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Should I marry my best friend, even if I do not love her?

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2011 12:48:26 AM PST
I've been dating a wonderful lady for six months. I've heard various married men and women say `the secret to a happy marriage is to marry your best friend.' My girlfriend is that. We can, and do, talk about anything/everything, and are truly on the same path in life spiritually, professionally, financially, and as regards family and children.

We've begun discussing marriage. On the surface, that sounds like a good idea to me. But when we delve deeper and begin discussing the specifics of when/where, I freeze-up and have a difficult time talking.

I think I'm afraid not so much of `commitment' per se, but rather of never experiencing with her the kind of love and fireworks I've felt for two of the roughly 15 other girlfriends I've had over the past 18 years. Unfortunately, both of those women dumped me after about three months, saying they did not have much chemistry with me (did not get more of an explanation than that.)

So I'm not sure whether the fireworks I've felt with the two other girlfriends are part of what might ever be a healthy, lasting relationship if I hold-out and wait to find that sort of chemistry with a third lady someday; or whether this love is something that somehow only occurs for me for women that for whatever reason just aren't going to have that much chemistry with me. (I saw a therapist for 6 months and we could not figure out why I felt the way I did for these two.)

My girlfriend has told me she's fallen in love with me and would like to get married. Ironically, I feel in many ways closer to her than to any of my previous girlfriends - even the two I was in love with. But the closeness I have with my girlfriend (ability to talk openly, and being on the exact same path in life), has not translated into `fireworks' and love for me. My girlfriend is someone I admire and respect and know would be an amazing mother, but do not (yet) `love' - at least not like I have the other two.

So, my dilemma is whether I marry my girlfriend and hope the fireworks develop (or resign myself to living without them), or end this relationship and pray for a relationship where the fireworks are mutual.

About us:
* I'm 40, Christian, never married.
* She's mid-30's Christian, divorced after 12 years, no children. I'm the first guy she's really been involved with since her divorce two years ago. (She has gone on a few dates with a half-dozen other guys a year ago prior to dating me.)

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 10:14:28 PM PST
Monica Leahy says:
You need to reflect on what gives you "fireworks". For some, it's being in a relationship with someone dangerous, a "bad boy" or being with someone very physically attractive. Qualities that may give a rush, but are not a good foundation for a long term relationship. Complete the questions in the book "1001 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married" and I'm sure your eyes will be opened to what you've been expecting in a spouse and why some do or do not appear to fit your bill. 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 11:47:54 PM PST
Heather says:
If you have to ask, you already know the answer...
You can't base a marriage exlusively on the strength of her feelings for you. The two of you share equal stock in your future-in your shared happiness or misery. Do both yourself, and this woman, a favor and don't settle. When you meet the right woman you won't have to ask.

Good luck!

Posted on Mar 8, 2011 9:53:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2011 9:55:08 AM PST
Allison says:
People today have a completely different idea of what marriage should be than what it was originally intended for or what it meant even just 20 years ago. People today expect to be happy all the time and that they should never be unhappy. That is just silly. It seems to me like you guys have an amazing relationship and one that could be healthy and happy and actually last and that you guys could raise wonderful upstanding children together. Have you ever stopped to consider she might feel the exact same way about you? No one now a days ever thinks about their partner. It's always me me me. I think this is the detriment of marriage. If everyone was unselfish and always thought about their partner and what could they do for their partner, to help them, love them, etc. There would never be divorce. You have the love and appreciation of a woman who is devoted to you. You will never find a perfect marriage. Ask anyone who's had those initial "fireworks" they definitely didn't have them anymore after many years into marriage. So you should consider yourself extremely lucky that you have such a fantastic relationship without them. People idolize marriage too much, and expect too much from it and their significant other. The only reason the divorce rate was so much lower in all previous generations was because people didn't expect their significant other or marriage to satisfy and fulfill all their needs.

