its impossible to be everything for another person. I think the most important thing is that you have the same core values and the same goals in life.

  27. You are so brave to admit it that, our spouses can’t be everything that we want or need. Even thats tasking for us. What a lovely post. I’m amazed. Thanks for sharing.

  28. it is important we keep our own identity isn’t it Carol. We love our spouses but no one can be everything to another person. Thank you for sharing and linking up with us at #overthemoon link party. I’ve pinned and shared.

  29. Megan says:

    I also love my husband, but I so appreciate my own space and time. He understands that and has often commented how much happier I am after me time.

  30. G&D Blog says:

    Husband and “yourself” balance. Yes, this is legit. My husband and I used to struggle with this since we got married (or until now, just a little) and since I got here in US. I didn’t have friends to be called ’til I started working, and was able to make friends at work. Then it followed with me, hanging out with them like once in awhile, and my husband was like, not feeling okay with it. I understand his side, but he didn’t realize by that time, that I also needed friends of mine like what he has. Then later on, he’s understanding it already. Coz at the end, he’s still my man, and that will not change.

    For me, as a married man, too, I can say that sometimes, we need to respect the other world of your spouse, and he/she should do the same for you. And if something’s wrong in that world, either yours or your spouse’s, that’s the time you guys can talk and support each other.

  31. I think we need to respect each others space. Strike a balance in a marriage is important. I love spending just girls time or hanging out with a group of close friends.

  32. Sara says:

    It is always important that we are person. Everyone has his/her own feelings, needs, and dreams.

  33. stacey says:

    So true. We realized we couldn’t be or want to be everything to each other. We both enjoy out time together just as much as our time apart so we can catch up.I still have male friends and he still has female friends and we all come together from time to time.

  34. Hi Carol,
    My husband has always felt his spouse was enough for him. Now that he’s recently retired from his job, I fear he will expect me to be his “everything” which I can not be. I have a well-rounded life which, of course, he is a major part of, but he is not all of it.

  35. blair villanueva says:

    My dada is everything for me – he is my bestfriend, my life partner, a good provider, and my lover. However sometimes its not enough, so I still talk to my friends. Gladly he understand 🙂

  36. Louisa says:

    I used to be this. Everything depended on him and what he was doing how he felt about it. Today I’m free and though it can get lonely I have my own decisions I can make and do what I’d like to do.

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