Best Friends for Life – A 4-Step Guide for Husband and Wife
When you get married, you might be getting a best friend for life in addition to a husband or a wife. Ideally, your spouse will also be your greatest supporter, a confidant, someone who knows and loves you through and through. Whether you married someone who is your best friend already, or you got hitched swiftly and are just getting to know your life partner, there are some things you can do to develop a deep friendship within your marriage.
1. Communication is a key
Every successful marriage is similar in one aspect – good communication. The same applies to friendships. In essence, without honest and direct communication, there can’t be any prospect of a deep and lasting relationship of any kind. If you don’t speak frankly about what is on your mind, what is bothering you or what needs you feel should be met, you are not being entirely invested in your marriage. You are keeping a part of yourself hidden.
On the other hand, being sincere in communication is only one aspect of what makes a person good communicator. Apart from speaking directly (no mind-games), you should also learn how to express yourself assertively. Yes, many marriages are sustained even with passive or aggressive communication. But if you want your spouse to be your best friend, not just tolerate your ways, you need to learn to be assertive in your communication.
2. Be kind and caring
What comes naturally as a continuation of the previous advice is the need to be kind and caring to your life partner to form a lasting friendship as well. Being aggressive and swearing, yelling out insults or ignoring a spouse does sometimes happen, and those marriages also persevere. Yet, this is truly unhealthy emotional interaction, and although married people sometimes get by with such treatment, no friend would tolerate it.
Therefore, if you want to benefit from a friendship within your marriage, it is essential that you learn how to be kind and gentle to your spouse, even in difficult times. The easiest thing in the world is to get angry and pout. But a true friend will learn to understand the other and love them for who they are.
Be caring for your spouse and it will get back to you. Show affection, tell them how much they mean to you often, ask if there is anything you can help with. Be there when they need you. When you go through the rough times together, you will be left with that much more energy and time to spend it laughing and having fun, and that is something friends often do.
3. Sharing interests is a foundation to every relationship
Married people often times share little to no interest. Or at least they believe it is so You can even hear a married couple being proud of how little they have in common, but their marriages blossom. Although this can be true, in practice, it is rather rare that two close individuals, friends or spouses, can have a meaningful relationship if they don’t share interests and values.
If you want to promote friendship in your marriage, you can build on the previous advice and find common interests with your husband or wife. It can be anything, something one of you enjoy, or a completely new thing you heard about in the news. Just venture on and explore what it is that you could both enjoy.
Sharing an interest (or quite a few) will deepen your relationship in two ways. You will learn more about your life partner, what makes them smile, what motivates them, what they believe in. And then, you will also share time together in an activity that pumps your serotonin and dopamine levels high, which promotes bonding.
4. Treat your spouse as equal
Finally, although a marriage can last for many years when partners are not equal (and many times this is, unfortunately, an unhealthy condition of a relationship to last), a friendship cannot. A true friend will never put him/herself above their best friend but will treat them as equal.
So, if you believe your marriage will benefit from the two of you become best friends, start by making minor (or big) changes in the way you treat your spouse. Don’t offend them, don’t tell them they’re stupid, incompetent, lazy, or whatever such unflattering words slip your mouth in anger. Don’t patronize your life partner either. Don’t treat your husband or wife as a child. See them as an autonomous adult individual that they are, and learn to interact with them as such.
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