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How Friendship Helps With Love Friends Can Help You In Your Romantic Relationships By Cherie Burbach Friendship Expert

Many married people say that their spouse is their best friend. Learning to get along and support one another is something you can learn through friendship with other people.
In Support of Your Relationship
Even if your spouse is your best friend, having an outside group of friends helps take pressure off your spouse to be "everything" to you. Men and women react differently to things, so there are some things you'll find easier to talk to with a friend than a spouse. Having a variety of people in your life will prevent you from being desperate for time with either your friends or your spouse. You should be able to approach both with a healthy level of self-esteem.
Friends are also a wonderful source of support for your marriage or relationship. If your marriage is going through a rocky time, your friends can be a sounding board and allow you to vent in a safe environment, especially if they're great at listening and can allow you to reach your own decisions.
If your marriage is under attack by other people or rumors, friends can build you up and keep you strong for each other.
Treating Your Partner as They Want to Be Treated
The greater variety of friendships you have, the more you see that no two people are alike. What seems like support to one friend may be intrusion to another. What seems like a good boundary for one friendship may go too far for a different friendship. Each set of friends is different.
This helps you in marriage as well. The longer you're with someone, the more you'll figure out what appeals to them. A great resource for this is the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Chapman offers a number of books and resources (buy direct) around his principle that each of us have a "love language" which include:
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
What this means is that everyone tends toward a certain area that they relate to better than another area. For instance, if one spouse enjoys words of affirmation, she will appreciate love notes and telling her she's special. Another spouse, however, might appreciate someone who does the dishes without being asked, or volunteers to run an errand for their spouse.
The more you're able to see the differences in your friends, the more you'll pick out their "love language," or the way you can make them feel most special. Some friends feel needed and cared about when you ask them for favors, while others feel put upon, for example. Getting to know the differences can help you build a stronger romantic relationship as well.

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