From Dr. Jane's Notebook
The Ultimate Friendship!
A happy marriage is a piece of art. It takes work. It is a thing of beauty. It is a
great treasure. I work with couples everyday and I have been part of a couple for more
than twenty years. The marital bond can be your partnership through life. As the most
important relationship in your life, it requires special care. Here are a few thoughts on
- Marriage is a Friendship. Above all, marriage should be a great friendship. Everyone
treasures their best friendship. The best friend is the one you can trust with your
deepest thoughts and deepest concerns. Your best friend is someone to play with and
someone who will support you in your moments of self-doubt. To maintain a best friendship
requires time and consideration. Consider who your best friend is and think of those
things you do to maintain that friendship.
- Story-Telling is an Art. When we get together with friends, most of what we do is
story-telling. We tell stories about the kids, stories about work, or stories about that
fish that got away. When your spouse is talking to you, understand that they are telling
you a story and listen attentively. Ask questions. Be an interested listener. Tell your
own stories with enthusiasm.
- Everyone needs to talk about work. Our work is whatever we do during the day. It
represents the investment of at least 8 hours of our time and a great deal of our energy.
After work, there is the need to digest those thoughts, to release that energy and put the
day in perspective. By listening to your spouse's retelling of the day, you can learn what
it has been like to be in their shoes and express your appreciation for their hard
efforts. By denying them the opportunity to discuss their work, you may be denying
yourself the opportunity to really know them. Worse, if you are not willing to listen,
they will find someone else with whom to share these thoughts.
- Make the physical connection. For the most part, our day is filled with cerebral
activities. We think, we talk, we listen. At day's end, its time to shift gears into
relaxation and the physical realm of life. Touch is the magic wand for transforming us
from using our minds to using our bodies. To get your spouse's attention, make the
physical connection through touch, hugs, and massage. It relieves tension and creates a
greater sense of relaxation... more conducive to home life.
- Couples need to be part of a network of friends. In order to keep things interesting, it
is necessary to have interesting things to do. Friendships with other couples and families
allow us to feel part of a community and expose us to new social ideas. Whether you like
to entertain at home or go out with others, these activities are energizing and provide a
shared activity for you and your late.
Marriage is a unique relationship defined by bonds of intimacy, sharing and commitment.
In order for marriage to remain fresh and exciting, it is necessary to keep it alive and
well-nourished. During the courtship phase, couples put forth special efforts to be
romantic, exciting and interesting. But courtship is only the beginning... those same
efforts are necessary throughout the years.
ęCopyright, 1993, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated September 19, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,