Experts warn that distinguishing between friendship and marriage is critical for relationship success.
Do you consider your wife to be your best friend? You're very much mistaken. It doesn't mean your marriage isn't great; it's just an appreciation that, while friendship and marriage have some similarities, they are profoundly different relationships. Experts warn that confusing the two can end up causing far more troubles in your marriage than in your bonds of friendship.
"In most cases, our friends really aren't financially, lawfully, or contextually entwined with us. "Our friends are connected to us because they want to, whenever they want to," says Birmingham Maple Clinic marriage and family therapist Carrie Krawiec. "They have the freedom and authority to leave or take room from us when needed." Our partners are linked to our homes, families, schedules, and lives."
Understandably, marriage and friendship would be confused. Marriage is well-documented to be beneficial to an individual’s mental health, well-being, and durability, and friendship is no exception. Married people, on the other hand, rely less on social contacts than single people. But it's not because their partners have taken on the role of best friend; it's because everyone else has.
However, that is not the same as friendship, and misinterpreting one for the other can lead to marital conflict, according to Krawiec. Unreasonable expectations can be dangerous. Married men who expect their wives to be their best friends may form unrealistic expectations about how they should assist them and their judgements. A friend could easily be a man's cheerleader if he quit his job to continue pursuing a passion for carpentry. But what about his wife? She'll have some questions.
It is significant to mention that mistaking friendship for marriage will not always be detrimental to your health. According to one study, men who said their partners were their best friends were times as likely to experience high satisfaction with life. According to John Helliwell, a professor at the Vancouver School of Economics who led the research, this is likely due to men having fewer friends. And for people who don't have many friends, let alone a best friend, having a spouse becomes even more important for their health because that role may not have been filled otherwise. "That's how we came up with the notion that marriage is a kind of super-friendship,'" Helliwell explains.
But not a real friend, and remembering this could mean the difference between a happy marriage and a life full of disappointments. Go ahead and think of your spouse as a best friend who also happens to be financially and legally tied to you. But keep in mind that heaping best-friend expectations on your wife benefits no one.
A husband is a husband and a wife is a wife don't mix the two. It's not possible full stop.
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