Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 97: Encourage Friendships
One of the ways to have a healthy relationship and marriage is to spend time with friends of the same sex. Just because you are married, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have friends. Men, whether married or single, need to hang out with other men regularly. The same goes for women. In a healthy marriage, same sex friendships should not provoke jealousy.
While your spouse may be your best friend, he or she alone cannot provide the support you need in order to lead a rich life. Your spouse cannot share all your interests or be your only go to person for advice on work, family and other issues. You need a support network made up of more than just your spouse. There are four types of friends that every person needs.
- The Adventure Junkie
Your spouse won’t always share your interests, and therefore, you need a friend who enjoys the same things you do. Whether you are looking to try a new restaurant, go hiking or take up knitting, this friend is the perfect person to do these things with. The adventure junkie is always the first to know what is happening and he or she will push you to try new things.
- The Honest Friend
Every one of us needs a friend who will not shield us from the truth and tells it like it is. This doesn’t mean that this person is out to hurt you but he or she won’t coddle you either. The honest friend can help you stay on track and push you to take responsibility for your marriage. This friend may also give you relationship tips.
- The Career Coach
The career coach is usually a coworker or someone who has done well in his or her career. The career coach is wise and advises you on work-related problems. With a friend like this, you will be less likely to bring work-related stress home to your spouse.
- The Childhood Friend
You may have a best friend in your spouse, but that doesn’t mean you should drop your childhood friends. These friends can come in handy when you want to talk about your family. They can listen to you without judging your family, something that your spouse may not always be able to do.
Do You Need Permission from Your Spouse to Spend Time with Friends?
Married people should have the freedom to spend time with their friends occasionally. However, even in a healthy relationship, this can quickly become a sore spot especially if the two people involved are not in agreement with regard to the amount of time each of them should spend with their friends. This issue can be solved through open communication.
While you may not require a permission slip from your spouse in order to spend time with your friends, you should still inform him or her. It shows that you are respectful of your partner’s time. Remember, you are accountable to your spouse and failing to inform him or her of your intention to spend time with your friends can make your loved one feel as if you don’t value his or her opinion. Some friends, especially single ones, may tease you for “asking permission” from your spouse but it is the respectful thing to do.
Spending time with friends gives spouses a break from one another and promotes a healthy relationship. This is a piece of advice for newlyweds that only a few get to hear. It is unreasonable to expect your spouse to be your entire support network. As long as your friends are of the same sex as you, there should be no problem if you want to spend time with them occasionally.