There's a Spouse in My House - Excerpt
There's a Spouse in my House cover

Excerpted from Chapter 13:

Are You Free to Have Drinks With This Friend of Mine Who I Don’t Particularly Like (And His Really Annoying Wife)?  The Surprisingly Difficult Task of Merging Your Social Schedules

Once you’re married, there’s generally only one group of people you’ll socialize with: other married couples.  This may not happen right away, but six months after the wedding, look around at your friends.  They’ll all have something in common, like an incomplete wedding gift registry at Crate & Barrel.

The reason you tend to hang out with married couples isn’t because you don’t like your single friends.  Rather, they have stopped liking you.  Why?  Because your single friends want to stay up late and do fun things.  The two of you, on the other hand, suddenly have different priorities.

When You Were Single You’d...

Now That You’re Married You’d Rather...

Close down bars with your friends.

Be home in bed by 11.

Sing karaoke until your vocal cords exploded.

Be home in bed by 11.

Go to a movie that started after 7:40PM.

Be home in bed by 11.

Plan your night around activities besides the Law & Order reruns.

Be home in bed by 11.

Stay up as long as necessary in order to have sex that night.

Be home in bed by 11.

The good news is that hanging out with other married couples is extremely fun.

Here’s why: each of the married couples you socialize with will fill an important and unique role in your life.

The Couple You’re Basically Dating
This is the couple that you see all the time.  They’re the primary option for Saturday night dinner and trips to Target.  Of course, there was that one awkward moment four months ago when you caught them at the mall with another married couple, but you’ve all agreed to pretend that never happened.

The Couple You Vacation With
These aren’t necessarily your closest friends, but they’re the perfect traveling companions – they’re organized, they like the same category of hotel that you do, and they are incredibly savvy at getting airline upgrades.  After the vacation is over, it’s completely possible that you will have no contact with this couple until it’s time to plan the next trip.

The Exotic Couple
They travel the globe.  They cook unusual food.  They have a lot of vintage maps on their walls.  You feel incredibly worldly after you see them.  And after you caught the couple you’re dating at the mall with someone else, you immediately made plans with the exotic couple to make them jealous.  (It worked.) 

The Couple You Keep Thinking You’re Going To Be Better Friends With But It Never Really Happens
You keep thinking this couple is going to be promoted into your inner circle of friends, but every time you go out with them, there’s always one tiny detail that prevents that from happening – they’re moving to the other side of town, they just had a baby, or (most commonly) they just don’t really want to be friends with you and are confused about why you keep trying to make plans with them.

The Couple That Doesn’t Want To Spend Any Money/The Couple That Wants to Spend Too Much Money
The two extremes of your social life.  One pair wants to have you over for rice & beans night; the other always orders the most expensive bottle of the wine on the planet because they heard this was the best year to drink it.  Inevitably they don’t really like the wine, but they assume you’ll be happy to split the cost with them.

The Couple That’s Just A Little Bit More Successful and Physically Attractive Than You Guys
Haven’t made plans with them in months.

But by far the most difficult social situation involves the following couple:

The Couple That One of You Likes and the Other One Can’t Stand
The more this couple starts to irritate one of you, the more the other will unknowingly want to spend time with them.  Eventually, when you come clean about your negative feelings towards this couple, you spouse reacts first with shock (“I had no idea you couldn’t stand the Pattersons!”), then with confusion (“Why did you let me invite them to your birthday party?”), and finally with anger (“They really are fabulous people.  What’s your problem?”).

It’s worth noting that couples can change categories over time.  For example, maybe you’ve always enjoyed vacationing with the Callahans...until Jim Callahan suddenly becomes Expensive Wine Guy on your trip to Australia.