I can say with complete conviction today, after having been through it all — trials and errors, tears and despair — that the strongest long-term relationship is the one that is based on friendship. A true, genuine friend is the best partner you could ever have. Just like Joseph Campbell said, “Love is a friendship set to music.” And friendship in marriage is a blessing.
The mysterious partner, the knight in shining armor, the lost babe in the woods…all of this is a load of nonsense popular culture has fed us. The perfect partner does not exist and you are inviting disappointment if you think you are blessed enough to find one. Movies and songs might endlessly obsess over love at first sight, but we all know that’s not how things happen.
Friendship in marriage is not romanticized, but it is the best blessing one can get. Over the years I have grown more and more grateful about the fact that I have a relationship based on friendship, or a ‘friendship marriage’ if you will.
Importance Of Friendship In Marriage
I married for love once and it was a huge mistake. It was long-distance and when we finally did get married, we were strangers. Sure we both tried, but somewhere the expectations of what a partner should be like, never let either of us drop the mask. Better sense prevailed and we parted ways.
It was a difficult time and friends were my solace, my warm space. I am so lucky to have a great set of friends. We have lost parents, jobs, and dealt with failed marriages; but this gang of friends is rock solid. We love each other, judge prospective partners, but finally support each other’s decisions. Maybe it was thanks to our bond that I started thinking about the importance of friendship in marriage.
They made me think that if I ever get into something serious, it will have to be with someone who is a friend. And so, my friend became my husband five years ago. I am truly lucky to be one half of a best friend couple.
Related Reading: Platonic Relationships – Rare Or Real Love?
Why marry your best friend?
He was a friend who never judged me. A pal I spoke to everyday…who did not agree with everything I said, but could agree to disagree rather well. He knew me inside out, and vice versa. Both of us had had failed marriages, so we were not ready to rush into anything. We were going with the flow and became best buddies.
As you grow older, more independent and become more of your own person, it’s tougher having a new friend. We tried and it worked because we worked at it ceaselessly. Putting in continuous effort is vital for any relationship to thrive. You don’t ‘get’ a connection, you ‘build’ one. Hard work is essential for marriage and friendship.
We had fewer complications because we were not colleagues, our families didn’t know each other, and neither of us was looking for a free meal ticket. We hung out together as good friends who liked being together. That doesn’t mean, however, that we were joined at the hip or didn’t hang out with other friends without each other. We just liked talking to each other before, during, and after an evening with other people!
Not romantic mush, but about something we saw, heard, ate or smelt…it couldn’t wait till after the evening ended. What is surprising is that even after so many years of being together and being married we still like sharing. The friendship in marriage has sustained itself.
A relationship based on friendship
When you are genuine friends, somehow, the relationship expectations drop. I don’t have to cook because I am the wife, he doesn’t have to always pick up the tab because he is the husband. There are no ‘this is how it “should” be because that is how others do it’ in our relationship. Of course we fight, but then, don’t friends also fight? The clingy, demanding vibe is what we run miles from in our couple friendship.
We are together because we want it that way. Our friendship marriage means that we have each other’s backs and that gives us the confidence to take on anything in the world. There are evenings we barely talk to each other because one of us is listening to music, while the other could be working; but then we could also spend the entire night talking and singing, because that’s what feels right.
Being with someone where you do not need to be on your guard, politically correct, or impeccably dressed is quite something — it’s freeing. This is why friendship in marriage is so precious. It gives you the freedom to be unapologetically yourself.
Related Reading: How To Get Over A Friendship Breakup
A best friend couple rocks!
It’s of paramount importance to enjoy and cherish the friendship. Romance is not just about candle light dinners, it’s also about helping each other cope with a parent’s ill health. It’s about watching comedies in your pajamas all Sunday, it’s about going for a walk by yourself to clear your head and coming home to a hug and hot chocolate…and a barrage of questions peppered with lame jokes. Friendship after marriage is simply blissful.
When you’re in it for the long haul with your best friend, you’d love a weekend at a friend’s empty pad as much as a five-star holiday; you treasure a hand written poem as much as a solitaire ring… It’s about the two of you and not what people want. The importance of friendship in marriage is immeasurable.
So if you find someone who can wink at you across a crowded room and make you want to run out into the rain with them…you are one hell of a lucky person. That bond of couple friendship is precious. And that friendship in marriage will be just as wonderful. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…marry your best friend!
It can survive without friendship, but it thrives better with friendship. A better level of understanding exists between partners who are friends. They get along more easily and resolve conflicts smoothly. Marriage and friendship are like peanut butter and jelly — good by themselves, but excellent together.
There are many ways to become friends with your spouse. The best way is to communicate meaningfully and effectively. Be honest with each other, and don’t take things personally. Spend a lot of quality time exploring what the other likes. Many couples succeed in cultivating friendship after marriage.
The answer to this is a ‘Yes!’, if you guys are compatible and share the same values. It’s a good idea to marry your best friend, but don’t marry them JUST because they’re your bff. Get it? Friendship in marriage matters, provided you have the other things (compatibility, attraction, affection) sorted out.