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Marriage is a place of deep intimacy and union. And ideally we bring a friendship into this relationship as well. But there also remains a place for close and intimate friends outside of the marriage bond.  And we can build the village we need to thrive when these are honored as distinct relationships.

Marriage rightly holds a place of priority. It’s a covenant relationship not to take lightly. But its importance doesn’t mean we should turn it into an idol. And we essentially do this when we expect it to fulfill all of our relational needs.

To be sure, marriage holds the exclusive rights to some expressions, sex being one of these. But it’s a mistake to assume our wife can meet every other need perfectly.

For instance, we might enjoy sports, deep theological conversations, or acquiring business acumen. And these might hold little interest to our wife. This doesn’t mean we’ve married the wrong person, but it might mean we need a few solid friends in our life to feed this part of our soul.

We easily grow frustrated when we put this expectation onto our wife. And we make ourselves more vulnerable to adultery as well. We’re vulnerable because however unconsciously we’re still looking for that one person who can perfectly meet all our needs – not realizing this person doesn’t exist outside of God himself.

Recognizing the human limitations of any one person, we seek to build our village with trusted others. And individuals within this village will hold different roles in our life. While certainly our wife holds an honored place, we make room for a few close friends as well. And while there might be some interests best shared in the context of friendship rather than marriage, these are not in competition with each other.

In the end, respect your need for friendship even as you commit to strengthen your marriage. These are often two distinct relationships, but should harmonize with each other as we build our village.

Photo by Vija Rindo Pratama on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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