Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming

Global Resource Navigation

Give to UW
Download UW Viewbook
Visit Campus

University of Wyoming Extension

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

LIFE - Individual Growth and Development

Learning and Helping Strategies for Families and Friends of Couples

  • Take care of your own role model by
  • Prioritizing time together with your partner
  • Demonstrating affection and respect to your partner
  • Talking about things that strengthen your relationship (not bragging, just commenting)
  • Be available to listen to couple friends
  • Listen without judging who’s to blame
  • Listen without giving advice or taking sides
  • Listen and affirm your friend’s value (without having to agree with an opinion which may divide him or her from a partner—be an advocate for the relationship)
  • If possible, listen to both partners
  • Encourage them to talk to each other first—they need to be their own first line of problem solving and support
  • Encourage the couple not to give up—working at it is half the battle
  • Urge them to talk things out, using problem solving skills
  • Reflect on their actions from the other person’s viewpoint
  • Recommend that they spend five times as much time showing care and affection as they do in arguing
  • Encourage them to read and learn—especially about communication skills
  • Introduce couple friends to other couples or professionals who could encourage or assist them
  • Provide friendship which complements rather than competes or corrodes the relationship
  • Use time with one (or both) members to enjoy companionship and mutual support rather than dwell on the faults of a spouse or troubles of the relationship
  • Show respect and support for your friend’s (child’s, sibling’s) spouse—as if you were his/her best friend and wanted to bring the best out of him/her
  • Avoid meeting at times when your friend/relative has couple/family obligations
  • Discourage talk about alternative relationships or activities which compromise marital commitment (pornography, flirting, drunkenness, etc.: even though it’s up to each person to take care of their own relationship, it’s a lot easier when their friends are encouraging them to do the right thing)
  • In a spirit of caring, gently remind your friend of promises and accountability when he/she messes up in the relationship
  • Give couple friends gifts every once-in-a-while which help them build a strong relationship. For example…
  • Babysitting (for their night out)
  • Pictures (of their happy times together)
  • Practical items (tables, stools, cribs, etc.) from garage sales
  • Practical help (home improvement, lawn care) to teach skills and save money
  • Hospitality (dinner invitation or just listening)
  • Celebration (shared successes or events for one which affirm the other: "She couldn’t have done it without him behind her.")

Share This Page:

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Vimeo Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Accessibility information icon