How to Handle Friendships in a Marriage

How to Handle Friendships in a Marriage

As a single person, friendships are easy to handle.

But, once you get married and committed to a person, you become more careful of your friendships and theirs. 

Your carefulness may take on a negative sheen that can affect your friendships and theirs. 

Therefore, you should learn to handle friendships in marriage to develop both positively.

One proper way to handle your friendships is to think deeply about your involvement with your ex. 

Generally, being friends with an ex will be stressful for your partner because of the intimate familiarity between you and your ex.

So, you should avail this stress by really considering if friendship with your ex is necessary.

Similarly, you can talk to your partner about your friendships and theirs. 

Talking to them will enable you to tell them why you are in the friendships and the benefits you derive from them.

Doing this will help your partner understand your need for friendships.

While talking with your partner, you can also set some rules about friendships with other people. 

Both of you should agree on the acceptable boundaries and the things that aren't allowed to be done with friends.

This will enable you to understand each other's limits concerning friendship.

You can handle friendships in marriage by using these tips:

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Think about a Friendship with Your Ex Carefully 

If your partner stays friends with their ex, it's expected that you will be bothered about what they are doing together when they are alone. 

Such fear comes from the previous intimacy between them and the chance of it getting rekindled. 

If you can feel that way, understand that your partner can also feel the same if you are friends with your ex.

Thus, if you want to handle friendships in a marriage correctly, you should be deliberate about being friends with your ex. 

If you believe your ex might still have feelings for you, you shouldn't be friends with them since they will be ready for every slip in your judgment to get back with you.

However, if you have both accepted that your relationship is over, you can be friends. 

You and your ex have to be comfortable with each other moving on and be able to communicate without any emotional charge for you to be friends.

Even after becoming friends because you no longer have feelings for each other, you must set certain boundaries.

Ensure that you regulate your communication time and frequency, reduce the amount of information you share, and desist from relying on each other emotionally.

Talk to Your Partner about Your Friendships 

Rather than shying away from friendships because of your partner's desires to have you alone, you should talk to them about the benefits of having friends outside the marriage. 

Doing this can help you handle friendships in marriage better.

Having friends can help you with being accountable in marriage. 

Since your friends aren't part of the marriage, when you tell them about the things happening in your marital life, they will be able to give you objective advice and keep you on track in case you are doing something wrong.

Also, your friends can be sources of encouragement for you in your different pursuits.

Although your partner is generally your number one motivator, it may be too tasking to expect them to be there at every point. 

Thus, having friends to also weigh in their encouragement will be helpful for your mental health.

And being in friendships with other people will help you feel a sense of community with multiple people that care about you. 

When you tell your partner all these benefits you stand to get from maintaining external friendships, they will be sure to understand your perspective.

Set Rules and Expectations 

To assuage your and your partner's concern about dealing with friends, especially the opposite sex, you can set boundaries and share expectations. 

With clearly defined rules, you will be able to handle relationships in a marriage correctly.

A general, effective rule to set is that if you wouldn't do something or say some words if your partner were to be present, you shouldn't do them in your partner's absence. 

This blanket rule helps prevent sneaky thoughts or actions covered with a lie of omission.

You can also share expectations, such as telling your partner about every outing with a friend. 

Doing this will help you and your partner know each other's whereabouts and company.

If you start hiding your outings, that may be suspicious.

Being thoughtful about the rules and expectations will help you and your partner create a reasonable list of things to not do with friends and things to remain private to both of you.

Don't Try to Control Your Partner 

If you want to reasonably handle friendships in a marriage, you should make sure you aren't controlling your partner. 

If you start controlling them and monitoring their every move, they may start doing the same to you, ensuring that you don't have peace of mind in your friendships.

Rather than trying to control who they become friends with, talk to them about any concerns you have. 

If you are worried that their friends can negatively influence them or hurt your marriage with them, talk to them about your feelings.

You can also try to know their friends better. 

This is helpful because you may have only judged them based on your first impression. 

But, if you sit with them and talk to them deeply, you may discover that things are not as you thought.

Moreover, you can accept their friends as part of their life but not your marriage. 

Doing this will require you to separate your partner from their friends, allowing you to respect your partner as their person without judging them based on their friends.

Understand that Some Friends May Have Feelings for You 

After hanging out with a friend for a while, it may be enough for some people to have feelings for their friend. 

Thus, it's not far-fetched that some of your friends may have feelings for you. 

To handle friendships in marriage properly, you need to learn how to deal with friends that have feelings for you.

The most important tip is to reduce communication with such a person. 

You don't want them to jeopardize your marriage because of their feelings for you, so you should try to keep them off.

If your friend has feelings for you, that relationship will be unhealthy because they may be giving subtle vibes for you to like them back.

And if your partner has noticed the feelings, try to reassure them that nothing will happen. 

When reassuring them, don't downplay your friend's feelings; instead, you should tell your partner that you will turn down any advances.

Conclusion

Maintaining friendships in a marriage can help you stay accountable to your marriage and enjoy support from your friendships. 

If you want to handle friendships in marriage properly, you should think deeply about staying friends with your ex, talk to your partner about your friendships, set rules and expectations, don't try to control your partner, and understand that some of your friends may have feelings for you. 

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September 27th, 2022

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