A close friend and I had an interesting discussion the other day about life VIPs or BFFs as we used to call them in grade school. Certainly in my life there is no one as crucial to me as R. But in many ways our relationship is unusual. There is nothing we do not do together. From grocery shopping to watching TV to reading to cooking, working out and commuting, R and I are together. He is like an appendage, a part so necessary to my existence that I would seriously be in trouble if I lost it. But apparently not all married couples are like this and, even more interesting, apparently this kind of dependency (or, perhaps the vary scary psycho babble word: co-dependency) is not normal.
According to a recent article in the Times, it is only in recent years that we have started to view our spouses as our everythings, ie. our best friends, lovers, cheerer-uppers and constant companions. The article hypothesized that in the 1950's families lived closer together, people were closer to friends outside the families and the relationship between the spouses was not expected to be so intense. Now with people spread across the country (my two best friends live in NYC and Los Angeles, for instance) we are more dependent on our spouses to provide it all.
It has made me think a lot about what my support system will be after the baby comes. I am SO happy that a friend who lives only a couple blocks away is only a couple months behind me in pregnancy. It seems like slowly but surely, we are building up a small legion of people we know who are either pregnant or already have children. But it is also important to me that I remain close with the friends that do not have children since I do plan on keeping my non little S interests alive as well. In the past few months I have been better about meeting women and becoming closer with some women I already knew. Until I was pregnant, I don't think I grasped the value of female friendship, but in recent months, it has been nice to have a few women I could talk to even if they are not expecting.
It seems that all of this is about to change, but I hope I will still have time to meet interesting new people and go to readings and take classes and expand my world outside of my family.