The relationship between a husband and wife can be very fragile. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but, the people closest to you are the one’s who hurt you the most. That isn’t because our loved ones choose to say or do hurtful things; no, it’s because we tend to take to heart the things our loved ones say or do. Everything hits closer to home with them. We know more about them than we do anyone else and, over the years we’ve grown to have certain expectations of them. That can be a bad thing or a good thing depending on the circumstances.
My question is, how important is it to be friends when you are in a relationship? Honestly, to me this question is a no-brainer. On a scale of 1-100 the importance of being friends is 100! No doubt. Unfortunately the friendship factor in most marriages slowly goes downhill as the years go by. Love turns into tolerance, fun turns into responsibility, conversation turns into business, time turns into a schedule and before you know it you’ve turned into business associates instead of having a loving relationship between two best friends.
We all know the command to love our neighbor, but the “like factor” is what keeps us together
I recall how things were with my husband in the two years before we married. We spent lots of time together. We went out, we had fun, we went on spur-of-the-moment road trips to wherever. Granted, we didn’t have children and we weren’t living together, so things were different. Once we married, things changed almost in the blink of an eye. We didn’t spend much time together at all. We were working for the same company (different departments) and somehow even that seemed to cause us to draw away from each other. He spent countless hours working and would spend evenings with work buddies hanging out at the bar. I was, of course, infuriated because he used to spend his free time with me. I was number one and somehow I’d been demoted to 10. Like most people, I blamed the marriage. If we weren’t married things wouldn’t be like this.
We all know the command to love our neighbor, but the “like factor” is what keeps us together, and we didn’t like each other at all. We put up with each other because we wanted to give our marriage a chance. At the same time, we’d also had conversations where we’d discuss the possibility of divorce. We’d agreed that “if this doesn’t work out, we’ll still be friends. No hard feelings, we’ll just go our separate ways.” It seemed like the best option to simply split up, but saying we’d still be friends was foolish, because we weren’t friends anymore.
Renewing the friendship in your marriage (or even if you’re just boyfriend and girlfriend) will do wonders for your relationship.
Well, obviously we are still married and looking back I can see a number of reasons we were so terrible at being a good husband and wife, and one of those reasons was because the friendship had gone out the window. We loved because, well, technically we had to! We didn’t like each other at all and we weren’t friends anymore. We were just putting up with each other, perhaps because we’d both had a remnant in our minds of what our relationship was like before we tied the knot. Fun was real. We enjoyed each others’ company…we could be ourselves around each other. If you can’t be yourself around your spouse that is the number ONE sign that the two of you are not friends. Nobody should have to hide who they really are.
So, today, as you take account for the interaction between you and your loved one, ask yourself this, “Are we friends?” Look at the friendships around you. Sure no two friendships are the same, but certainly there are similarities that apply to all friendships; the ones I mentioned earlier: You can be yourself, enjoy each others company, have fun together…you know, friend stuff!
Renewing the friendship in your marriage (or even if you’re just boyfriend and girlfriend) will do wonders for your relationship. It will transform the way you’ve been looking at your loved one and help you to see them in a totally new light. A light that shines on all the qualities and characteristics that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
So, what do you think? Which is more vital? Friends or Lovers?