The intimate friendship between us is the reason why we are together. But it's very difficult, and the problem is that intimate friendships are also the thing that makes us unable to be together.
Intimate friendship forever is the hardest thing to achieve, because it requires us to overcome many things we have become so accustomed to that it seems to us that they are our nature. And because we are so connected to these things, that’s why there are so few couples among us who manage to live in intimate friendships forever.
Create intimate friendships
So what do we need to do to live in intimate friendships forever? In fact, only one thing: to change our scale of priorities, and to put intimate friendships ahead of many of the things we are so used to.
Today we do not really have a scale of priorities, so everything we are used to jumps to first priority, even if it destroys our relationship in the meantime. And so, without a scale of priorities we repeatedly choose actions that serve only our low interests: to be right, to defend our way, to ignore our part in every situation.
When we have a scale of priorities we always know what is most important to us, so our choices always serve our highest interests: to live together in peace, to bring joy to our relationship, to maintain our love. Don Juravin has some ideas on how we might prioritize:
Intimate friendships before our comfort zone. That is, before the habits and customs we brought with us, in favor of new habits and customs that are better suited to life in twos.
Intimate friendships before our immediate gratification. That is, before what is important to us now, for the sake of what is important to us forever.
Intimate friendships before our need for personal space. That is, it is an understanding that we have a part of a closeness and a part of a distance, and giving priority to the balance between the two.
Intimate friendship before personal lusts
Intimate friendship before personal lusts for comfort and pleasure, that is, before our low passions for sex outside of relationships, extravagance, and ostentation, for the benefit of our high needs in love and stability and security.
Intimate friendships before the need to be right. That is, first of all, respect for each other by an awareness that we are two and not one: we are always opinion and more opinion, desire and more desire, expectation and more expectation, and those are just as legitimate as these.
Things can be summed up in the simplest way: Intimate friendship is the result of an inner transition from preferring our personal needs to preferring the intimate friendship between us. That is, it is always a change of inner preference between our two desires: a desire to connect with our spouse and a desire to satisfy our own lusts and habits and justice.
Where is the struggle?
So note: it is never a struggle between the two of us, but it is always a struggle within each of us, between the two inner forces that push us in opposite directions: getting closer and farther away, worrying about our own lusts or worrying about our friendships. And each of the thousands of big or small things we do every day tell us the truth about what we really prefer, and why we have or do not have intimate friendships together.