My husband and I have been married for nearly 13 years and dating for a little just over that. Fun story: we met in college one October and got married three months later! I wasn’t pregnant, we weren’t totally nuts, it just… happened that way.
In that time, our marriage has been through a whole lot. We’ve separated and reunited. We’ve had a kid. We’ve lost a pregnancy. We have been through more jobs than I can count, have zig-zagged across the United States several times, and have changed career trajectories. We have a bunch of pets. We are totally together, and we are totally a mess.
One thing that has been crucially important to both of us is having relationships outside our marriage. I don’t mean boyfriends and girlfriends, I mean relationships with other adult humans who are super important to us. You know, friends.
I didn’t think this was too big of a deal until I started talking to other people about it. I like, and prefer, that my husband has whole worlds he lives in that I don’t know much about. He works at a hospital and hangs out with co-workers that I rarely meet. Granted, they sometimes float into our lives (and in fact, we currently have a righteous DnD group with two of them), but in general… like, it’s cool to me that he knows people that I don’t know, that he talks to them about all kinds of things, and that he comes home and tells me about the conversations… or he doesn’t.
Similarly, I have friends that my husband has never met. I talk to them about every topic under the sun. Sometimes he hears about it, and sometimes he doesn’t, and it’s no big deal either way.
Generally speaking, it seems that a lot of people think that your partner should be the person you get everything from. And personally speaking, the idea of only drawing emotional and mental fortitude from one person, and only sharing huge life experiences with one person, makes me kind of… sad.