23 September 2012. The Relative Importance of Love and Friendship in Marriage People dream of successful marriages these days. There are many factors that play their role in making a marriage successful…
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“The commitment to marry is perhaps the most important and most complex decision made by individuals irrespective of geography or cultural background” (Srinivasan). The financial, emotional, and psychological implications of breakup from marriage in the life of the partners are immense. Therefore, many people want to benefit from others’ experiences and know whether friendship or love is a stronger predictor of success in marriage so that they can select the right partner for marriage. Different people hold different views regarding the strength of the role of friendship in making a marriage successful relative to that of love and vice versa, thus providing the topic ground for debate. There is no clear interface between friendship and love. Many feelings and emotions are common between friendship and love, including care, empathy, respect, sincerity, expectations, and honesty. The enormity of these similar factors incorporates subjectivity in people’s judgment of whether it was friendship or love that made the marriage of a particular couple successful. Therefore, there is no robust basis of people’s support for either friendship or love as the determinant of successful marriage. One thing that fundamentally differentiates between friendship and love is that friendship does not need a physical relationship to grow whereas physical relationship is a fundamental element in the growth of love between marital partners. Since sexual health of individuals may deteriorate over the time, something more important than love is required to sustain the marriages. Friendship between two people is a stronger predictor of success in their marriage than love. It is hard to mark a strict boundary between friendship and love since the two often overlap in several areas. Both friendship and love lay the basis of every successful relationship, be that a marriage, the relationship of a mother and a daughter, or any other kind of relationship. People make friends with individuals they can place confidence in and share their feelings, emotions, and secrets with and the same holds true for love. Like love, friendship removes the barriers people normally place between themselves and others to keep them from learning about their secrets. People make friends because they like each other’s personalities and characters, and accept each other along with all of their strengths and weaknesses. Love also demands pretty much the same. The most important factor that differentiates between friendship and love is sex. Sex between the marital partners is a fundamental cause and effect of love between them. When two people enter the contract of marriage because of their love for each other, the marriage is just as healthy as the physical relationship between the two. “[F]riends may engage in casual sex, but may also become involved romantically” (Barry and Madsen 1). One of the most important reasons why certain friends get married to each other is that they want to make love to each other in a way that is legitimate both in the eyes of the religion and the culture. “Marriage is a natural institution whereby a man and a woman give themselves to each other for life in a sexual relationship that is open to procreation –
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