Relationships that continue to find ways to cultivate friendship in marriage are stronger than those that do not. Working to be best friends with your spouse is so important for satisfaction in the relationship. Doing life with someone you like spending time with is like a balm to your soul.
Another thing to think about here is the point the Scott makes in his book, Marriage God’s Way. He says:
It is natural to focus on the romance- eros (physical attraction or romantic love) of a marriage. But in doing so, we forget that marriage should actually be the union of two best friends. In many ways, phileo (a strong affection towards a friend) is a great description of what marriage should be: a deep and close friendship….
Of greater relevance to marriage is the fact that phileo is the love wives are instructed to have for their husbands. When Titus 2:3-4 commands older women to admonish younger women to love their husbands, the Greek word used is philandros- a combination of the words phileo and aner (Greek word for husband).
Friendship is certainly a need for your marriage. So how do you cultivate that in your relationship? Here are some ways you can do that.
1. Cultivate Friendship in Marriage Through Shared Experiences
Simply living in the same house doesn’t necessarily equal shared experiences. Some things will happen naturally, but to cultivate a deeper relationship, you have to become more intentional.
Set aside specific time to do things together. If you and your spouse do not have the same idea of fun, then plan to take turns doing the activity the other one likes.
Striking a balance with your shared experiences is important. Both of you need the freedom to suggest things you like doing and have the other go along with it. Best friends are just happy to be spending time together, whether the activity is their favorite or not.
These experiences should range from family outings, to volunteer opportunities, to participating in activities and hobbies together.
2. Cultivate Friendship in Marriage Through Meaningful Conversations
Maybe you and your spouse talk often, but are the conversations deep or meaningful? I find that a lot of couples spend a lot of time talking about their job, kids, and other responsibilities.
Make a concerted effort to have conversations that are not centered the home, work, or to-do lists. Rather, ask intentional questions that will get the other person thinking and sharing. When you ask the right things, it will turn into meaningful discussions where you can learn more about your spouse.
At a loss for what to talk about? I’m a huge advocate of conversation starters. Just read the question and both of you take turns answering it. I find that a lot of great discussion happens as a result of these types of questions.
3. Cultivate Friendship in Marriage by Laughing Together
Laughing together is invaluable for cultivating a deeper friendship. Find things that you can both laugh about. If you see a meme that you find funny, share it with them. If you hear a joke that you think they may like, tell them. Flirt with each other and smile a lot.
These are just a few ways that you can develop a deeper friendship with your spouse.
Share in the comments section: What would you add to the list? What have you found works in your relationship with your spouse?
Keelie is married to her high school sweetheart and is the mom of three awesome boys. She is a creator and loves sharing with the world around her. One of her biggest passions is to help married couples fall deeper in love with one another. She offers free printables to help the marriage relationship. You can read her marriage tips at Love Hope Adventure.