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Is friendship the secret of a successful marriage?

4 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 4.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Love and FriendshipMany successful marriages owe their happiness to friendship. This is something many don’t really understand, and yet, it could contain the most precious formula for a really close and happy bonding.

What is the difference between ‘love’ and ‘friendship’? Naturally, all friends love each other; but all lovers are not necessarily friends!! How do you test your relationship for the Friendship Factor? Here are a few simple guidelines.

Your conversation. Is it all about your relationship, your expectations of each other and what other couples are doing? Or does it contain a healthy mix of interest in each other’s work, lives and feelings? “How was your day?” in many couples becomes a “please don’t tell me all about your problems” kind of question, whereas among friends, it is a genuine enquiry, and reveals a willingness to listen, if the day was bad. Opinions are freely exchanged and differences argued out amicably among friends, but often couples go to battle over simple opinions and differences in approach. You must have come across couples who bicker over everything from their favourite cricketer, to his driving, to her tendency to spend too much money….often, the arguments become serious embarrassments to those present. These couples are NOT friends!

Power struggles. In marriage many people get into a serious power struggle, over money, the household, decisions and bringing up the children. If two friends were to decide to share a flat, what would they do? They would say “Right, here is where we divide our duties, you do this and I’ll do that”. Marriage needs a similar approach – don’t take anything for granted. Your father may have liked shopping for vegetables; your spouse may come from a family in which it was considered the woman’s domain…such a silly issue could actually become a stresspoint with you!! Can’t you just hear “I wouldn’t be seen dead buying vegetables” versus “You’re just a male chauvinist!”. It really helps to chat about your families, the way friends do, so you understand each other better. That way, each will understand where the other comes from much better.

Bad times. We all go through these. Financial worries; times of ill health; trouble with the old parents; work stress. Among friends, there is a lot of give and take, a genuine understanding of what the other is experiencing, a desire to help. To those who don’t share that, a spouse’s illness or problems is looked upon as a burden. “Oh she’s always falling sick and we never get to go out”, or “All he talks of are his work problems” are statements we shouldn’t really have to hear. There is nothing more touching than watching a couple share burdens, cheer each other up, say things like “Don’t worry, I’ll be there for you”.

Ego – the big destroyer!! In friendship, there seems to be more “you” than “I”. Losing an argument is not seen as a defeat. Helping out is not seen as “giving in”. Listening is something you do naturally. In marriage, often the “I” factor dominates. “But I wanted to go abroad this year”. “I don’t want to see his parents this week” . “When do I get to do all the things I want to do?” “What about MY feelings?” Considering it is ego that has caused most of the wars in this world, you would do well to keep it out of your marriage!

The funny thing is, when you spend more time trying to understand someone else, you open up an avenue of caring that is usually a two-way thing. Standing by your spouse, being loyal, listening, going out of your way to make him or her happy – all these come back to you. That’s when the friendship begins. Once that happens, your relationship will be infused with many moments of comfort and true companionship.

Here are a few things you can do to enhance your friendship:

Every now and then, ask each other things, as if you were total strangers. “Hey what do you think about such and such”, or “Tell me more about when you were a kid”…and then LISTEN!

Once in a while, each of you should do something the other wants to do. Watch her favourite serial. Go for his office get-together. Visit her slightly weird relatives. Learn about building model planes from him. Go to the beach because she loves it. Take a trek because that’s what he loves most. After a while, if there are things one is passionate about that REALLY don’t grab the other, you will probably learn to do your own thing, but never lose touch with each other. If you’re off to a kitty party while he spends the morning playing with gadgets be sure to compare notes at the end of it all!

Share a few new, enriching experiences together. A great way to bond is by embarking on an adventure together. The adventure could be a yoga or meditation class! Or it could be a trek in the jungles. Any small, shared experience that is new to both of you, and in which there is no expert versus rookie, is a great way to do things. It keeps your friendship fresh and lively.

Laughter is the single most healing, sealing aspect of any relationship. Make sure you have liberal doses of it. Don’t just laugh at jokes. Learn to laugh away really bad moments. Laugh at yourselves. Laugh when there is nothing else you can do in a tough spot. This is actually something you can work on, and you’ll be surprised at how easily it comes later on. Laughter also makes a person immensely attractive and likeable, and sharing a good laugh beats sharing a good pizza!!

People have a favourite saying – “Friendship is the language the deaf can hear and the dumb can understand” Very true. Friendship is also the fevicol that bonds a couple for life!!


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Responses to Is friendship the secret of a successful marriage?

  1. 1 kierra

    isnt it the reason why more friends last longer than lovers?

  2. 2 Srijit

    Wonderful article….specially liked the paras on “Ego” and “Bad times”.



  4. 4 Manjunath H.Lakshman

    yaa, really its very good to life.
    “today’s good girl friend is tomorrows life partner”.
    when we marry a good friend, we enjoy much in life, because we know everything about her activities, charector, and her habits. that’s why I told last sentence.

  5. 5 surekha

    A fentastic article…. The truth of many lives. Specially a learning for them who say ” I never thought of you in that sence” to their dear and best freinds when asked for becoming life partners……. May God make them wiser…..

  6. 6 seun

    i love this message, it is almost somerhing i really need to improve on my friendship attitude, but please can you give me something i can use as a single to hold my lady for long.
    plesae, this is very important and urgent.


    yours Faithfully

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