In her article titled ‘Nine Things I Wish I Knew Before I got Married’, writer Christine Kapaczewski states that no two couples are alike and, therefore, the same set of rules and advice do not always apply.
“Sure, you can look to your parents or a couple you admire for the occasional anecdote, but doing the exact same thing as another couple will never work out,” she explains.
Exception to the rule
However, there are exceptions to this principle.
For Michael Wawuyo, the exception is friendship. Finding a friend you can open up to about almost everything and anything is key.
“The one thing I don’t do these days is go for peoples’ wedding meetings and the reason is that most of the weddings today are pegged on wrong premises. That’s why marriages break up. People don’t distinguish between infatuation, lust love and friendship,” the veteran actor explains.
With infatuation, he argues that someone will look at a woman and admire, then could lust after her.
“You sleep with her and the next morning and you realise that you don’t feel anything special. And some confuse the combination of lust and infatuation for love, which begs the question, is the word love used in the right context when it comes to relationships? Friendship, to me, becomes the pillar or cornerstone of any relationship,” he adds.
Cynthia Mpanga, a publicist and communication specialist argues that friendship is the glue that binds any relationship because as you build a friendship, you horn very important aspects of any relationship. Aspects like respect, understanding someone deeply and respecting their values and principles whether or not you agree with them, tolerance, learn to compromise, accept your friend and also go the extra mile to be there for them.
“The bond built in a relationship is usually mutual and therefore the two persons involved reciprocate emotions and value that relationship. This isn’t always the case with falling in love where a man or woman pursues their object of interest relentlessly showering them with attention based on some seemingly deep feelings which of course won’t last” she adds.
To Philip Luswata, an academic and actor, rather than have a lover, he would rather have a friend as the most important ingredient for a good marriage partnership.
He observes that friendship doesn’t heap as much expectation on your plate as ‘lover-ship’ would.
“I believe it is easier to work at understanding your friend, to learn to accept their design (flaws and all), to appreciate them without the disabling ego trips,” he points out.
Be silly together
Artist Jack Sserunkuuma still mourns the friend and wife he lost recently. To him, the times spent laughing at what he describes as ‘nonsense’ with his wife Minah, were the best days of their marriage.
“We were great friends. She played stupid whenever I did something wrong and I would also smile at her wrong doings. We would say sorry in most cases not because we accepted that we were in the wrong but because either of us is a bit upset. We made sure to date each other every day.”
He adds; “We also made sure that every conversation we were engaged in with anybody else never ended without mentioning each other’s name. That might be silly but it worked for us and I confidently say marry only your friends.”
Mpanga observes that as people, we are imperfect and come with baggage and weaknesses.
“As we grow and learn our friends we see them for who they truly are with unbiased lenses. They anger us but we forgive them over and over again whether or not they overcome that challenge/weakness and we devise ways of dealing with their shortfalls by either openly discussing them, helping them, or even tricking them to ensure they are the best versions of themselves.”
“Friends don’t judge each other or reveal their friends’ secrets and hang their dirty linen in public. Friendships take time and deep with a solid foundation. I personally would recommend if possible, everyone to endeavour to marry a friend and if not possible then they have to deliberately build a friendship in their relationship,” she advises.
Luswata further adds that whereas lovers might leech on each other emotionally, it is important to invest your emotions in your friend. As such, love seems subjective while friendship is objective.
“You can share dirty jokes with a friend, you will be ‘broke’ and not be shy to say it. If your wife or husband is not your friend, it is very likely that communication will be curtailed. You become very bad communicators. You start finding fault with each other,” Wawuyo further argues.
“All I know is that it takes two parties and no one can build a one-sided friendship. If the other person doesn’t see the value of another and doesn’t invest their time and effort to reciprocate the friendship then they are not worth walking life’s long journey with them because without a strong foundation, misery, misunderstandings and turmoil abide,” Mpanga concludes.
Why choose a friend
1. You are more yourself in the relationship.
2. You are familiar with each other’s bad side.
3. You are more or less aware of each other’s relationship histories.
4. Your fights and disagreements are less damaging.
5. The process of adjusting to your partner’s tastes is much smoother.
6. You see each other in true form.
7. You have way too many inside jokes that no one else understands.
8. You don’t have to call each other all the time to know that you have each other on the mind.
9. You can be totally honest with each other.
10. You connect at a much deeper level.