It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. – Nietzsche

They are hiking, and taking photos of each-other. They have a few things in common.

They are hiking, and taking photos of each-other. They have a few things in common.

What does that mean?
This quote is about nothing less than the curious situation where there is love, even passion, but nothing deeper to hold a pair of people together.

Friends are often friends for life, or at least for significant portions of it. The ones who drift away are usually distant and rarely seen. That is not what should be happening in a marriage.

The constant interaction should keep the bond of friendship strong and fresh. Yet that isn’t always the case. Those who marry without first being strong friends can easily fall prey.

This quote is a warning to all who would enter into a relationship. It warns them to become friends first, and then see what develops. If not, the road ahead may be a bit bumpy.

Why is friendship important?  
Think of friendship for a moment, and all the people you have called friends over the years. Some have de-selected themselves and left you. Others have de-selected by betraying you or your trust in some manner. But those with whom you interact regularly are probably still your friends.

Friendship is the anchor of a social bond. Whether that bond includes matrimony, as in the quote, or just a close friend, our friendships define who we are as a person, and who we are in our society. And the bonds of friendship can be as strong as those of blood and family, as I imagine you already know.

Friends give us someone with whom we can talk, interact, share experiences, and recount our sorrows. They are the people we lean on when we are weak, and the ones who encourage us when we no longer believe in ourselves. They are the ones who protect us when we are threatened. And we do the same for them.

With our friends, we can face anything life may throw at us. We might not win, but we will always do what we can. And frequently, we will do more for our friends than we would for ourselves. For some reason, that is just how we seem to be wired. At least that is how it has been my experience.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Can you imagine what a marriage without that kind of friendship must be like? Unhappy, indeed. At least by my reckoning. How great would your life be if you didn’t have a close friend? No one with which to confide your successes, your failures, your secrets, and your fears?

Consider the times you have lived with a roommate. Were you friends, or just sharing the bills? How did that change how you interacted? What about clubs or other social organizations? How different is the planning and financial issues when you are working with friends as opposed to those who are just acquaintances?

I hope by now we are in agreement that having friends has its advantages. But not all of us are good at finding and retaining friends. While I am far from an expert, I have had some luck over the years. I’ll share what has worked for me, and I hope others will share what worked for them as well.

For me, the hardest part of finding new friends is finding common interests. It is easier today, with online areas for special interest groups. If you want a chess buddy, try to find a local chess club, right? Then it is just a matter of finding someone compatible. Easy.

Sometimes it works well, other times it can be hard to find a compatible person. It helps to know what you want, don’t want, must have, and will not tolerate in a friend. Do you know? Can you state, specifically, what are all the deal-breakers? Can you list all the must-haves?

The point is that if you don’t know, how can you screen people? Do you just go by looks? Is that really a friendship, or is it more a mutual admiration society? Do you go by brains and knowledge? How well does that work the first time there is an argument? Those were painfully superficial examples, but I think you get the point.

Take a moment, and some paper, and start writing down some of the things you won’t tolerate from a friend, and that a friend must have (or be willing to put up with). Think back to some friendships that worked and some that didn’t, to help you come up with some ideas. Feel free to come back later and add to the list.

Now add the things they should not have. These are not instant deal-breaking traits or habits, but would be annoying in the long run. Again, feel free to come back later and add more. Now what should they have? These are traits or habits which you would find endearing, but not necessary.

Now compare the rules and hints on your list to some of your friends. How well does it match? Does it explain why some are not as close as you might have thought at first? Also consider some of the people to whom you wish you were closer. Might you fit into one of their less desirable categories? Have you ever talked about it?

Now imagine being in a relationship with someone and not being in a close friendship with them. Again, that doesn’t sound pleasant to me, not in the slightest. Take a moment and compare them to your list, and see if there is a reason. If so, can you help them understand, or do you need to move on?

From: Twitter, @NietzscheQuotes
confirmed at :
Photo by Brian

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4 Responses to It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

  1. rainshadowfarm 20 December 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    It is what is is, eh?

    I’m going to follow your blog in Google’s Feedly; it’s a good read! And the older I get the more I gravitate toward the philosophy…of everything.

    • philosiblog 21 December 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a comment. Hope to hear from you again.

      Yeah, as I get older, I find myself spending more time reflecting and examining what I have done with my life. Hopefully some will find the posts, and a few might even pick up a new perspective or view of their world.

  2. rainshadowfarm 19 December 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Or choosing friendship and marriage to a sociopathic individual. It happens. It’s a challenge like no other, although I don’t recommend it. I’m enjoying your blog.

    • philosiblog 20 December 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Glad you liked the post.

      Yes, that does sound like a challenge. My ex had her problems, but nothing like that. Wow!

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