You love your partner, right? Is your partner also currently your friend—your best friend, in fact?
If we define friendship as having characteristics that include:
- mutual understanding and compassion
- enjoyment of each other's company
- a sense of belonging
- the ability to be oneself
- to be seen as you are and accepted for it
- known at the core of your being
- listened to
- express one's feelings
- make mistakes without fear of judgment
- challenged gently and lovingly to help you be the best self you can be
- allowed and encouraged to grow and change
- be authentic together
- etc. (you add to the list)
Now that sounds like a happy marriage!
It goes well beyond the happy chemicals in the brain when you first fall in love (see last week’s post). It’s sustainable and sends you in an upward spiral of contentment and happiness.
If you’re already living a strong friendship in your marriage, terrific. If you have somewhat of a friendship, keep on doing what you are, and work on adding other of the attributes mentioned above. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of doing any of the things friends do, get after it—NOW.
Not to be a downer here, but people get into friendships at work, and then they get closer and closer—at times to the point of having an emotional affair. This includes intimate talks, hanging out together. Talking about things you don’t talk to your partner about, or talking to your friend before you talk to your spouse. Not having a physical relationship.
But if you’re not friends at home, some of those friends at work can turn into sexual affairs.
The best way to keep your relationship affair-proof is to be close friends with each other, be lovers, and then be all of your other roles. Keep the windows shut in the house of your marriage, and only you two use the door.
When you’re loved and best friends, see what happens. Let me know.