Keeping the Friendship Alive 

Many people report that they started out as friends with their spouse prior to getting married. However, over the years this friendship seems to change. Some people think that once you get married you are no longer “friends.” However, it is very healthy to keep up on the¬†friendship aspect of your marriage.

When a couple works together on day-to-day details of their lives, sometimes the friendship part of the relationship gets lost. Paying bills, raising children, and managing the household can make the relationship more like a business, rather than a friendship. Couples begin to spend their spare time talking about who is going to pick up the kids, how to get the car fixed, problems with the house, and the weekly schedule. Although these topics may be important to discuss, it shouldn’t end there.

Friends talk about a variety of other things. They talk about their interests, passions, and hobbies. They also talk about family, work, and life in general. Sometimes they share funny stories and memories from the past.

Obviously, the content of the conversation may be different. Perhaps your friends share your interest in football or gardening and maybe your spouse doesn’t. Take a look at what sorts of conversations you have with your friends. Do you have any of the same types of conversations with your partner?

Make time to have conversations with your spouse that are similar to the conversations you would hold with your friends. Don’t allow your relationship to become sterile and business-like. If you have been stuck in the habit of only talking about these things, you may have to do something out of the ordinary in order to spark some new life into the relationship. Go on a date together, take a walk, or take the opportunity to go away for a weekend. Finding new opportunities may spark new conversations.

If your spouse doesn’t talk to you much, it may mean you aren’t acting like a friend. It may also mean you aren’t asking the right questions or aren’t providing enough feedback and encouragement. Take a look at your behaviors and determine what things¬†you could do differently to be a better friend to your spouse.


2 Responses to “Keeping the Friendship Alive”

  1. As a couples counselor I often witness people treating their spouse in ways they would never treat a friend. For instance, if a friend forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store you would react with “Oh, that’s okay. It can wait until tomorrow”, whereas it gets taken as an unexcusable trespass when our spouse does it. We grow to expect that, unlike a friend, our spouse can anticipate all of our needs and wishes. I agree with you that there needs to be a return to friendship, forgiveness, and acceptance of eachothers faults as human beings.

  2. That’s a good example, Marina. I have been guilty of blowing off my wife in the past in ways I would never have done to my friends. This was particularly hard for me to realize precisely because we WEREN’T friends first. We were romantically interested in each other from the moment we met, so, after a few years, whenever it was time to unwind and have fun on the weekends, I’d seek out my “friends” and leave my wife at home to twiddle her thumbs. This was bad enough at first, but once we had a kid it was downright poisonous to our marriage. I cherish our time together now, and if she forgets the milk– that’s okay. It can wait until tomorrow.

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