Research indicates this may be the case.
And I'm inclined to agree. Why? Because as much as people may love their family members, they don't have much (any) choice as to who their family members are. Family members often have diverging interests and, sometimes, unfortunate shared histories.
Friends are different. As the old saying puts it, "Friends are the family we choose."
In my mind, this research also has implications for marriage; I often tell engaged couples that marriage, when it is good, is only friendship plus intimacy. After all, most people choose marriage partners just as they choose their friends.
The research also indicates what I believe to be true: that disruptions in our friendships can often be more stressful than disruptions in relations with one's family.
Of course, as the article points out, people can have strong friendships with family members, too.
Read the whole thing.
[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]