Do Your Friends Have Too Much Say?
Like it or not, your friends have a say in your marriage. The question is, how much say? They influence the way you feel about your marriage, wife or husband. They influence how you feel about relationships in general.
What’s the effect of their influence so far on your marriage?
Obviously, friends are an important part of married life. They’re in your social circle; they lend an ear when you need to talk…OR vent. And your closest friends know what’s happening with your job, kids and marriage. So, they kind of have a “say” in your marriage.
They influence you and your marriage by agreeing with you and validating your feelings, criticizing or judging you or your partner, and of course by venting about their own marriage problems.
Agreement and Validation
It’s nice to have friends who agree with you and validate your feelings when you vent to them. However, too much validation can make you blind to your own shortcomings and make everything seem like it’s your spouse’s fault.
Some friends think it’s their job to support you no matter what – even when they think or believe you’re wrong. So give your friends permission to disagree with you – to call you out when needed.
It’s important to have friends who are honest about your flaws and will encourage you to grow. This is better for your marriage long-term rather than having them say you did nothing wrong.
Criticism and Judgement
Good friends believe the best about you and your husband or wife. They don’t see your complaints about your spouse and marriage as an invitation to criticize and judge your partner.
Friends who believe the worst about your partner can make you more judgemental and critical of your partner. After all, you are the company you keep. If I were you and these were the kinds of friends I had right now, I’d consider expanding my social circle
Frustration is contagious. If your friends are constantly venting about their partners, with time, you’ll start to see your partner in an unfavourable light because of the seeds of discord you’re allowing to be planted in your mind.
If you want your marriage to succeed, you can’t afford to be friends with people who only speak about their marriages and spouses in negative terms. There’s no point having friends who always respond to your frustration about your marriage with their own frustration.
Remind yourself, and your friends, that you can either choose to focus on what’s wrong/bad about your marriage or on what’s right/good.
Picking Friends who are Good for your Marriage
It’s best to filter your friends by their faith and by their fruits. I strongly believe that friends who do not share your faith and beliefs about marriage should not have a “voice” in your married life. Similarly, friends who are not in happy and healthy marriages themselves should not have the power to influence your marriage.