Friendships are undeniably important to an individual’s health, longevity and wellbeing, but they can be equally important for the health and happiness of a couple. Just as a friend can provide a mirror to the self, another couple can provide a reflecting team that supports or impedes a relationship’s growth. Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships offers an important framework for helping couples to have conversations about their friendships with other couples and to enrich their own relationships. When couples agree about how to spend their time alone and with others, they are more likely to have a happy marriage or relationship.

Couple friendships have not been researched previously, despite their numerous benefits. Authors Geoffrey Greif and Kathleen Deal take an in-depth approach to this important topic. Based on interviews with more than 400 people--some of whom were interviewed with their partners, some who were interviewed alone, and some who have divorced--they find that couples fall into three general categories of making couple friendships: Seekers, Keepers, and Nesters. Drs. Greif and Deal discuss the different styles of interaction they've observed in couples as well as the findings from their research. Readings from their interviews illustrate what characteristics define Seekers, Keepers, and Nesters. Couples at any stage of their relationship will get a fresh understanding of how to seek, foster and sustain positive, healthy friendships.

chapter 1|22 pages

Two Plus Two

Couples and Their Couple Friendships

chapter 3|24 pages

Starting Out

Couples in the First Years of Marriage/Partnership

chapter 4|20 pages

The Middle Years

Couples Raising Families and Balancing Friendships

chapter 5|22 pages

Older Couples and Their Couple Friendships

chapter 8|13 pages

When Two Couples Get It Right

An Interview About 38 Years of Couple Friendship

chapter 9|12 pages

One Couples Group

A Possible Blueprint for Others

chapter 10|10 pages

Building Couple Friendships for the Future