*This column originally ran on Sept. 6, 2012
There are some things you can do to prepare for when a storm comes, and the same goes for relationships.
What makes or breaks marriages and relationships is how well, a) You understand them and b) What you have done to prepare for the storms that inevitably come while in them.
We are fooling ourselves to think that the Hollywood movie is a reality to a relationship. However, you can fall in love with your best friend. This is the "Shoring up" of the relationship. There are five areas of love we need to be aware of, Spiritual, emotional, mental, social, and physical. It is here we find the secret to Grandma and Grandpa’s success in their marriage. In their day, you had to virtually “court,” that meant you had to have accountability, one would be visited by the male suitor and it would be done over the watchful eyes of adults.
What happened was, while visiting, one was never allowed to get to know a person physically, you got to know them Mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. If she liked sports you knew it, if she didn’t you knew it, if she was flighty you knew it, if he was stuck on himself, she figured it out, and if you didn’t want to hang out and spend you quality time with that someone, the courting ended! However, if you figured out that you had a ton in common, Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and socially, you became best friends!
Marrying your best friend, is what makes marriages last! I must admit most of the counseling we provide married couples come from the fact that they have “realized I didn’t know all about this person.” Or they woke up one day and realized, “he is just into video games more than me,” or golf, or whatever, or “she is like a roller coaster emotionally.” You see the issue is, these people never got to know that person in the areas they would be spending 95% of their lives together in. Now they are with a person who they sleep with, but do not get along with…
So what do you do if you are already there… you are not married to your best friend? Here is what you do… You fall in love all over again. Yes it can happen, you see the spiritual aspects of love is the “glue that keeps the marriage together.” I cannot tell you how great it is when you realize you actually not only love this person, but you like hanging out together.
Prepare for the storms, by dating your spouse, holding her hand, romancing her and be able to know her needs without her telling you in words. I would recommend a book by Dr. Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages.” Communication is huge. If all else fails, come in and see us, and see if we can’t help you discover how great life can really be with your best friend!