Are you and your partner friends?
Friendship is in many ways the foundation of a marriage or relationship. Happy couples realize that. Less happy couples usually forget that little aspect. Your partner should be your best friend.
Sometimes in relationships and marriages, we focus a lot on the mix of passion, intimacy and commitment. We often forget one of the most important aspects of a relationship- Friendship. Usually the friendship aspect of one's relationship or marriage gets buried over time, under the burdens and responsibilities of life, work and family. When asked if they feel like they are their partners friend, the average person would say yes. It's a complicated question though. You might come to realize that they don't always treat one another as they would their same-sex friends. They think of having a night out "with friends" as somehow different from a night out "with their partner". Some couples assume that they must be friends simply because most of the time they act friendly toward each other and they don't think of each other as the enemie. But friendship is more than friendliness. Friendship is the foundation of a relationship. Happy couples know that that you need to nurture one another and most of all, be friends.
Nuturing happens in a lot of ways. How you talk to each other and hear each other out; how you inspire one another to reach their dreams; how you care about each other's needs at least as much as you care about your own. Happy couples are good friends and friends nurture one another.
What does it mean to you when you are asked if you are your partner's friend?
Think of someone other than your partner whom you consider to be your best friend. What is the difference between that friendship and your marriage relationship? Friends talk about their personal lives; so do married partners. Friends have fun together; (hopefully) so do married couples. Friends think about each other when they are not together; married partners do the same. Friends standy by you, so does your partner. Fundamentally there are two ways that a marriage is different from a friendship. You have a greater level of obligation and commitment to your partner than to your best friends. You also have the intimacy portion of the relationship with your partner that you don't have with your best friends.
The typical man approaches friendship with his wife a little differently than she approaches friendship with him. If you ask a man about his male friendships and what makes them important, he will talk about what he and his friends do together and the interests that they share. They may talk about their problems also with one another but never in deep detail really.
The typical woman will tell you that conversations forms the primary basis of intimacy in her friendships. By communicating this to her friends, it makes her feel understood. If a man has a problem and doesn't want to discuss it, his male friends "understand" that. Ironically, this makes him feel understood. He feels closer to his friends by not sharing whereas a woman feels closer to her friends when she does share and confide.
What does this mean for marriages? It means that, generally speaking, the basis for friendship in a marriage or relationship depends on the couple doing more together (male preference) and talking more together (female preference)
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