When I ask couples what’s attractive about their partner, I occasionally get the answer, he or she is my best friend. What characterizes best friends is their ability to talk to each other about almost anything and to enjoy each other’s company. Friendship is one of the most important components of successful relationships.

However, committed relationships bring added dimensions:  managing a household, raising kids together, sharing finances, expressing affection and intimacy, and planning for the future. These are not typically components that characterize friendships. Committed relationships are more complex and more challenging than friendships.

Managing conflict is essential for maintaining friendship in committed relationships. This prevents negativity from deteriorating a relationship. What’s also important is that the demands of life don’t get in the way of friendship.

Hopefully you are fortunate enough to have married your best friend. If so, you don’t want negativity to weaken your friendship. In addition, strengthening your friendship allows you and your best friend to better navigate life’s unpredictable challenges.