I sat down and reflected on the various virtues that are often required in marriage. Things like compromise that I covered last week, patience, love, trust, faithfulness, loyalty and so much more. While ruminating on those, I could not help but think about friendship as a solid pillar in marriage. I would not want to call it a virtue but how many of us really understand the role of being best of friends with our partners. Let us leave out the love, the intimacy and all the sex... Friendship for me tops the chart. When you are friends indeed with your partner, all other things are no longer a struggle but a flow. So many times we hear people say when the love and passion wanes, it is the friendship that remains but how do we sustain a marriage with friendship that we do not possess in the first place. I know many of us will automatically say, " I am obviously best friends with my partner". In reality, does that ring true? Do you ever so often have any fight that starts with, "I cannot believe you did not tell me that" or "How could you have taken that decision without discussing with me first" or " I am sorry, I just did not know how to tell you"... to mention a few. If any of these sound familiar, then there just might be a lapse in the act of friendship in your home.
Now let us talk about the importance of friendship in marriage in real practical terms- It is friendship that makes it easy and not embarrassing in any way to tell your partner if there are some sexual dissatisfaction without fear of how the other party will take it; It is friendship that makes it easy to come home and tell your partner about a third party (whether male or female) that is taking an unusual interest in you; It is friendship that makes it easy to say to your husband how terrible this food you made turned out and you both sitting down to eat it in spite of that without having to make another batch; It is friendship that makes it easy to tell your wife about one hot dress, shoe or hair that some babes are rocking in your office and you're dying to see on her without it causing any fear of distrust; It is friendship that makes you sit, talk and laugh about a sexcapade that did not lead to orgasm; It is friendship that makes you give your partner your atm card and pin to go get some money without having to write him/her a cheque because of fear of loosing all your money or disclosing how much you are really worth; It is friendship that makes it easy to discuss your opinions and your feelings without fear of offense or condemnation.
I could go on and on but I am sure you get my point already. The place of friendship in a marriage is undeniable. That is the first thing that has to be established. Friends who will not think twice about telling each other the truth or having each other's back. Friends who realize that when push comes to shove, it is just two of them against the world. That is the kind of friendship that sustains a marriage. For some of you that think it is too late to start, when is it ever too late to make new friends? even when it is your spouse. The same way you make new friends everyday is the way you can start today to cultivate friendship with your spouse. Take it as a project to become friends, you can even make it more fun like you are just becoming new friends. Get to know each other more. Gist like never before. Share things and make jokes. Do not forget it is a lifetime of building we are in for. There is never a time of completion.
Let us live, love and learn for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted.