Who belongs in your relationship? What a question! Does your best friend belong? Does your mother or sibling belong? How do you value their opinions? You decide. There are some that say that these influences are interfering and some that say that they are the sounding board for their frustrations. Which is it for you? How do these loved ones influence your decisions, thoughts or feelings about the one that you love? What power do you give them over how you feel about the person that you decided to spend your life with? Think about that.

Each and every one of us needs a person that we can vent to. We need a friend or confidant that will just listen to us. This venting helps to keep us from hurting the one that we love and keeps us from hurting ourselves. Let’s look at why this is important.

Intimacy between you and your loved one is an intimacy rarely shared with another. When times get tough (and they will), who do you turn to? It is a fallacy to believe that we only need our partner in order to have intimacy. We all need someone that is outside to talk to. If you do not have this then there is no wonder that you sometimes feel trapped.

I have a best friend and my husband has a best friend. We make time for those friends in our life and that time is precious to each of us. My dearest spends time with his best friend on Saturday afternoons. They go to lunch together and then go to the local cigar shop to smoke a cigar and “shoot the shit” together. This time is so important to him. When we started dating, I told my wonderful man that this needed to happen. I made a promise to him then that I would do my best not to interfere with this time. Have there been events that have prevented this from both sides at times? Yes. His best friend has had things that have come up and so has my husband. Life happens. They still meet on Saturday each week that they can and I am so grateful! I am grateful that my husband has a friend that he can spend time with and relate to. It is a fabulous gift for him and in turn it is a fabulous gift for me.

I spend time talking to my best friend on the phone and schedule time together to spend with her. She is my sounding board and I am hers. What those friendships do not do is interfere with the intimate relationship that we have with our spouses. Neither my friend nor my husband’s friend make decisions about our relationships with each other. Yes..we talk but we do not expect those friends of ours to tell us what to do with our relationship. We both have great friendships.

Recently, I watched on social media as person after person told people what to do with their relationships. I caution you. Do these people actually know who you and your husband are? Who are you giving your trust to? What do you hope to accomplish when you share your most intimate issues with these strangers? Are you letting these people who do not know you to guide you? Careful. There is still something to be said for privacy. Some stranger could tell you to end your marriage based on one of your rantings. Make sure that your venting place is with a trusted friend or a professional.

Master Relationship Coach
Kari Petruch