Are you and your spouse struggling to connect on a deeper level? Friendship in marriage is essential in fostering romantic love with your spouse. But, unfortunately, sometimes our relationships can suffer due to busy schedules or stress. This guide will teach you how to rebuild your friendship and deepen your connection with your husband or wife.
What are the benefits of cultivating friendship in marriage?
1. Increased marital satisfaction
Research shows that having your partner as a great friend in marriage significantly increases marital satisfaction.
The benefits of marital friendship are long-term and last well into the mature years.
Couples can increase marital happiness by doing little things to add joy to their relationship.
Friendships provide emotional intimacy that can improve marital satisfaction.
2. Improved intimate communication
Marriage is a time when communication between spouses can be strained.
Effective communication is key to a successful marriage.
Being a good listener is beneficial in your intimate relationships and with your friends.
Listening well helps to build clarity and avoid marital conflicts.
3. Increased emotional and physical intimacy
Intimacy is built through the conversation and sharing of personal information.
Intimacy is achieved when you open up to the other person and let them into your life.
The key to achieving intimacy is trust– you must be comfortable with the other person to share this information.
Intimate relationships are more fulfilling when built upon a strong friendship. Great relationships can be enhanced by physical connection and emotional intimacy.
Some benefits include increased communication, romance, physical intimacy, parenting, and sexual health.
4. Increased forgiveness for your mistakes
Being mindful of your manners can help to promote peace in your relationship.
However, we are all humans and making mistakes is part of our DNA. When you make a mistake, be sure to apologize and make amends. Doing that shows that you’re taking responsibility for your actions and are willing to make things right.
Having a friend in marriage can help increase forgiveness in your relationship.
Also, having someone to talk to and vent to can be beneficial for forgiving your spouse.
5. Increased trust in your marriage
A strong friendship with your partner helps to build trust and respect.
Friendships can help couples discover each other’s personality and interests, leading to a strong connection. It also allows spouses to weather their difficult seasons together.
A healthy marriage is founded on mutual trust and respect. Couples who build these qualities into their relationship have a better chance for happiness and longevity.
How can you develop a great friendship with your partner?
1. Spend time together
The key to developing a solid friendship with your spouse is spending quality time together. You should engage in shared interests and talk about important things.
Play together and celebrate each other’s uniqueness!
Other ways to spend time together include reading, walking, and sharing hobbies.
2. Understand and speak your partner’s love language
One of the best ways to become your partner’s best friend is to learn and speak their “primary love language.” We all have different ways of expressing and receiving love; often, these needs aren’t met in our marriage. If you can take the time to learn how your spouse says love and make an effort to meet that need, it will go a long way in rebuilding your friendship.
There are five primary love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Unfortunately, we often assume that our spouse knows how we want to be loved and expect them to “know” what we need. But this isn’t always the case.
If you’re unsure which love language your spouse speaks, look for clues in their behaviour. Also, you can ask them the following three questions and pay attention to their answers.
- How can I help you?
- How can I make your life easier?
- How can I be a better husband or wife?
3. Try to meet each other’s emotional needs in marriage
One of the most important things you can do to improve your family relationship is to understand and meet each other’s vital emotional needs. Emotional needs are feelings that tell us we are loved, valued, and essential to our spouse.
We feel loved and secure in our relationship when these needs are met. Conversely, we can feel neglected, unimportant, and unloved when they are unmet.
The following is the list of ten emotional needs in marriage:
- Intimate conversation
- Family commitment
- Honesty and openness
- Financial support
- Recreational companionship
- Sexual fulfilment
- Physical attractiveness
- Domestic support
It’s important to remember that everyone’s emotional needs are different. What might be a need for one person might not be a need for another. That’s why it’s essential to communicate with your spouse about what they need from you.
If you’re not sure what their needs are, ask them! It might seem awkward initially, but it will get easier with practice. And it will be worth it when you see the difference it makes in your relationship.
4. Prioritise your marriage and be present
Please make your marriage your priority. Not your work or your friends. Workaholism and over-ambitiousness are the banes of marital harmony.
Your wife needs your physical and emotional presence. Also, a man’s masculinity can help protect and support their family.
Likewise, your husband needs your admiration and sexual fulfilment. Focusing your total sexual energy on your marriage will remove the dangers of extramarital affairs and relational breakdown.
What if you and your partner are not friends?
Relationships are not designed to meet every need, and being best friends with your husband is a great thing, but it’s not vital.
Having other good friends in your life is a good thing.
Best friends can talk about anything and everything, even things that don’t interest your husband.
It would help if you were friends with your spouse to have a healthy marriage.
It is essential to be honest with each other, even when difficult.
Friendship must include being able to confront each other with complex topics.
Conflicts can provide growth opportunities.
A compassionate marriage helps to overcome conflicts.
How can you make time for friendship in your busy schedule?
- Spend time together weekly to build a strong friendship.
- Share honestly about challenging and positive matters, and communicate well.
- Play together, laugh often, and appreciate each other’s differences.
- Celebrate your spouse’s successes (and forget the failures).
- Make time for friendship in your busy marriage by accepting and allowing each other to be themselves, encouraging, and gentle.
- Trust, accountability and mutual respect are essential in a healthy relationship, so be transparent and work together on projects.
- Learn how to fight fair so disagreements don’t damage your relationship.
- Conflict is an excellent time to sharpen your friendship.
- Establish daily habits to help you stay connected, including prayer and shared interests.
- Be willing to learn from one another and be open to discussing fundamental topics.
- Talking often is one of the best ways to make time for friendship in your busy marriage.
- Ensure you enjoy spending time with your friends, and remember to take time for yourself.
- Be willing to compromise on aspects of your relationship to make time for friends.
You have three key roles in your marriage: friend, partner, and lover.
Playing these roles well helps build strong friendships.
We’ve looked at ways to deepen your friendship in marriage.
Which of the strategies would you adopt in your marriage today?
I would love to hear your thoughts.