Take good care of your old friends

A line in a recent documentary about the late fashion designer Takada Kenzo. A line which rings so true, but also has a second message. A message concerning relationships and maybe even domestic violence. Why?

Good friends are important and they can be there for you in good and bad times. But friends are voluntary and can leave you anytime they want. So we are careful what we say and how we treat them. In relationship counselling there is always the saying “you would not say this to a friend, so why to your partner?”.

Asking successful marriages and long term relationships why they were successful, often one hears that the partner was the best friend. So true. But looking at many marriages one sees that one partner does not treat the other as a friend, often as the enemy.

So many times one hears “I told you a million times….”, “why don’t you change….”, ” you seem to be a guest in this house…”, “why can you not dress for breakfast….”, etc….often this complaining, bitching even moves into the. intimacy sphere.

But you would never say these things to a friend. Of course I do not suggest that there is also intimacy with friends. Heaven forbids. But why do we treat our marriage partners different? Treat them like a friend. After all, they are a different person, regardless how long you were together. All this bitching and insulting is after all what makes the other side do (or at least think about), what you don’t want them to do.

In fact, I like to go so far to suggest that some domestic violence has its roots in these snide and hurtful comments. If hurt feelings, combine with less controlled tempers, the result is, what makes the news.

So lets treat each other like an old friend. Happy to see them. Appreciating that they are there. And careful in what you are saying, but listening to what they have to say.

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