One of the things it took me the longest to get used to in my marriage; actually long before we were married (when we moved in together), was making plans that did not involve my honey.
You know, when your friends (single or married) want to get together? When your co-workers want to go for drinks after work? When someone mentions concert, road trip or vacation? Before my honey I had a perfect statement that I spewed with pride. "No kids, no pets, no attachments!" Meaning, I didn't have to run and pick up a child at day care. I didn't have a pet to run home and take for a walk or feed. I didn't have to consult anyone/"attachment" about my outings, how late I stayed out, or justify dishing out money on expensive tickets, shoes, or haircuts!
Yeah, you know what I mean.. I could make a decision on the spot! The only person I had to talk it over with was MYSELF: and hey, there was no guilt, no consulting, no explaining, no negotiating!
At first I didn't know how to approach the subject. I didn't want to ask permission!! That is the honest truth. After so many years governing myself I was afraid to loose my free will. It was awkward, and I didn't want to feel like I was asking my parent "can I go out to play?"
Luckily my honey is a great husband, and I don't run around behaving like I am still single. Girls night for ME its private time with my friends where we can gab without having husbands or kids listening. Usually it's dinner and drinks at someones home. Or it may be going to watch an estrogen packed flick that I would never torture my husband to take me. In all honesty, I haven't the slightest problem catching a movie by myself so I don't need him to take me anyways.
Because we both commute to work in opposite directions most often than not when we gather with coworkers for dinner or drinks we fly solo. We make the effort to make an appearance every so often, but dealing with twice our daily 45 to 60 minute commute to accompany the other is something we both realize is a sacrifice. (Usually involves getting out of work early)
I am also lucky that neither one of us likes to feel "attached at the hip". There are activities each enjoys that aren't the least bit interesting to the other; and neither keeps the other from enjoying them. Not that each lives a separate life. We "GO OUT" together most of the time, but there is no pressure about it being an obligation though we each make it a point to be each others reliable "date".
I know women who can never hang out with their friends unless they drag along all their kids. They won't exactly say that their husbands insist on it, but hey.. If they can't even make an appointment to have their hair done without an entourage (even when their husbands are sitting at home) then you tell me!
Well, I still have no kids and no pets, but I do have a husband! I do not ask him for permission but I do check in with him (as he does with me) if there would be any reason why I couldn't accept an invitation; for example if' I've forgotten we've made plans (I usually need to consult our kitchen calendar because I tend to forget what WE are doing) or just in case he isn't feeling well and would need some nursing or minor attention.
On the weekends I may drive in to "town" (San Antonio or Austin) to spend the afternoon with girlfriends or he may to run a hash or catch a game and both will return wanting to share what we were up to. There are no guilt trips coming from the other, well.. not really a guilt trip. My honey likes to pretend he's been sad and lonely while I've been away. Yeah, right! When I am not around he isn't interrupted by me to remind him we have chores to do so he is happy to get lost blogging or working on his hobbies. I kind of like being away some times. It makes me appreciate the life we have together.
Corny as it may sound, I think each gets a thrill from running home and find the other there waiting and happy to be reunited. Not wanting to participate in an activity doesn't mean one does not appreciate the pleasure the other gets to experience.
I believe people set the tone to how a marriage will be. If one partner is possessive and controlling there is little chance things will change after marriage. I am glad I found the right partner. There is an expression I have always loved: "You can build a fence around me, but do not shut the gate!" That is how it feels for me. I feel safety and protection in my marriage without feeling confined!
I know from past entries I've shown that fear of being controlled or tied down is one of my "dysfunctions", and that might have been one reason for marring so late in life. but I like to believe that finding the perfect man FOR ME (not perfect) was the real reason.