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As a newlywed, it's only natural to want to spend every second with your new spouse. But some women drop the ball on their friends in order to soak up time with their significant other — and look back months later to find they are very alone. "I often meet women who are starving for sisterhood and they don't even know it," says Christine Arylo, motivational speaker and author of Choosing Me Before We. "If you look at the people in your life who really see and support you and only find your husband, then you need to increase the female relationships in your life. Surrounding yourself with an array of positive and supportive women will improve your health and happiness." So if you ditched your friends for your husband and are determined to get them back for your own good, here's how to start.
Connect with a phone call.
It's too easy and impersonal to shoot off a text message or email, says Arylo. But "when you connect with your voice, the person on the other line can hear your heart, which opens the door to her heart — even if they are a little mad that you've been MIA," she says. If you're afraid of hearing an angry voice on the other end of the line, "just be honest and use humor."
Talk to your partner about the benefits of friend time.
Of course, you'll want to emphasize you still craze couples time, too, says Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great. Then ask for his or her support in helping you reconnect. "Don't keep secrets about what you do or whom you are with during friend-time, and share with your partner some of the fun or funny things that happened during friend-time," Orbuch suggests. "That way, they will see how important it is to you that you spend time with your friends — and that it doesn't take time away from the two of you."
Extend an invitation.
You may owe your friends an apology, but don't start with "I'm sorry," Arylo warns. "That's like jumping into the deep end of a pool of ice water. Instead, wade into the pool by inviting them to do something simple and fun — maybe a ladies' lunch, a concert, a picnic, going to see a favorite author, or a wine tasting. Say you know it's been a while and you've been missing them, because telling someone you miss them always breaks the ice."
Mark your calendar with important dates to your friends.
That includes birthdays, anniversaries, and the date they start a new job. Challenge yourself to "write in every week to make some contact with your friends," says Orbuch, then honor that calendar commitment, even if it's just a call.