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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shaenor Ishmael

Couple Friendships

Do you have couple friends?

There is an understated importance in understanding that couples need other couples in their supportive network. It is vital to surround yourself with other married couples who are like-minded and successful in sustaining their relationship. These connections and friendships can ultimately strengthen your relationship. The concept of taking marriage advise from someone who is not successfully in a relationship is very strange to me. I say “in a successful relationship” because not every relationship is a thriving union. Many individuals are in relationships that are detrimental to them. Therefore, the couple(s) you chose to surround your marriage with, should consist of individuals who provides a safe space for you to divulge situations that may arise and offer guidance.

Relationships with other couples provides you the opportunity to discuss marital problems, every marriage has their own unique set of conflicts that arise. However, within most marriages there are a few similarities among the struggles that are encountered. The opportunity to discuss these situations with other couples, who have successfully hurdled this barrier, can provide insight on solutions that can empower your relationships.

The notion that what happens in a marriage stays in a marriage is true, to a certain extent. I stumbled upon a quote that stated, “wives need a like-minded safe place to divulge (and) husbands need a like-minded brotherhood to decompress”. There are many benefits in having an outside perspective on situations that arise within your marriage (please keep in mind that the individuals with whom you discuss situations within your marriage, should be individuals with whom you trust. As stated prior, but cannot be stressed enough, these are individuals who create a safe space for you to be vulnerable and open). There are so many individuals who believe that they are alone in their situations, when in reality many others are experiencing the same situations within their own relationship. Whether it’s financial, sexual, conception, communication, etc. having the opportunity to discuss these topics with other couples will provide the support and insight needed.

It’s also great just hanging out and have a good time with others in the same phase of life as you are. We do not treasure the idea of being away from our significant other for extended periods of time, we ultimately like hanging out with our significant other (that’s why we married them). Therefore, hanging out with other couples provides the opportunity for you and your significant other to go out and have fun. The camaraderie that can develop, knowing that you are spending time with others who truly understand that marriage is work and are willing to invest the time and effort to develop a successful marriage, provides a support that can ultimately build your relationship and bond with your spouse.

Surround yourself with individuals at various stages in their relationship. Surround yourself with individuals who are “seriously dating” (not fly by flings), individuals who are engaged, newlyweds and various stages of marriage (5,10,20, 50 years). Learn from other marriages and encourage other relationships and marriages.

**Disclaimer: I truly love and treasure my relationships with my single friends **

“Surround yourself with people who get it”. -Unknown 

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