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 4:06:55 AM PDT
Marriage is about commitment and loving another person whether or not they return your love or meet your needs, not about fireworks. Fireworks are nice, but they are not love - generally, fireworks have to do with passion, desire and perhaps even that ugly little word, "lust". If you do not desire to commit to this woman and cannot imagine giving of yourself selflessly to her for as long as you both shall live, then don't marry her! If you desire to commit yourself to loving this woman, going above and beyond for her every day of your life, not for what YOU will receive in return, but just for the joy of meeting her needs and seeing HER fulfilled and contentedly happy in life, then marry her! Marriage is not about YOU - it is about your spouse. If you go into marriage realizing you may never be fulfilled, but you can love as Christ loved and give of yourself as He gives of Himself for the church, even though the church fails miserably, over and over, then you will be starting on the right foot and your marriage will have a chance for happy chapter after happy chapter. A good marriage is rarely ever "happenstance" - it takes a LOT of hard work, humility and giving, even when one is not receiving. Are you ready for that? Do you want to commit to her before God and man and then live behind closed doors in a manner that is edifying and uplifting for HER, serving her daily so SHE feels loved and cherished? If so, marry her. If not, do both of yourselves a favor and just stay friends! (This from someone who has been in a committed marriage for over 22 years.)

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 7:20:50 AM PDT
J. Cobb says:
Monticello - I think the first thing I would ask you is for you to define your idea of "Love".
I married my best friend 24+ years ago, and admittedly, yes, we had "fireworks". Life happened, and the fireworks faded for years. Yes, she was (and remains) my best friend. The cool thing is, what I thought were fireworks in the beginning pale in comparison to what continues to happen as we have grown closer, fuller and deeper in our love for each other and for Christ.
I would submit to you that, if she is your best friend, you see life the same and you want to be around her all the time because she is your best friend, I think you probably already have your answer.....

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 1:25:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2011 1:28:54 AM PDT
So about an update? What did you do...or what are you doing with this relationship?

I agree with J. need to define love. Love is not a feeling or an emotion. Love is a CHOICE. Here's a couple excerpts from our book Discovering Your Amazing Marriage. Check it out...

If you are married, one of the most important decisions or choices you have made in life is with whom to spend your life. The rest of your life. As you read through the chapters of this book, it is our desire that you look at your marriage with a new perspective and that you understand that you didn't "fall in love" with your spouse, you chose to love your spouse.
You will see that love is a choice, and that every day you can choose to make your marriage what you want it to be. It is your life. It is your choice how you spend it and with whom you spend it. The choices you make ultimately determine the quality of your life and the quality of your marriage. Wrong choices can be so costly; right choices can be so rewarding.
Choose wisely.

...An amazing marriage is the result of the choices you make each and every day. Choices about how you will treat your spouse, the level of respect you will render to your spouse, how you will talk to your spouse, and so much more. You can choose to make your marriage amazing, or you can choose to accept the status quo.
If you want your marriage to be truly dynamic and unique, you need to be purposeful about the choices you make and exercise a determined effort in building your relationship. This can't be a once-in-a-while effort, or a whenever-you-feel-like-it effort, but a consistent and daily effort. You will need to make good choices that demonstrate your commitment to your spouse.
It takes a consistent effort on a daily basis to show your mate that he or she is the most important person in your life. The choices you make will demonstrate your allegiance to your spouse and your marriage. If you are not purposeful and consistent, the best you will achieve in your relationship may be mediocrity. The choice is yours.
An amazing marriage takes daily effort and requires a significant amount of time. It requires a process that grows and evolves over time as you work at it; there is no quick-fix solution you can apply when you feel it is warranted or needed. There may be times when emotions run wild-this is when people say stupid and thoughtless things-and then to avoid a fight or confrontation, a quick-fix solution to minimize the damage may seem like the best choice....

... Let's define what an amazing marriage is not. It is not a perfect marriage.
It is not a marriage without heartaches and hardships. It is not a marriage without disappointment and pain. It's certainly not a storybook fairy tale that ends with, "and they lived happily ever after." Unfortunately, an amazing marriage is not the norm in society, either.

We have discovered that an amazing marriage is a rare bond between a husband and a wife wherein each one knows that they are the most important person in the eyes of their spouse. It is special and it is unique. We know that this special bond can be realized through a consistent effort and with a daily commitment of putting the other person first, at all times....
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Discussion in:  Marriage forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Mar 5, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 30, 2011

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