15 Sep 7 Ways to Be Your Spouse’s Best Friend
All married couples want their marriage to be a happy one. On the day we say ‘I do’ we’re full of hopes about our happily ever after. But after a couple of years we may start to realise that marriage isn’t always blue skies and rainbows. Just like anything, marriages have their ups and downs.
But research shows that there are ways to buffer the ups and downs in a marriage. And one of the best ways is to be your spouse’s best friend.
Should your spouse be your best friend?
Some people ask if your spouse should be your best friend. It’s an easy answer. Absolutely. In fact, friendship is at the core of a strong marriage as well as greater individual wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Happy, strong marriages are based on a deep friendship. Research shows that not only do these marriages last, but couples in marriages based on high-quality friendship also have a stronger emotional connection, more romance and better physical satisfaction. And there is even a positive correlation between marriage and life satisfaction in couples where each said the other was also their best friend.
But with all the different things vying for our time and attention, how do we make the time and space to focus on building and maintaining a friendship with our spouse? Well, here are seven ways to be your spouse’s best friend.
7 Way to be your spouse’s best friend
Spend quality time together.
One of the best ways to have a strong, happy relationship with your partner is to keep dating each other. But don’t just settle for the same stale dates you’ve always done. Keep it interesting. Couples feel increased love and connection with each other when they spend time exploring new and challenging activities together.
Communication is the key component of all healthy relationships. Best friends (and spouses who are best friends) are close because they consistently check in with each other. And while it’s great to talk about the things that happen in everyday life, it’s also important to discuss difficult, deep or highly personal subjects as well. These things help you stay connected to each other over the long term.
Friendships of all shapes and sizes thrive on trust. Your friendship with your spouse is no different. When you have trust in your partner, it gives you a sense of safety and security that bolsters the marriage when things get hard (either within the marriage itself or from outside factors). Trust is also the basis for satisfactory sexual intimacy.
Happiness comes from moving towards the things that we want. This works for individuals, as well as couples. Setting and working towards life goals with one another gives you a chance to dream about your shared future, as well as tackle something as a team.
Find common interests.
Starting with your first rugby team through to the mums and dads at your children’s school – we are naturally inclined towards those who enjoy similar things to us. And doing things you enjoy together is a great way to build up a friendship with your spouse. Camping, cooking or even home improvement projects – it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are having fun together.
Make your spouse a priority.
It’s sometimes easy to put our spouse at the bottom of the long list of things we have to focus on each day. After all, we’ve already promised to love and cherish them forever, right? But true friendship comes from prioritising each other. That doesn’t mean your spouse is at the top of the list all the time. But sometimes they certainly should be.
There are lots of benefits to practising forgiveness in your life. For one thing, people who forgive are more likely to live longer. Studies also show that couples that regularly forgive one another have longer, more satisfying romantic relationships.
Forgiveness is essential because neither you nor your spouse is perfect. Everyone is flawed, and will eventually make a mistake. But to have a strong, lasting relationship (friendship and marriage) we need to grow our ability to forgive.
There’s no need for emotional intimacy to fade in your marriage. By spending time together, pursuing common goals and interests and forgiving, you can be sure that your spouse is also your best friend. And isn’t this the best of both worlds?
Author: Di O’Malley – Founder and Managing Director of Young Minds Health and Development Network, and Counselling Psychologist.
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