It is very important for couples to have their own friends and to maintain friendships, apart from their partner. Having a girls’ night out or guys spending a day playing a round of golf can be beneficial in lots of ways. Although your partner should be your main confidant, being able to talk and laugh with your friends about work, the kids, or just life in general, can actually make you a better partner.
The best marriage partners are well-rounded individuals. Part of being well-rounded, means having friends. You and your partner may need to negotiate about how much time to spend with friends and when to squeeze this in. It might mean one of you taking turns or perhaps going out with separate friends on the same night.
Spending time with friends who are married and who are supportive of your marriage is important. If your friends talk negatively about your partner, spending time with them is not going to be helpful. Research shows that spending time with others who value their own marriage is helpful in supporting you in your marriage.
Friendships offer a variety of health benefits. Spending time with friends can actually lower your blood pressure. People who feel connected to others tend to sleep better, exercise more, and have a healthier diet. Who wouldn’t want that for their spouse?
Online chats and social media do not replace the “real deal.” Spending time on Facebook does not seem to offer the same results that spending face to face time with friends do. Online community can sometimes give people a false sense of spending time with friends however, it is important to build in some real time together with friends, and only use online communication as an additional means of conversation.
Communicate with your partner about how spending time with friends is helpful. Also discuss some of the potential consequences of spending increased time with friends and problem-solve how to deal with this. For instance, if you having lunch with friends on Saturday afternoon instead of doing your usual chores, how are you going to get the laundry done? Keep in mind that staying home and folding laundry is not likely to give you the same benefits as spending time with your friends. The next time your partner wants to spend time with their friends, consider how it can be a positive thing for them. Remember that when they are happier, they are likely to be a better partner.