Can Marriage Survive Without Friendship?
Think of some of the things you can do to strangers and enemies in equal measure. It is evident; you exercise some level of respect for your friends compared to strangers. Similarly, in marriage, within seconds, you can spot a couple who are friends and those who live like roommates from their interaction and their level of affection. A couple who are friends will laugh or smile as they get in a restaurant and engage in a conversation as they get a bite while a couple who lacks friendship in their marriage institution tends to focus on their phones and have a minimal talk.
Are they just living together for the sake of the kids? That is a common assumption yet marriage should be 70 percent companionship than sex, children and external factors share the remaining 30 percent.
After the honeymoon stage; you now get to know your spouse. He is untidy and lacks table manners. The only thing that differentiates a happy marriage from an unhappy one is the ability to still find something exciting that you can do together as married couples.
What are the dangers of marrying a stranger?
1. Lack of commitment
People tend to confuse love and friendship. Infatuation takes center stage in the early years of life, but what keeps a man or a woman to her wife or husband is the mutual friendship they share. Friendship surpasses the physical attraction; its absence gives a negative notion about lack of commitment to the marriage which later leads to irreconcilable differences and further failed marriages.
2. High chances of separation and later divorce
80 percent of divorce cases are due to lack of forgiveness, which comes because of harboring resentment and bitterness. When you live with your friend, you always soften your heart since you want to maintain the companionship, so, you let go of the problem easily.
Friendship allows you to treat your spouse with love and respect. Conflicts are inevitable in any marriage union; in fact, your ability to solve them proves your emotional stability in marriage. Lack of friendship allows an aggravated partner to insult the spouse which further hurts his ego. This widens the gap between them. That is why you see some spouses parted ways for very flimsy reasons which were solvable.
3. Inadequate love for one another
What is love? The biblical context of love defines it as love is faithful and kind. You must have something to love in your spouse; the love culminates into friendship, otherwise, it becomes an infatuation. Love brings respect and understanding. At the same time, makes you go out of your way to build one another and complement each other’s weaknesses. Marriage without love is bound to fail, whatever the time.
4. Lack of intimacy/emotional connection
You have nothing which glues you together; you need sweet time prior to sex. How will you even ask for an intimate time when you have no time to love together as a spouse? Lack of companionship in marriage leads to poor intimacy- the main cause of problems in most marriages.
The first question marriage counselors ask married couples with conflicts is “how is your sex life? It clearly tells you that intimacy is a key activity in any marriage life. At the same time, you need peace of mind and quality time to get emotionally satisfied. This is only possible when couples are close friends.
In the video below, Ulrika Jonsson argues that at one point or the other, intimacy in marriage fades and one should find ways to rebuild it.
5. No common goal to keep you together
How can strangers stay together when they do not trust one another? Does it mean you cannot share your thoughts and life goals as a couple? With time, each couple separately plans his or her life; in the long run, you do not appreciate or even see the role of your spouse in your life. This drift cannot stand the test of time since you look at your spouse as a worthless entity in your life, for the simple reason, you refused to nurture your friendship to help sustain your marriage.
It is dangerous to stay in a marriage that lacks friendship. All married couples should strive to maintain and nurture the friendship to a level that brings emotional stability. Friends differ and have a difference in opinion. What then keeps them together? They exercise love in their friendship and come to an agreement for the benefit of the marriage institution.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.