Is your Spouse your BFF? Do you consider him or her your “Best Friend Forever?” Is that the way you describe your spouse? I hope so… I grieve for those who never get to experience this wonderful aspect of a good marriage. It took us a while to get here ourselves, but just like it says on a pillow that we have on our living room couch, “My husband is my best friend.” And he is (and he says I am for him).
But it sure hasn’t come without intentionality and working through a lot of our “stuff.” This has helped us so we can better give each other grace and space to enjoy our relationship and a great friendship.
Is Your Spouse Your BFF?
I totally agree with Dr Juli Slattery in what she wrote:
“Like most aspects of marriage, friendship doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it. Think about the friends you had in college. As much as you may have loved and enjoyed them, you’ve probably lost touch over the years. Your lives have drifted apart. Even though you live under the same roof, this can happen in marriage too. You and your husband can forget to have fun, can develop separate hobbies and passions, and can lose the art of enjoying each other’s company. You can slowly start to exist as roommates.”
We were at that “roommate” stage in our marriage in the past. And sadly, sometimes we’ve even been at an “enemy” stage —where we treated each other more like adversaries, than marital partners. But thank God, He has helped us to open our eyes and instead work on being “best friends” —“best friends forever.”
I want to share with you something else that Dr Juli wrote (in a Today’s Christian Woman web site article titled, Marriage BFFs?). It’s a tip “for nurturing a friendship” with your spouse. It’s something that Steve and I learned to do a long time ago. And it has helped our relationship A LOT!
In the article that Dr Slattery wrote, she gives 3 tips for building a friendship with the spouse. Here is one of them:
A Tip to Make Your Spouse Your BFF:
“Just do something.
When it comes to friendship, men tend to like to do life together while women prefer to process life together. For you, building a friendship may mean weekly coffee dates where you share your thoughts and feelings with your husband. You connect by talking. Most likely, your husband isn’t wired this way. He feels connected with you by doing life with you. Guys don’t usually meet at Starbucks to share thoughts and feelings. They golf, bowl, or work on a project together.
“While there may be times for a ‘talking date,’ make the effort to become your husband’s friend by sharing in what he likes to do. Watching a movie, running on side-by-side treadmills at the gym, or going to Home Depot may not seem very romantic. But even if you aren’t talking, this may be how your husband shares friendship with you. As you spend time doing life with your husband, times to talk become a natural part of shared activity.
“This morning, my husband and I did a 5 a.m. swim class together. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it made his day. As I was swimming my laps, I’d hear him yell across the pool, ‘I love you! You’re doing great, Juli!’ After our swim, we went out for coffee, which made my day. (Now if I can just stay awake!)”
Talking and “Doing” Dates
In our relationship, we are the same way. Steve likes to DO things together as a couple, where I like to PROCESS life together. If I put too much pressure on Steve to have too many “talking dates” Steve isn’t as engaged as I would want. But if I DO some things with him –whether it’s watching a movie or television program he enjoys, or scratching his back, having private romantic time, or going out to eat at a favorite restaurant of his, or going to one of the events he is in charge of for ministry —working alongside him, then he is more open to “talking dates.”
This way I’m happier and so is he. We feel connected.
As I read the ending of Juli’s article, I also agree with something else she wrote:
“Picture where you and your husband might be in a few decades, in the winter of your marriage. Your kids will be grown and gone. …How will you fill an empty house and hours of silence? Through friendship, the powerful bond that will keep you connected through each season of joy and grief. It’s worth working toward now!”
Winter of Your Marriage
I remember a number of years ago when our youngest son was planning on moving out of the house to be closer to the college he was attending. It was a bit premature, and eventually he decided to wait until he finished school (which we agreed with).
But his older brother called me with a concerned voice. He asked me how I was doing with the thought of having an “empty nest” after having so many years of busyness with our “kids” livening up our home. I laughed and told him that while I LOVED being a mom and having them around so much… his dad and I would do “just fine” being “alone together.” We loved being with them. But we didn’t NEED to be with them all the time. We would be “just fine —not to worry!”
And we have been. We really, really miss our sons and their families. (They live so far away from us —with our oldest living in Seoul, Korea, and our other son and his wife living on the other side of the country.) So we don’t get to hug them very often. But we thank God for the gift of Skype!
However, my husband is truly my “Best friend forever” —my BFF. And for that, I am truly thankful.
Work to Make Your Spouse Your BFF Ahead of the Empty Nest Time
If you aren’t at that place in your life, and if your spouse will participate with you in getting there, it is such a wonderful place to be. I have many gal friends, and my husband has many guy friends. But there is no other human person we would much rather be with than each other.
Having a spouse as a BFF? Yes, definitely! For us, it’s true! And I hope it is or will be someday true for you. NOW is the time to put that into place, if you still have kids at home. It brings security to them, and it will sure pay off BIG time later after the “kids” are in the stage of life where they are making homes of their own. I hope you remember that.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
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