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Every woman needs a support system of girlfriends to celebrate the best times and support them through the worst times. But after you say "I do," the type of friends you may want to turn to can change — and you can't turn to your husband for everything, either.
"This isn't wrong or a bad thing, but for many people, it's a surprise," says relationship expert April Masini. "They expect the symbiotic dating bubble to continue, but the reality is that to make a marriage last, it's important to have people outside of your husband who can be important to you. When you try to make your husband the one you go to for everything, you're putting pressure on him that isn't always healthy, and usually isn't necessary. Your best friend, your sister, your mother — these are people you can have strong, intimate and unique relationships with outside of your marriage that support your marriage."
Here, Masini identifies the five friends every newlywed should have in her support group:
1. Your long-term BFF
"She's known you for at least a decade and is someone who has got a perspective and a knowledge of you that others don't," says Masini. "She's also been with you through thick and thin. Keep her close!"
2. A friend who's been married for longer than you
"She'll have perspective on marriage and relationships, and if she's honest and kind, she'll share and advise you, as well as offer a perspective along the way," Masini explains. "Without coming out and calling her a role model, she'll be someone you spend time with and look to for advice and experiences that are new to you in marriage."
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3. An ally from his side of the wedding aisle
"This does not have to be someone you talk to weekly or even monthly, but having a friend who knows his side of the family and is a safe haven at family gatherings, as well as an interpreter when his family does things differently than what you're used to, is a great friend for a newly married woman to have," says Masini.
4. A friend who's also a neighbor
"Your neighbors know you in a way that others don't," says Masini. "If you can find a neighbor who is a great coffee-in-the-morning, wine-in-the-evening friend, or simply someone to call and discuss the day-to-day life of the neighborhood, you're ahead of the game. While a friend in the neighborhood seems mundane, a good one is special, and anything but."
5. A friend who is upbeat and even-tempered
"Your former 'partners in crime,' or friends who are drama enmeshed and interesting beyond words, are not always the best friends when you're newly married," Masini says. "Their drama and questionable behavior can rock the marriage boat. A friend who listens, and may even border on boring, will have value to you as a newly married woman who is going through a transition in life that can be awesome and blissful, or some combination of things that is interesting, complicated, unexpected and more."