Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The NMF Syndrome

People tend to think that once one becomes that NMF- newly married friend- that person will lose all interest in anything she held dear before, and now has her head crammed with laundry, Shabbos, shopping, and homemaking.

It's like the brain stops working, the head turns off, oh- and did I mention the NMF forgets and neglects to call me!! How dare she!

Truthfully, I find NEFs (newly engaged friends) much harder to reach and get a hold of. Especially when they are wedding planning constantly.

But, as soon as one becomes an NMF- well then- the perspective seems to change. Not only does her brain not ignore the passions and dreams she had before- but she has those, plus all the new responsiblities.

Oh, and did we mention all the new things that come on to the scene? More bills, insurance, money managing, budgeting, household management, time management, childcare, and that wonderful significant other's feelings, emotions, and actions as well.

Add to that the whole 'leave the community you now live in and move to another community/city/state/country'- and you've got more in the NMF's head than ever.

Plus, those dreams and passions don't leave- they stay too. So you've got one very busy little brain working overtime.

And those who are not married criticize. Well, let them figure it out. I mean- when I wasn't married, I don't think I noticed the price of margarine, flour, or water. I mean, sure, I looked for a sale, and used coupons, but did I really think it made a difference- every cent?

When I wasn't married, dealing with household chores was easy. Don't have patience to make dinner- eat out. Didn't do laundry yet- it's okay, it can wait for next week. Oh, and that paper for school- I'll get to it, in my endless free time.

Somehow, becoming a NMF changes all that- you have to do all the stuff you did, plus more. (I'm not complaining, just trying to show how things change.) And, all the ideas you had- graduate school, business plans, job plans- they still have to happen (after all- you don't change, just your status) and you have to figure out how they fit in amidst all the NMF chores.

So single friends- don't think our heads are in the air, full of newlywedded bliss. We're solidly grounded. Possibly more than you. And, we have a lot more on our shoulders. So don't blame us for the stereotype. Wait till you get to that stage of life- and we'll see how you handle it. Then, you'll be calling us for advice, and regretting how you treated the NMFs.


Ezzie said...

Heh - well put.

nmf #7 said...

Ezzie- thanks for the comment.
Might I take the chance to state that I have been a devoted follower of your blog for over 3 yrs. now? Thank you for creating it!

Ezzie said...

LOL. Thanks, I guess... :)

Bas~Melech said...

I don't think their heads are full of air, they're just in a very different place. And I miss them.

Something Different said...

Well, if you tell me they're better once they're married I'll take that as a comfort, cuz right now nobody is more out of touch than my NEF.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but in my experience, most of them do.

It's not that I ever expected them to still have the same amount of time for me, I am very aware of how much has shifted in their lives. (And to be honest, most of those responsibilities you mentioned, I *do* have to take care of, on my own, I don't have a husband to consult or help out me out with them. OK, so I don't have to deal with all the emotional nuturing of a spouse ones, but try dealing with the emotional ups and downs of dating that seems to go nowhere, then maybe somewhere, then sudden rejection,etc, that takes up A LOT of emotional energy and you don't get anything in return for it.)

I really don't care at this point, I've been dropped by friends for close to ten years by now because of this...
...and if they haven't dropped me after marriage, they do after having kids.

Didn't mean to sound bitter or cynical but your post really set me on edge.

Anonymous said...

OK nothing against you personally, i've seen this theme show up on alot of blogs lately and its starting to piss me off. I'm not married, but i hear one more person talk about how now once you get married you start having to budget and do household chores, i'll scream. that's not once you get married, it's once you are living on your own and are financially independent. i have to budget!!!! i have to keep my home clean and do my laundry!! I have to pay bills!! i know for alot of people that comes at the same time as being married, but it is not something only married people have to deal with. I still have my regular life (job, school, dreams and plans) plus adult responsibilities and a serious boyfriend. oh and did i mention that i also made aliyah? I still make time for my friends. it's important. i'm sorry if your spouse is so emotionally needy that dealing with him drains all the time left for friends, but i think acting like married people are the only ones who have to deal with budgets and bills and housework is a really unfair, lame excuse.

nmf #7 said...

