“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
E. B. White- Charlotte, "Charlotte's Web"
Friendship is vital to my life. It's vital to keeping a marriage healthy and strong. Good friends are the ones that know you, the ones you really let in. They take the time to ask how you are and they really listen to the answer. Good friends help when help is needed. They cry with you. They get really excited when good things happen to you. They know you and love you exactly as you are while consistently helping you to become a better person.
Outside friendships are so valuable to marriages. Girlfriends and "Man friends" can really enrich a relationship by giving spouses constructive space from one another and providing outlets for communication and support. When Jake and I dated, I ditched my girlfriends. I was immature and inexperienced and I learned my lesson. Now I find that my girlfriends often provide a listening ear, wisdom, and experience needed to keep my marriage in one piece. Jake needs his "man time" as well. I see more video games and sports than talking, but he tells me it's an important bonding time that helps guys connect and support each other. Jake and I often find the friendship of an older couple is also invaluable. They have more life experience and it's comforting to hear someone say, "Yeah, we've been there and this is how we worked it out." I feel people of my age forget that wisdom is something to be revered. I have learned that the friendship or mentoring of an older, wiser person helps me to make better decisions and be a better person and wife.
Some people think a woman and a man cannot be close friends. I disagree. I think women and men can have healthy friendships and still love and remain faithful to their spouses. I feel it takes a very deep level of honesty with one's spouse and one's self....and respect for one's marriage. If at any time your spouse feels uncomfortable, perhaps take a step back from the opposite sex friendship. Or if you at any time find yourself being attracted to your friend or confiding in them rather than in your spouse, it would be a good idea to admit these feelings to your spouse and take a step back from the friendship. Any one else have thoughts on this?
A good marriage relationship tool is to understand how to be a good friend and how to maintain friendships. Pursuing healthy and supportive friendships in our lives helps us to be balanced, understood, loved, and in turn teaches us how to support, accept, listen to, help, and understand others.
I encourage everyone to evaluate the people in their lives at some point. We can all get caught up with being busy and keeping in touch with everyone. I have found that it's good for me to understand that life changes and people change. Every once in a while I think about the people in my life and ask myself if I am being a good friend to them, if they are being a good friend to me, or is life's changes allowing us to drift apart? Sometimes I realize I have been letting my friends down and I need to work harder at making time for them. Sometimes I need to have a talk with a friend that I feel has hurt me. Sometimes I have to acknowledge that a friendship has run it's course and that it's ok to let that relationship go for now. It's helped me have more time for my friends and deeper relationships than if I was trying to be everything to everyone.
I am so grateful for the friends I have in my life. I know that I can turn to them and that they will turn to me. It is such a comfort when life's crap gets to me, to have a listening ear and someone to hug. It's wonderful to get to know so many great and unique and funny and fantastic people. Thank Ya'll!
*More baby blogs to come...I just needed a breather from thinking about it!