How did we go from having a really bad marriage for twenty years to a marriage that has become everything we had hoped for? Well first of all, it took God’s grace, some counseling, and a lot of work. But along the way we discovered something very powerful, something we had lost through all of the fighting and communication breakdowns, we discovered how to be friends again. And the truth is we discovered how to be friends in a way we had never been before.
A funny thing happened along the way as we were making plans to split up for the last time. It was the night before Thanksgiving when we had our last big argument that ended with “we will just get a divorce.” But by the next day as we worked on the details of what we would do, we made a plan to wait until after Christmas and our son’s birthday in late December. It was then that we started behaving like mature adults. We were both hurting and we were sad, but we started to cherish our last remaining days together.
Then before you know it, our few weeks of staying together because of our son turned into a year and a half. During that time we spent a lot of time together talking, laughing, and crying. We went over our deepest issues with our marriage and our past. And again not knowing how much time we would have left we valued our time together. Until finally we had created such a bond there was no way we could give it up. We became best friends for life.
Friendship in marriage is real important. It’s that place in marriage where two people are joined together in a way that they not only love each other, they really like each other.
When you like your spouse you will want to spend time with him/her. As friends you look forward to every chance you get to be together.
Friendship in marriage also creates a place of intimacy where two hearts can share their deepest thoughts and feelings. You feel accepted and approval from your friend, so you know it is ok to open up and be vulnerable. And you are interested in your spouse in such a way that you want to know how they feel and what they think, what makes them tick.
And when you have friendship in your marriage your activities and interest become enriched because you have your favorite person to share them with. You get more out of the things you do and the interest you have because of the connection it creates for you and your best friend. You find ways to spend time together by doing things together. You begin to find new ways to do things together so that you can share even more experiences with your spouse.
So how do you build a great friendship in your marriage?
You treat each other the way you would treat a friend.
Here are 7 ways friends treat each other.
- Gentle: Friends are typically gentle and kind with each other. I mean they are not rude or hash with their words and always critical of what each other is doing. They may pick at each other and give each other a hard time, but it is in fun with no intention to hurt and be cruel.
- Considerate: Friends consider how each other feels and thinks. They’re not always insisting on their own way.
- Serving: Friends do things to help each other. When they see a need, they step in and give a hand.
- Honest: A good friend will always tell you the truth. They may look for the most gentle way of saying it, but they are motivated to always be up front with you.
- Forgiving: Friends do hurt each other sometimes, but their need for continuing the relationship causes them to freely forgive offences.
- Loyal: A good friend will stick by you through thick and thin. And even when they are away from you, they will not let others speak badly of you
- Trust worthy: When you know you have a really good friend you know you can trust them to never do you any harm.
How do you build a friendship that last a lifetime.
- Time: A lasting friendship has to start with quality time spent together. All of us have maintained some friendships even when our time together is not what it use to be. But we never would have built those relationships if we had not spent some quality time together. And the truth is, most friendships will fade if quality time is not kept as a priority.
- Communication: Good friendships are built when hearts are shared. We don’t just exchange words that are full of information, we open ourselves up to each other. We show each other the real person that lives inside our skin.
- Shared interest: It is important that friends share some common interest. Things they like to do, places they like to go, and other people they like to be with are some ways to share common interest.
- Shared beliefs: Friendship in marriage must share some common beliefs. They may differ on some things, but overall they will agree on their basic philosophies of life.
- Shared life rhythm: Friendship in marriage is about the dance and the rhythm you dance to. It’s about doing life together in a way that creates a partnership.
- Shared goals: Moving in a certain direction, goals you are reaching for will build unity in your relationship.
Question: What are the best ways you have found to build friendship with your spouse?