When it comes to relationship woes and advice, we may need a special friend.
Friends are a very important part of a healthy life, but not all friends are good for your relationship.
We need friends for socialization, encouragement to do things we may be reluctant to do alone, sharing the highs and lows in life, venting our mutual frustrations, complaining about our families, jobs, and children.
Friends may help us to be more active, try new things, and be engaged in life. They may encourage us to take risks and set higher goals. They will also celebrate with us. Rarely can one person fulfill all of these needs. When it comes to relationship woes and advice, we may need someone special.
What kind of friend do you need when your marriage is in trouble?
Linda came to counseling to try to make a decision about her marriage of 5 years. She was a 29 year old recovering alcoholic with 3 years sobriety and it seemed that she was farther away from her husband Jake now than she had been when she was drinking. They both had high hopes when she went to treatment and committed to attending regular self help meetings to maintain her sobriety.
Jake did not agree to get help during her treatment and just wanted to get back to “normal”. Linda felt guilty about her addiction and didn’t want to push. The transition back to their jobs and daily routine was challenging for them. Linda went to meetings at least 5 times a week and spoke to her sponsor on a daily basis. It was difficult for Jake, but he tried to be supportive of her recovery.
When she reached two years of sobriety, they felt ready to start a family and were sure that having a child would bring them closer together. They had a healthy, happy little girl and Linda was absorbed in her new role as a mom. She worked part time from home and then went to 12 step meetings while Jake spent evenings with their baby.
Although he didn’t complain, Jake had a demanding job, a child, and in his mind, a wife who was never there for him. He felt neglected and it came out as criticism and brooding rather than communicating his needs.