Society has a way of pitting women against each other. The powers that be act like there can only be one woman in the room. If there are two, they are inevitably compared to one another and sometimes even expected to compete for opportunities. There must be a hierarchy. But these rules don’t just exist in Corporate America or in female rap beef. They’re prevalent in the dynamics between married and single women. There are countless examples of society placing more value on married women than those who are single. People use singleness as an insult. The church exalts the married woman and encourages the single one to step it up. Sadly, when women earn this coveted title of being a wife, they engage in some of the same toxic ideologies and behaviors.

No Advice

Never mind that your friend wiped your tears when you cried about your now-husband. Forget the fact that she stood next to you at your wedding as your maid of honor. Now that you’re a married woman, you can no longer take advice from your single friends. People really believe that because a woman is not a wife, she has no insight whatsoever into relationships and human interactions. She could be a whole therapist but because she doesn’t have a ring on her finger, her opinion is null and void. It doesn’t make sense. One day she’s your confidant and the next, she’s kicked entirely to the curb. You don’t have to share the intimate details of your married life, but appreciate wise counsel when it’s around–single or not.

No More Girls’ Trips

Plenty of religious leaders will encourage newly engaged women to dead the girls’ trips once they are betrothed. The thought is that your single friends will not only be misbehaving on these trips but they will influence you to fall into sin as well. Things can get wild on a girls’ trip. But anyone who has ever traveled with their friends knows how to say no to certain activities. If getting a booty massage on a raft boat in Jamaica will cross boundaries in your marriage, you have to be adult enough to say no. Married women have to hold fast to these boundaries in their everyday lives as well. Temptation doesn’t just present itself on islands.

No Sleepovers

Gospel artist Kierra Sheard shared some interesting thoughts about healthy boundaries as it pertained to her friends and husband, Jordan Kelly.

“I don’t care how good you trust them or whatever it is, I’m very mindful and careful. I would buy a friend a hotel room before I let them stay at my house,” Sheard said in an interview with Page Six.

Sheard caught a lot of flack for the comments and people called her “insecure.” Sheard responded by saying it’s important to protect your home, husbands and children. The rule begs the question “Is your husband ever allowed around any of your single friends?”

No More Guy Friends

There are lot of people of the mindset that heterosexual men and women cannot be friends. They think that if you have a guy friend, he’s been waiting in the wings to make you his woman. So while it may have been okay to keep him around when you were single, now that you’re married it’s time for him to go. The idea of pushing years-long friends to the side just because you have a partner now, is another reminder that society only sees women as sexual objects. People don’t believe that a man could find value in a woman’s perspective, in her company outside of just sex.

Married Friends Only

People will often advise married women to go out of their way to make friends with other married women. After all, after they’ve cut off their single friends and any guy friends, they may find that their social life has been whittled down to just their husband. It’s the single girls who have the juicy stories. A bond between a friend goes beyond her relationship status. If you have a good girlfriend, don’t push her away for a man. Even if that person is your husband. As you balance the new challenges of being a wife, find ways to keep the ones who were there first, close.