The Benefits of Couple Friendships

Do you and your husband have “couple friends” (i.e., couples you and your spouse socialize with as a couple)? When was the last time you spent time with them?

Friendships with other couples provide fellowship, but did you know that couple friendships are an important contributor to overall marital wellbeing?

I’ve always appreciated the couple friendships my husband and I have. We enjoy hanging out with our couple friends and we share meaningful fellowship with them. I recently came across research that indicates fellowship is only one of many benefits provided by couple friendships. In fact, researchers believe that couple friendships are an important contributor to overall marital wellbeing.

How couple friendships benefit couples

  • Opportunities to look and act your best. When you’re spending time with your husband, especially if you’re at home or if you have kiddos tagging along, you may choose to wear clothing that is more comfortable than flattering. Moreover, you may choose to do what is more comfortable (e.g., slouching in your chair, belching) than attractive. When you’re spending time with friends, even if you have them over in your own home, you’re more likely to take time with your appearance and check your behaviors. If your husband is anything like mine, he’ll notice and appreciate the change.
  • Insight into marriage relationships in general and your marriage in particular. Watching couple friends interact can deepen your understanding of the differences between men and women. You can observe how other couples encourage one another and how they communicate about differences. Your observations can act as a mirror, allowing you and your husband to see and understand your own interactions more clearly. (Observing other relationships can be risky because you may feel tempted to cast judgment or get caught up in comparison. These do not benefit you, so be sure to guard against them!)
  • Advice and assistance. Couple friends often provide practical help. They can help you pack when you move, lend you cookbooks, and provide advice on home maintenance. Of course, friends who aren’t couples can help in these ways, too. However, there are some situations where couple friends are better suited to help out. For example, they may be able to provide suggestions for splitting holiday time between your families and they may be willing to lend you that marriage book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Camaraderie. You can have wonderful friendships with individuals who face different situations than you face and who are in different stages of life. However, there are special senses of familiarity and solidarity that can develop with friends who share experiences in common with you. Given the number of experiences that are common to marriage relationships, it’s natural to find these deep, meaningful friendships forming among couples.

I always want to spend time with couple friends because I enjoy the fellowship, but on occasion I hesitate when making plans because I wonder if there isn’t something “more important” I need to see to. The knowledge of how couple friendships benefit marriage helps me put the significance of time spent with these friends in perspective.

How did you meet your couple friends? In what ways have these friendships benefited your marriage?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Motivation Monday, Shine Blog Hop, Wifey Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Wedded Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Monday’s Musings, Works for Me Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Making Your Home Sing, Living Proverbs 31 & Titus 2sday.

Comments

  1. Charlotte Thiel says:

    Our best couple friends are our daughter’s in-laws. That is the parents of her husband and the parents of his wife are good friends. I have never heard a lot of this happening so it seems a little weird to think of it but it works and I think they are blessed to have it so. They don’t have to choose sho to see for an event–they can have us both, and therefore see us more often. Many times after baby’s bedtime we babysit so the parents can have a little time out with their couple friends or alone. We usually spend the time watching tv, or having it in the background while we play a card game we all enjoy. We also go camping together. I will be helping her when she has surgery. They helped us recently when we had a major landscaping job to do. I really enjoy having them as friends and family.

  2. We’ve always had a lot of “couple” friends throughout our lives. It’s been a major source of both fun and learning for Robert and me.

    In this season of our lives we have “couple friends” in various areas – business couples we spend time with who we share similar life styles/ in our church family we have a large group of older couples we spend time with (married 40+years) – and the most intriguing friendship growing right now is with our adult son and our daughter-in-love…

    I agree completely with your recommendation to nurture and foster relationships with other couples. There’s so much power in a group of people with strong marriages!

  3. This has always been a priority to me and my husband, but sometimes it’s hard to find a couple that we “click” with. Recently, we’ve been cultivating a couple of new “couple” friends and are enjoying discovering more about ourselves and these new friends. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shannon. I’ve not visited your site before but found out about you through Kendra’s Living Proverbs 31 link up. I hope to visit you again soon!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Beth,
      I’ve heard a number of my peers echo your sentiment–that it’s difficult to find friends with whom they “click.” I’m glad you and your husband are having some success!

  4. I just wanted to stop by and let you know I featured this post as one of my “Friday Favorites”. You can check it out at http://wifethenmama.blogspot.com/2013/07/you-know-you-are-infertile-when.html

  5. I agree 1000% about couple relationships and friendships. Often the challenge can be finding couples that both spouses enjoy and can relate to. We have been blessed to usually have at least one or two in any given season. They DO make a tremendous difference! Great post!

    • Hi Pam,
      We, too, have struggled to find these couple friends. As you say, though, it makes a huge difference to have these friendships.

  6. Great points! My husband and I both have friends, but unfortunately we don’t really have many couple friends…

    • Hi Brittany,
      The friends you have independently of one another are very important, too! There is just something special about being friends with other couples. Perhaps at some point you’ll be able to form a few of these couple friendships.

  7. Great post, Shannon. I know of one couple that is staring down divorce right now and I know that couple friendships were not part of their lives. I think the wife would have loved to cultivate them, but her husband had his own set of buddies and didn’t want to expand to include others. It’s so crucial to the health of our marriage, though. I love all of your points–very wise and insightful. I do hope this article makes a difference in the lives of those who haven’t considered this important piece to the “marriage pie.” It’s a delicious piece too! 😉

    • Hi Beth,
      These friendships certainly do enrich our marriages! Sometimes we do have to look beyond our current circle of friends to form these couple friendships, but we don’t have to lose our current friends. We’re adding friends, not replacing them.

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