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If Your Partner Is Your Best Friend, Who Do You Turn to for Relationship Advice?

healthy relationships Sep 15, 2016

Relationships are hard work and come with a lot of questions and uncertainties. Some people warn women not to make their partner their best friend because then they have no one to talk to if they are having relationship trouble. Now what's wrong with that relationship advice? Seems to make sense on the surface but here are the fallacies:

If there is relationship trouble between the two of you and you can't sort it out with your partner or at least feel safe talking about what's going on with your partner, you have even deeper issues underlying that problem. You have a basic flaw in the communication and trust areas of your relationship.

One of our secrets was: Make Your Commitment to the Power of the Relationship. I suggest making that kind of commitment so that if there is a problem in the relationship, you will not feel like running out the door away from your partner to get away from the problem. Instead you will remember that the relationship is bigger than the both of you and you will at least both be willing to find a way to work it out.

The second thing wrong with that relationship advice is that it assumes you can have only one best friend. Friends wear different hats. I might not talk to my single friends about a problem in my relationship, but I will talk it over with a friend who's relationship skills I respect.

Many people don’t have the someone else in their lives and when things are rocky in their relationships, they may feel like they have nowhere to turn.

If you do find yourself looking for some relationship advice, be very careful. It is easy to find relationship advice all over the place. Magazines, books, the internet and other complete strangers will freely give their advice about all sorts of relationship issues. During my first really bad marriage of 15 years, people asked me for advice all the time. Now I know that's just the kind of person I am and has nothing to do with my relationship understanding at the time. I shudder to think what I might have told anyone at that time.

And, unfortunately, not everyone has your best interests in mind. They are trying to sell their magazine or book or some may even be trying to push their organization. Many churches and political organizations may offer free counseling services for people but you must keep in mind that they have very specific ideas and motives and they may be trying to convince you that your relationship should be the way they feel it should be or it is wrong, while this may be very different from what you truly want out of your relationship.

If you decide to hire a life coach or a therapist, don't be intimidated by their expertise. You are hiring them and you have the right to interview them – even on the success of their own relationships. I would think it strange for someone to hire me as a coach to help with their relationships if my own marriage was a shambles.

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