Why our partners matter most to us

Why our partners matter most to us

Our most important relationships are not with blood relatives but with partners and friends

Irish Times Sat, Mar 21, 2015, Kate Holmquist

In a stressful and fast-changing world, who do we rely on? The Family Values survey, conducted by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of The Irish Times, shows that our partners are the most significant people in our lives.

For people in relationships, partners are the people we spend most time with outside of work, the people we are most likely to share a problem with, and the people we say have, except for our parents, had most influence on our lives.

Friends are generally the next most important people in our lives. Nineteen per cent of us spend most of our time with a friend, and 18 per cent of us are most likely to share a problem with a friend.

For those not in a relationship, friends are more important than any family member. Thirty-nine per cent of single people name a friend as the person they spend most time with, and more than a third of single people say they are most likely to share a problem with a friend.

When these figures are broken down by gender, however, we begin to see that, within relationships, men rely more on women than women do on men.

That is the “grand statement” that Brendan Madden, a relationships expert and psychotherapist, believes the research is making. “Men need to reach out to each other, and women who are already good at reaching out need to pass their skills on to the men in their lives.”

Emotional support

The Family Values survey shows that married men and men who live with their partners seek social and emotional support from their spouses or partners more than women do.

“Men and women are very …read more

Original post: Family Therapy Association of Ireland