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Friendship Is Important In Saving Your Marriage
It seems like a simple enough concept, but it’s one of the aspects of marriage that takes its toll first. Whether this is due to neglect or is done on purpose probably depends on the individual couple.
But how it happens in the end is not important. The fact that this is happening is a truly sad thing.
what am i talking about Friendship. Research on marital relationships shows that for the vast majority of couples, the most important goal is to make sure that their spouse is their friend—and that he or she is their partner’s friend in return.
That makes sense. Mothers have been telling their daughters this since the beginning of time. “Everything else, good looks… sex appeal… doesn’t matter unless you and your husbands are friends first and foremost.
It is not surprising that when marriages are young and relationships are healthy, most spouses recognize this friendship factor. In fact, it may surprise some women to learn that men actually describe their women as their best friends more often than women.
If you can nurture – or revive – this friendship, then there is no doubt that your marriage may indeed still be salvageable.
What is this friendship really about?
However, in order to become a friend, you must really know what a friend is. If you asked a dozen random individuals what exactly a friend is, you’d get a dozen different answers.
But generally speaking, a friend is a person you can relax with, talk to about your feelings and dreams, and a person who is there when times get tough.
Friends are important to you – not only emotionally, but also physically. Research shows that your friends can actually provide you with a much-needed buffer during some of life’s roughest times. Those individuals who have at least one good friend are better off in almost every conceivable way—including their mental and physical health.
Studies show that the most powerful aspect of friendship is the feeling of intimacy and connection with the other person. Men and women approach this aspect differently.
And this approach can sometimes lead to misunderstandings. Women share with friends during face-to-face communication. They put all activity aside while discussing problems.
Men on the other hand tend to talk and share their feelings when they are doing something else.
In marriage, friendship is about listening to your partner’s heart as best he can share it. And that can take many forms. This means that creating these friendships is unique to your marriage.
Your job is to learn to listen carefully to what is in your partner’s heart and soul. Then you can share what’s in yours. Sounds pretty simple, right? So what could go wrong? A lot in today’s high-speed world.
First, let’s look at the question of time. All too often, maintaining your friendship with your spouse takes a backseat to such events as work, your children’s needs, dates, and a host of other things.
Sometimes a friendship slips because of a distorted view of it. Listen to this shift in attitude. Eighty percent of engaged and newlywed couples say their partner is their best friend. In theory, you would expect these bonds to tighten over the years.
However, those couples who have been married for some time are considered “just married”. They no longer identify as friends first – or friends at all for that matter!
However, marriages in which spouses recognize and nurture initial friendships are among the strongest and longest lasting.
When The Talking Stops
One reason for this view is that as time goes on, spouses simply stop talking to each other as friends. They seem to put off their “friendship talk” and only discuss problems or issues in their marriage. You are cheating yourself of the intimacy you so willingly shared.
Let’s take this idea a step further. Many individuals in a marriage end up building a wall around themselves. And you can easily understand it – even if it is a harmful action.
After all, it’s hard to share your hopes and dreams with someone you’re currently angry with or have a strong disagreement with. We talked earlier about the habit of some partners to interpret everything you say in a negative light. Who will bare their soul only to have someone stick a knife in them in the fight they will have next week? Why give your husband more ammunition?
If there is an ongoing argument between the two of you over some issue, the chances of you sitting down and talking about other topics are extremely low.
For example, consider this potential situation. You’re engaged in a great friendly conversation with your partner when the topic somehow turns to a household problem that ends in an argument.
Chances of starting another round of friendly conversation have probably gone down. Now you fear that the conversation could turn sour at any moment without warning. And I can’t say that your fear is unfounded in this case.
Now, how can I keep my friendship?
Great friends ask each other. Great friends get together to chat. Great friends stay in touch.
Some parts of this answer may seem hopelessly simplistic. Some of these suggestions are easy enough to offer quickly. But be aware that implementing them can be much more difficult.
If time to talk is a problem for you – make time. I know a couple who chat early in the morning with the first cups of coffee in their hands. And they sit there and rant about anything they can think of.
This habit simply started for them. For a while, the husband needed to get up at 4:30 to go to work at 5:30. Apparently the woman didn’t have to get up that early. But she did it because it was the only time they could find without the interference of the children to talk to each other.
This marriage could easily have started to fall apart at this point. Instead, it intensified as they enjoyed their special time together.
Unbeknownst to them, this couple was protecting and preserving their friendship. Research now shows the importance of this action. Making time to nurture your friendship is one of the key investments you can make in your marriage.
That’s important. Look for time. Create special times to do this. Whether you wake up earlier, stay up and talk later, or create a date for this type of conversation, it’s worth the effort.
However, there is one more step you need to take. And in some marriages, that can be a huge leap. Some couples find that conversations about friendship always end up as “disagreeable conflicts” about domestic matters. Don’t let that happen.
If you have to set up “rules of the game” to prevent this, by all means do so.
Friendly conversations will deepen and strengthen your marriage
When you do, you’ll find that your friendship conversations deepen and strengthen your marriage. In this way, you provide the necessary infrastructure to survive the conflictual conversations that will inevitably arise.
If you wake up early in the morning to renew your friendship, don’t spoil this time with potential conflict issues.
Do not consider this avoidance; think of it as smart planning. Your relationship will be all the stronger.
Sadly, some couples are so far removed from this idea that they have no idea where to start with these “friendship conversations”. If this describes your marriage, don’t give up on the idea. It may take some work, but it can definitely happen.
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