Romantic love is easily hurt and somewhat pretentious, especially when faced with direct honesty. Friendship is more solid.
In a world of many predetermined things, friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Often, their presence is what keeps us going. In Vital Friends, Tom Rath says that many of those who end up on the streets, divorced, or addicted to overeating, struggle with inner demons precisely because they are alone. They feel excluded, abandoned, unloved.
The prelude to a divorce often comprises highly destructive behaviours, which can prevent a couple from keeping their enthusiastic promise of staying together "for better or for worse until death do us part," says American psychologist Dr John Gottman.