Marry Your Best Friend
By Frank Kermit
One of the questions I ask couples in my pre marriage course is for each of them to name their best friend, and what makes that person a best friend. I want to know what it is that they value in that other person that merits the title of "best friend". Is it the fact that you can tell a best friend the entire truth and not fear abandonment?
Is it because you feel completely accepted by your best friend? Is it because you and your best friend shared certain experiences together that created a bond? Is it merely that your best friend, is simply the one that you have known the longest and is the only one left that you still regularly socializes with you.
It is a trick question.
First I want to see if the couple would consider each other the best friend of the other. Sometimes, one does, and one does not. In those cases, we have identified a place in their relationship that may need some added attention going forward.
Second, I want to see what a person's best friend offers that that person's partner does not. This is where I am looking for red flags (predictors of future problems in the marriage that we could neutralize right now before it ever becomes a serious matter).
For example, if someone feels they can tell a best friend anything, but does not feel that way with the person they are engaged too, that is a problem. What is going to happen when some kind of real crisis occurs? Are you going to call your best friend first in a time of stress instead of your spouse?
What if the stress has to do with a crisis within the boundaries of your family (such as a child is waiting for a diagnosis, a massive debt was incurred, or intimacy blocks have settled in that your partner feels shame about)?
Will you go straight to your partner like you would your best friend? If not, you both may need to re-consider the communication priorities of your relationship.
Marriage can be challenging. Depending on the studies you research, the rate of divorce can be as high as 40-50% for some demographics.
After the honeymoon phase is over, and the two of you get down to building up a future and face the grind of real life, a solid friendship as a foundation for your marriage, may be exactly what is necessary to carry you both through a life time commitment.
Even the best of marriage can face the divorce question at one point or another.
On that note, if you are currently best friends with someone, and that person is a little attracted to you, and even asked you out, then do both of you a favor.
Say yes, and give it a chance. Yes, it may be a little awkward at first, but most first romantic interactions can be so, with a new partner.
However, allowing a deep friendship to deepen even more into a loving marriage allows for the foundation of your marriage to also have the benefit of long nourished roots.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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