Recently, someone said to me in passing. "once you're married and have kids it's hard to have friends." My first response was, "I am going to make it a point to have friends so I'm not a negative, miserable cur." My second response was, "if it is difficult to have friends, then maybe you aren't doing it right."
As humans, we are wired for relationship. Being relational is in our nature. Having good friends, friends that you can always count on, people you trust, can confide in, who are there lifelong, is very difficult. Like all things, navigating this life is not an easy task but having trustworthy people there with us helps us stay focused on living, rather than just making it work.
Women seem to have this aspect of relationships down, it is among men that seemingly there is some lack. From what I have seen among relationships between married people, men are often the ones keeping the kids so their wives can go on girls night. The wife goes to spend a weekend with her "girlfriends" that she has had for several years.
It isn't as common from what I have seen for a group of men to go camping together or go spend a weekend together. There is always that Baptist church that takes 40 men to go fishing, but this is just another social gathering.
I have not known many men that ever talk about their upcoming weekend trip with their friends from forever. This is part of the reason men so often feel isolated and step out of their marriages.
Having friends after marriage should not be any more difficult than before. The whole purpose of marriage is to demonstrate the passionate sacrifice and devotion we saw in a God who gave everything for others. We should be demonstrating this in all of our relationships, not only within our marriage. Yes, our marriages will be slightly different, but our other relationships should look very similar. There should be an equal commitment and devotion to all the people we call friends.
Maintaining relationships in the midst of a busy life is challenging, but if we are living so busy that we don't have time for relationships then perhaps we should consider living simpler lives. We don't need to be running all the time. Being constantly busy isn't necessary nor is it healthy for our lives.We need to live simpler lives where we focus less on the horizon and more on the here and now. We should focus less on where we will be in 10 years and more on the people we are living life with now.