Fostering Friendship with Your Spouse

One of the things I appreciate most about marriage is having a good friend who I see and speak with every day.

Are you and your spouse as good of friends as you’d like to be? Here are 4 things we can do to promote the growth of friendship within our marriages.

Back when we first got married, my husband and I found it easy to cultivate our friendship. However, as the demands on our time and energy have increased—particularly since becoming parents—we’ve found it challenging to invest in each other as friends.

I believe these four things promote the growth of friendship in marriage. They’re helping my husband and I grow in friendship and they can do the same for you and your spouse.

How to grow in friendship with your spouse

Share about concerns, disappointments, victories, and dreams

Communication and sharing are two hallmarks of friendship. These may look different between different sets of friends, but there is some communication and sharing that takes place. In marriage, it’s easy for these to get stalled at a practical level:

  • “We need to pick up toilet paper from the store.”
  • “What’s on your to-do list for this weekend?”
  • “Has she outgrown her shoes already?”

Practical communication and sharing are necessary to complete the tasks of everyday life, but they don’t do much to promote friendship. On the other hand, when we take time to share the things that are on our hearts, it helps us connect and grow in our understanding of one another. It often takes a little work to find opportunities to share about these things, but it’s worth it!

Encourage and challenge one another

Once friends have shared about the things on their hearts, they often encourage each other in areas where they are down and challenge each other in areas where they need to grow. We should do this within our friendships with our spouses, too. It shows that we care and believe in each other. Moreover, it provides opportunities for iron to sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17) and for us to work together to achieve outcomes.

Explore shared interests

Friends often take part in activities together. Doing so provides opportunities to visit and spend time together while having fun. In marriage, often we spend our time completing everyday tasks like weeding the garden, folding the laundry, and shopping for groceries. There’s no reason we can’t connect and enjoy each other during commonplace activities like these, but it is so valuable to discover and take part in shared interests that are outside of our everyday activities (e.g., playing tennis, trying new restaurants, visiting museums, camping). Doing this gives us times of fellowship with our spouses where stress and distractions are minimal.

Laugh together

Friends often laugh because they tease one another, tell funny stories to each other, and share “inside jokes.” Laughter strengthens the bond of friendship by helping friends connect, have fun, and recharge together. We desperately need this with the friends who are our spouses because the issues we face in daily life are often heavy and stressful! Because we share so much with our spouses, there should be no shortage of funny memories and inside jokes or of things to tease each other about (lighthearted, non-hurtful teasing, of course).

Final thoughts

Though I’ve been implementing these strategies, I always keep in mind that I can’t take the place of my husband’s buddies, nor can he take the place of my female friends. It’s very important for us to invest in these friendships, too. For that matter, it’s also beneficial for us to seek out friendships with other couples. All of these are important and play roles in strengthening our marriage.

Do you feel like you and your spouse are friends? How do you maintain and enrich this friendship within the chaos of everyday life?

Shared at the following:

Monday’s Musings, Literacy Musings Monday, Tuesday Talk, Coffee and Conversation, Tune in Thursday, From Messes to Messages, and The Art of Home-Making.

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Comments

  1. Great tips for fostering relationship with our spouse. I love them all and in our 28 years of marriage we have definitely done them all at different times… I think my favortite is laughing together – and then shared interests – but I have found taking the time to do the things that interest him even though they don’t interest me hasn’t been so bad either. We are neighbors at #LMM Blessings to you!

    PS.. if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my new linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3am PST and runs through Sunday night. you can find it at debbiekitterman.com/blog (Please feel free to delete the link if you think it inappropriate).

    • Hi Debbie,
      It’s great to hear that these have served you well in your 28 years of marriage!
      Thanks for visiting and I’ll try to stop by on Thursday.

      • Shannon – I am so glad that you were able to linkup last week. I was speaking at a retreat this past weekend and I am just now working on getting to my comments from last weeks #TuneInThursday Thank you so much for linking up and I hope you will join again week.

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips at Literacy Musing Mondays. My husband and I will celebrate 20 years next month. Maintaining friendship is difficult but rewarding. I find that it is harder now that we have teenagers, especially when we don’t always agree with parenting at this level.

  3. This is such a great conversation…because marriage is the best when we treat each other as friends!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #tuneinthursday

  4. Hi, Shannon, this is so good. As our family has grown, it’s been challenging to keep that friendship aspect vibrant — and tempting to slip into a business partner mentality just to keep things afloat around here! But I’m thankful that I can still say (after nearly 27 years) that my husband and I function as friends and partners!

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