Men and women are wired differently and need male and female friends to relax with. In their book, Growing Great Marriages (Random House New Zealand, 2009), Ian and Mary Grant say that frustration will result if a couple isolate themselves from friends and rely solely on each other for companionship.
Female Friendship for Wives
Women think differently and it is good for them to spend an afternoon with a friend. Shopping and coffee dates are favourite pastimes. Females are able to follow several threads of activity at once and can enjoy browsing through a market while sharing issues that are troubling them.
Shopping with a lady friend is generally more fun than shopping with a husband. Men are hunters by nature and prefer to walk into a mall, choose the first shirt that suits them and then go home. Women can have fun with their friends, browsing through stores, comparing items and finally buying what they consider is the best choice.
Women also enjoy doing crafts or baking together. Many deep thoughts are shared over a pot of paint or a cookie tray. It is important to make time for these kinds of friendships.
Male Friendships for Husbands
Men enjoy companionship and friends but often prefer different pastimes than women. They tend to talk less and engage in more physical activities. These may include sports, fishing and hobbies.
Men thrive on physical action and an afternoon riding motorbikes through mud with a good friend can be exactly what they need. Others prefer to strip a car and rebuild it with a bunch of mechanically minded friends. The activity is not as important as the chance to enjoy male friendship and the freedom to indulge in activities that women often shy away from.
Friendships With Other Married Couples
This is a slightly different scenario where husband and wife enjoy a friendship with another couple. While they may meet in groups and do couple activities such as taking a day trip, sharing a leisurely dinner or playing tennis together, much of the communication ends up as male to male and female to female.
This type of friendship can be extremely beneficial to husbands and wives and is something to value. Couples of similar age and interests can often be found at social groups, sports clubs or churches.
Friendship is a vital part of life and while husband and wife should always be best friends, their marriage may become unbalanced if they do not also have friendships with people of the same sex. It is worth making an effort to cultivate these types of relationships.