Bas~Melech- Not such a different place. Maybe your NMF's are just really busy, and so are you- so your paths don't collide very often. Oh- and if you miss them- call them. They can't be expected to know that you miss them if you don't tell them.

SD- Yeah, I think it gets better about a month after they're married. Then things settle back to normal and they turn their cell phones on again.

Anonymous 5:11- Wow. I did not say that those who are still dating are not busy, or stressed, or investing tons of emotional energy.

I'm just trying to make a case in point for the married ones among us, as to why we're busy also. I know that dating invests tons of emotional energy- believe you me, I was not one of those engaged straight off the plane. And, I was fiscally independant for a while before that. But more tends to crop up after marriage- just because you are dealing with 2 instead of 1.

And, I'm sorry you feel you've been dropped. It takes 2 though- if you make contact with them, and try to maintain a relationship, usually it continues. I wish you much hatzlacha in reconnecting.

Anonymous 9:17- Again, I did not say that all of a sudden, once one becomes married, all the fiscal responsbilities and household chores hit one like a ton of bricks. I was fiscally independant before that, as well as living on my own.

I just wanted to make a case in point that the married ones among us are not filled with fluff and butterflies for brains. If you are busy as well- and single- good for you! And, my spouse is not so emotionally needy- just it's another person to take into consideration.

I'm glad to hear you still make time for your friends- I do too.
I don't think I was making an excuse- I think I was trying to state that not all of us fit the stereotypical heads-in-clouds model that some believe the NMF is guilty of. And- not to say that the single ones among us are not busy, or that they don't deal with these responsibilities as well.

I'm sure you deal with them admirably, as do most of the singles around who are living by themselves.

To all those who are going to comment further: I was not saying singles aren't busy, or they don't deal with fiscal responsiblities. I just was stating a case in fact for the NMF. Would you rather I said- hey, don't critique the singles out there- we're busy too?
Both statuses are busy.

Ariella said...

Hear hear! Finally someone is sticking up for the NMF. No matter what anyone says, even if the married and single person are still struggling with bills, apartments, jobs, etc, it's totally different for the married person, and much more stressful.

Friends - we miss you too! But sometimes, we just have so much going on, it's hard to breath.

Also, a good point that I think is relevant as well: when you're single, no matter where you live, you need to GO OUT to see your friends, or call them, or whatever. When you're married, you don't need to do that as much - you don't miss friendship - cause your best friend is right there at home with you. :)

DoubleLife said...

Indeed! Well said. And not only that, some NMF's get hit with existential crises and all sorts of other new things that require huge amounts of time and energy.

lvnsm said...

good point

what-ever said...

We all know marriage isn't as easy as it may look on the outside.
Everyone makes it look easy. Especially in Brooklyn.

Anon 5:11 - you're not bitter or cynical. You're realistic and honest.

I'll agree with Anon 5:11 on another thing. The ups and downs of dating are more difficult than marriage for one reason: YOU FOUND HIM. We still have to complempate, and hope, and think if it ends with one, how soon will another come along? And will be worth my time and energy?

So true about married girls completely forgetting what dating was like. Gift of Shich'cha.

halfshared said...

I'm really lucky. My married friends have more time for me than I do for them. Unfortunately, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule here. I'm just not sure why...

corner point said...

Excellently said.

Kudos :-)

nmf #7 said...

Ariella- thanks for your comment.
Although- I find, while it is true that my best friend is waiting at home for me- sometimes there are things that just need to be done with a girlfriend. Example: shopping. I mean- how in heavens name could I convince Mr. NMF to do that?! :)

Double Life and Lvnsm- thanks for your comments.

What-ever- I hate to disagree. We remember what dating was like, don't worry. The frustration and emotional exhaustion doesn't just leave so fast. Give me 20 yrs- then we'll talk.
And- marriage is not cake. Yeah, you found him. Now- build a relationship. Maintain the relationship. Check out how many marriage books there are out there- there must be a reason for them. It's not easy- it's work!

Half-shared- well, I hope it continues- that both you and your friends have time for each other!

Corner Point- thanks for your comment!