Mandy is a military spouse. She has been married to her husband for 16 years. She has a BA in English and a Masters in Psychology.
Being Your Spouse's Best Friend
Anyone who is, or who has been married knows that it isn't easy. It isn't the fairytale books and movies would have you believe that it is. But, it is wonderful and it is worth it. As the years go by and you wake up each morning next to that person you pledged to spend the rest of your life with, things can begin to seem monotonous. You may find yourself feeling complacent even. However, that doesn't mean your marriage is doomed. It doesn't even necessarily mean that anything is wrong. It can simply mean that you need to shake things up a bit.
When we are dating, we are trying every day to things just right. We don't want to do anything to upset or scare away that special someone. We dress up, we go out, we laugh, we listen to each other's stories. Everything seems to be tinted with rose colored glasses. After we've been married for a while, however, life gets in the way and many of those aspects of dating fall to the wayside.
Here are my top 10 ways to be your spouse's best friend and strip things back to the way they were when you were still wearing those rose colored glasses of dating.
"Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife."
— Franz Schubert
Part of marriage is being involved in each other's lives, that's a given. However, there is a difference in being involved in your spouse's life and getting involved in their life. Think of the things you enjoy doing with your best friend. Now, picture doing those things with your spouse.
If you enjoy going out to a wine tasting with your girlfriends, why not do that with your spouse? If you like going to a ball game with the guys, why not take your wife?
Often times we separate that part of our lives from our spouse because we assume they won't enjoy it. However, part of life is trying new things. The biggest part of friendship is doing things together. So, in marriage why not combine the two? Find something your spouse enjoys doing, and do it with them. It doesn't have to be your favorite thing, but try it for them. You never know, you may find that you enjoy it more than you thought, and better yet, you get to spend the time with them.
The adage "laughter is the best medicine" is not a cliché for no reason. Laughter makes you happy. If you are feeling down and people around you start to laugh, it has a way of lifting the cloud over your head. The same is true for marriage. Laughing with your spouse can bring you closer. It can bring an aspect of joy to your marriage that you may not have known existed.
Laughter creates a bond between you as well. When you find the same things funny, it can lead to on going jokes that then lead to more laughter. My husband and I have jokes that have been ongoing for years that we still laugh about. It can lighten things up in a world that can seem so heavy.
I know you're probably thinking this completely obvious. But, you would be amazed at how many people coexist and never really talk. Take the time and truly talk to your spouse. Tell them about your day, or about something you saw or heard. Even more than that, tell them about your thoughts and feelings. Tell them about your hopes and dreams. Tell them about your fears. Make your spouse that person you tell anything and everything to.
On the other side of that, be open to hearing those things from them as well. Make your relationship a safe space for both you to express anything without judgement. Cement your bond by being vulnerable with each other.
I mentioned before that dating is that "perfect" time in a relationship. Make the time to bring that back to your marriage. It doesn't matter if you've been married 1 year or 21 years, date your spouse. Make the time to go on a real date. Get dressed up. Hold hands. Sit close at a restaurant. Whatever made that time of dating special for you, do it now. Why not? What's stopping you?
If you have kids, get a sitter. If you're tired from work, go out anyways. Make the time to date your spouse. It will bond you and that spark of friendship you knew at the beginning will reignite. It will remind you why you fell in love in the first place, and maybe even make you fall in love all over again.
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
— Mignon McLaughlin
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Mandy Baker