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Marrying Your Best Friend

mail_image_previewAs far as I’m concerned, if you marry your best friend the chances are good that you’ll have a great marriage to look forward to. My formula for a great marriage is a relationship that contains three essential ingredients: romance, partnership and friendship. 

Romance speaks for itself. You have to have a good dose of passion and desire for the person you are committing to. You have to be ‘in love’ with him or her. If there is no fire between the two of you things might start getting boring. If the chemistry is there, and you’ll also know pretty quick when it’s not, you’ve got one out of three essential ingredients but not enough for an enduring marital relationship.

If you are scratching your head and wondering why romance isn’t a good enough reason to get married, think it through. When romance wanes for whatever psych-biological reason, there has to be more to your relationship. Let’s face it, just sex with no intimacy or partnership will eventually lose its luster. Romance is one of those features of a great marriage that works best in combination with a few other things. Keep reading.

Partnership in a marriage involves sharing the same goals.The usual ones are family, house, children, travel, and family business. Being able to work together toward something is important. This kind of direction in your marriage gives the relationship meaning. There is a bit of adventure that grows out of being good partners in a marriage.

The two of you don’t know how well you’ll succeed at whatever you have your minds set on. The fact that the two of you are willing to work together toward mutually agreed upon goals brings a healthy striving for accomplishment into your marriage. Partnership is very inspiring for a couple. Now you have two out of three. Still, you don’t have the three legs you are going to need to stand your marriage up and get the wobbling out of the relationship, so to speak.

Beyond romance and partnership we have friendship. Now friendship is where the ‘intimacy’ comes in. The closeness and getting to know each other part of your relationship. Friends have that one down pat.

Good friends get to know each other and the barriers to doing that are taken out of the way. True friendships establish and remain true to the following values: honesty, equality, freedom, and trust. The great thing about mixing friendship with romance and partnership is the introduction of these friendship values into your marriage.

I think friendship values are exactly what a marriage needs to last and weather the hard times. I’m always amazed at how many people divide friendships and their marital relationship. What tends to happen under these circumstances is you feel more relaxed and intimate with your friends than you do with your spouse. I think it should be the other way around.

If you can manage to integrate your spouse into your friendship group your marriage will get more intimate for sure. Now I don’t know how your friends will feel about that. Sometimes single friends are a bit envious about one of their own expanding his or her network by getting married. I suppose if your friends are serious about accepting the changes in your life, which obviously includes getting married, getting them to know your spouse would be one way of trying to keep everybody close.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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