Sunday, March 9, 2014

Married and Friends: The exclusive we vs. inclusive we

So looking over the idea of friendship and marriage with a good friend it came to a point is there a point where in the relationship with your significant other and yourself there becomes a boundary. We have been friends for years and were more at one point but never crossed any lines while being in other relationships outside of friendship. We discussed feelings that have been there and came to terms with how our friendship is based on decisions we made in our lives, she is married as well as myself. I discussed wanting to be friends with her husband and likewise she become friends with my wife. She told me that her husband would want nothing to do with me in terms of friendship but my wife would have no issue with being friends with her or in general of meeting with her in a social aspect. This led me to think is there an exclusive we and inclusive we in marriage and in dealing with friendship.

With my wife and myself whenever we have friendships they mostly become mutual friends. We created a bond as friends so we share friendships of others in our lives. We believe in the inclusive we in our marriage because its easier for us to trust one another when we have met and understood the friendships and bonds we made before we became united. Lessons have been learned on my end when I would have an exclusion from her because then there is trust issue that arose in our friendship and marriage. I do not like to hide things from my wife because she is an understanding woman. I know there are a few friends and acquaintances she has not met who I've known for many years and some who are more acquaintances from work and daily life. I ask myself many times should I introduce this person who may not even be relevant in a few days... weeks.... or even months. I tell my friends all the time that it is easier to keep short term dealings to a minimum with people and do not cause issues at home for something that will not have a positive outcome when you bring it up at home. My 3 cents on this type of relationship is that it can be the better option for ease. Will this always work for everyone of course not. You have to make time to get to know other people and have to find a balance to still spend time with your original friends. The other option would be to be far more exclusive in choice with friendship.

The exclusive we friendship in marriage deals with your friends are your friends and my friends are my friends. My friend I spoke of at the beginning of this is far more into that choice. I think that this type of relationship is not the healthiest but it works for their marriage and keeps them sane. Do I think this can cause issues down the road when there is a friend who is an innocent friendship cause arguments because the amount of time spent talking to that person? I honestly do think that this will make things more difficult to explain and make some circumstances look like it is deceptive. My 3 cents on this type of relationship falls into the category of know your mate. If you know you can trust your mate with another person, male or female, and know that there will not be issues with them spending time with another person it will be ok. Be cautious in doing this because you never want to lose connection or miss opportunities to learn more about your mate. The friends they have many times can tell you more about that person that you did not know in just observing their interaction and what makes them smile or become sad with certain friends.

So to my readers I leave you with this.... where do you feel the balance in the exclusive we and inclusive we can fall in your life? Do you think that one is better than the other? Can you imagine a life with not knowing your partners friends or a relationship where you share all friendships?

"Love the inclusion and respect the exclusion... you will find happiness in both"
DeAndre AkA Professor

1 comment:

  1. Different strokes for different folks. There is no one size fits all when it comes to marriage. This is where communication and building trust come into play. You definitely have to know yourself and your spouse when it comes to this issue. I can understand how some friends might be more exclusive than inclusive, especially if you have a friend that your spouse has bumped heads with or feels uncomfortable around.

    One or two exclusive friends is not an issue for me, but now if ten or fifteen friends could be another situation all together.