Better than family
Friends often give us what the family cannot give. We can talk with them about what is taboo among family members. “Friends don't blame,” said Sarah Harrison, 47, a mother of two who recently remarried. I could confess to my best friend that I was cheating on my husband, but it never occurred to me to tell my mother about this. ”
As Dr. Rubin points out, our friends often serve us as a more accurate mirror than a family whose members tend to see us as we were before rather than as we have become.
“Sometimes, says Dr. Rubin, friends fill in the voids in our lives, replace parents or brothers and sisters, whom we lack to make our development more harmonious.” “I believe that friends outside the family are very helpful in providing an opportunity to defuse tense relationships between spouses,” adds Dr. Rubin. Friends can give us everything from a feeling of spiritual closeness to a different view of things, even tenderness, which is lacking in marriage. ”
The role of friends in the lives of those who are isolated, for example, the elderly, is especially great. A study of the health effects of forced resettlement on older people by researchers from Yale University revealed three factors that help sick old people endure difficulties: children living less than 50 miles away, faith and participation in religious services, and at least two friends. Another study showed that close friends to a greater extent support a sense of well-being in an elderly woman than even marriage, children and grandchildren.