Why My Spouse is My Best Friend: Thoughts on Marriage for Senior Citizens

Mar 29th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Our relationship developed out of friendship and respect.  We were both professionals who worked in similar fields.  We discovered how much we shared in common in our views, commitments and standards. We worked together on boards and committees.  She was single.  I was married.  There was no crossing of inappropriate lines.  We knew we held each other in affection and esteem.  Over a period of several years our admiration for each other continued to grow.  She became best friends with my first wife and was loved dearly by Joel, my son by my first marriage. 

When divorce interrupted my seven year marriage, Sharon and I continued as friends as did she with my former wife.  It would be a period of 5 years before any romance between us  would ensue. Clearly being best friends over a long period of time before we became romantically involved cultivated the possibility of a relationship that would grow and become closer. 

Out of that came eventual marriage. Friendship still prevailed.  Clearly, friendship, like marriage, is not devoid of disagreements and difficulties that have the possibility of negatively impacting that relationship.  Eventually Joel came to live with us, which was not a situation without its tensions.  We both were employed, which created some time constraints on our being together.  We had to learn how to be a team, and to forego some of our independence we had enjoyed as singles.  The relationship would continue to grow, the marriage would thrive, but not without its occasional differences, and through the years our respect and affection for each other would develop into a mature and adult understanding of marriage. 

Over the intervening years we have learned how to converse with each other, disagree politely and respectfully, uphold each other during down periods, support each other through illnesses and pain. We know that deep and genuine love requires expressing that love in ways other than sexual.  We are aware that our love is critically important to each of us.  We try to model that love in all that we do and have become.  Without this relationship, we are aware that an overwhelming void would occur in our lives.  We are, however, trying to find ways to accept and to deal with inevitable loss.  That is a part of a genuinely mature relationship too. 

Living out each day in ways that allow for a rich enjoyment of each being a vital part of the other becomes and remains critical in a relationship that reinforces your spouse being your best friend.



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