The relationship between a husband and wife is both exclusive and complete. By its design, it can meet almost all of the emotional needs of the spouses, but that can be difficult.
One of the challenges for young people is their first exclusive dating relationship.
A major challenge for young people in their first exclusive dating relationship is managing that exclusivity.
The young couple is enthralled with each other and find more and more of their emotional needs met in their relationship. A great danger is for the couple to segregate themselves from their friends. The danger comes when they lose sight of their healthy need to engage in relationships outside of their dating relationship. Marriage can have a similar pull.
Being a husband, you should find the vast majority of your personal fulfillment in your wife and the activities that you enjoy together. You share a life with this woman, you share everything. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, you are living in total, complete connectedness. This is even more true if you are raising children together. Your life is full of communication and connection.
While your wife is able to meet most of your needs, and she, yours, it is wise to actively seek out other couple friends. Having relationships with people in a similar state in life can be a tremendous benefit to your marriage and it can also provide many mutual benefits.
First, you have a sounding board. When you have a difficultly at work, you probably turn to your wife to see if you are wrong. When you and your wife have a disagreement, her objectivity could be called into question. If you have some really close couple friends, you could bring them in and get some outside advice. They might have also been in a similar quarrel and could share some tips as to how to successful navigate the situation.
Next, they can provide quality relational interactions. If you’ve ever babysat for a young child, you know just how draining giving your full attention to a single person can be. With couple friends, you don’t have to overwhelm your wife with your emotional needs. Perhaps one of your needs is to go to a sports game or watch a war movie. If you have great couple friends, you can arrange for the husbands to hang out and the wives to hang out and do something they each enjoy.
Finally, good couple friends can provide opportunities to share the joys and challenges of the married life with. Being married is hard, especially being happily married. You may find people trying to pull you down because they are envious. Having great couple friends can reaffirm the good of marriage and remind you that there’s nothing wrong with living an authentically Catholic marriage.
In order to find good couple friends, you must be proactive. Engage in Church activities and local young adult outings. When you find them, hold on tight. You’ll both be glad that you did.