3 Things Your Real Friends Want For Your Marriage that Your So-Called Friends Don’t

BY: - 10 Jan '17 | Marriage

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There is one thing all my friends have in common. They all want to see me win in life and they especially want to see me win in my marriage. They are rooting for my family.  And they want this thing I have to last for a lifetime.

Their desire to see my marriage last has nothing to do with how they feel about my husband either. Sure, some of them have known him for as long as I have and they understand he’s a good man. But I have other friends who met him much later in life (and some who don’t know him well at all.)  And yet, they still want to see us go the distance.

It’s a blessing, really, because I know it’s not always like this. I know plenty of women who are surrounded by so called friends who aren’t rooting for their marriages. I know women with “friends” who just tell them what they want to hear all the time, never taking a moment to share what they really need to hear.

If you feel like you have to question whether or not your friends are supporting your union, below are a few things to consider.

Here are 3 things your real friends should want for your marriage.

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They want to see you experience joy.

There really is some truth to the old adage: misery loves company. People that can’t stand to see anyone too happy are working through their own issues and pain. But true friends, regardless of how things look in their lives, want to see you experience joy.

They want to see your marriage thrive. Seeing you happy makes them happy. Anything less would make me question someone’s friendship and her intentions. And a real friend doesn’t need to love everything about your spouse. They simply need to believe he is a good fit for you and that he brings out the best in you. That should be enough for her to find great joy in your moments of joy.

They want you to get help when you face challenges.

Show me a perfect marriage and I will show you two people that are lying to themselves. There is no perfect marriage, and trying to maintain the illusion of one tells me that you fear criticism from the people who should have your back.

When you share with a real friend that you are facing a rough patch in your marriage, she doesn’t secretly rejoice. A real friend makes recommendations about what you can do to get the support you need during your rough patch. She may recommend church, counseling, or some other form of help. And she does so from a place of compassion, not judgment. She wants you to know that trouble won’t last forever and that your marriage has a chance of surviving and thriving if you get help. That’s what real friendship is about.

They want to see you nurture your union.

Spending time with your girls is important. I try to as much as I can. Even if it’s just lunch or dinner, that quality time makes all the difference. But your real friends should understand that you also have to carve out time for your man. They should want that for you.

So when life gets crazy and you haven’t spent quality time with your man in months, your real friends understand that you are going to have to spend that free night with him instead of them. Not only do they understand it, but they encourage it. They want to see you nurture and strengthen your marriage and your family because they want the best for you. Plus, they know that as soon as things settle down, you will make time for them like you always have.

BMWK family, what do your real friends want for your marriage?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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What is Marriage Therapy Really Like? And Will Counseling Work for Us?

BY: - 10 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

My husband and I discussed the possibility of starting marriage therapy after reading several of your articles. We are excited about the possibility, but do not know what to expect. We have been married for 15 years now, but I do not feel that I know my husband well. In fact, I am not sure if I know myself well.

We argue over little things and are finding it more and more difficult to coexist under the same roof. I pleaded with my husband to attend therapy and he agreed. We want our marriage to work, but are anxious about this therapy thing. My husband does not believe in therapy, but said that he would participate if he finds value in it. I am concerned that he is going into therapy with a negative perspective.

He is very anxious about sharing information. I want to reassure him that therapy will help us, but I do not know enough. We do not know anyone who has attended therapy. Please help me. What is Marriage Therapy Like?

Thank you,

A Hopeful Wife

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Dear Hopeful Wife,

First, I want to commend you for taking action to save your marriage. I understand your husband’s concerns. Talking to strangers about personal issues can be anxiety provoking for most people. However, I can assure you that attending therapy is the best thing that you all can do to save your marriage.

Marital therapy is a process whereby a trained therapist, like myself, talk with you about your problems and helps solve them. The therapist will spend the first session explaining limits of confidentiality and gathering information from you and your husband.

Subsequent sessions will be used to develop a treatment plan that includes goals, objectives and outcome measures. Please keep in mind that marital therapy is designed to help both partners learn to function better as a team. Most therapists use a systems approach to address relationship dynamics with the primary focus being to help both members relate to each other.

I often remind couples that they cannot have a relationship without being able to relate. Communication techniques such as the Speaker-Listener and Five Secrets of Listening are taught to help couples understand the importance of resolving problems through effective communication.

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Marital therapy might also involve behavior modification. This type of therapy helps you and your spouse address and attempt to change dysfunctional patterns of behavior. Depending on what you and your husband present in therapy, sessions might focus on addressing unresolved issues that stem from the past or sessions might be solution-focused instead of problem-focused.

Through processing, you and your husband will learn how to promote and embrace accountability. This is important because hundreds of couples struggle because individuals fail to see or accept their role in creating or contributing to problems in their relationships. The therapist will help you and your husband strive to become more introspective and to be open to self-assessment.

Make sure that you find someone who is trained to provide marital therapy. Not every therapist is qualified to do couples counseling. Selecting the right therapist will significantly impact your experience. If you do not feel a connection with the therapist by the fourth session, revaluate the process and therapist.

Good luck with the conversation with your husband. Let him know that the both of you will spend time with a therapist who has both parties’ interest in mind. Also, let him know that what is said in therapy remains in therapy.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 191 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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