Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Top 3 Reasons Why Friendships Save Your Relationship

I once saw a client who would get furious when her husband left her on the weekends to hang out with his buddies. I could empathize with her because of her natural feelings of loneliness and fear. She struggled with not feeling like a priority when her partner chose beer and his buddies over quality time with her. While I don't advocate spending every weekend with your friends due to the obvious hurt it causes your partner, there is something very special and necessary about friend time in a marriage, or any relationship really. Here are 3 reasons why it's important for you to have time with your friends apart from your partner:

1. Girl talk and guy talk are two very different (and necessary) things. They don't want to talk about "The Bachelor" and we don't want to listen to them argue over sports. Yes, I am being highly stereotypical (and heteronormative), of course there are women who love sports and men who love reality TV, but I am speaking in general here. There are some topics best discussed between women, away from men's ears. And there are some things that men talk about that women cannot relate to simply because they are not men! For same-sex couples, there may be a gender difference in regards to friends, but the message is the same: friends are needed to share things that perhaps your spouse isn't interested in, be in hunting, gardening, painting, Game of Thrones....whatever!

2. Being apart makes love grow stronger. When you are home and she is out with her girlfriends, there's a nostalgia that builds. You both experience what it's like to be alone and if it's the right relationship, after awhile you miss each other. Especially if you're hit on by a creepy guy or spend the night listening to your single friends bemoan the dating scene. Suddenly you see your same-old, perhaps taken-for-granted spouse, in a whole new light.

3. You get relationship advice. Whether you're getting coffee with your girlfriend who's been married 10+ years or dinner with your buddy from college who vows to never settle down, they offer a different perspective on whatever issues, good or bad, that you are currently dealing with in your relationship. Friends offer hugs when you share you're pregnant, smiles when you laugh over messy spouses, and empathy when you are recovering from a bad fight.

Friends also offer a different kind of support than your partner, no matter how wonderful they are. While double dates and mutual/couple friends are also an important part of growing a life together, there is something to be said about spending the day with that one friend who knew you before you were a "we." For both men and women, that's a special thing. Don't take that away from each other. Balance "we" time, alone time, friend time and family time. Because too much of anything is not a good thing, even with the person you love.