It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I write a post, and then you all chime in by linking up your own marriage posts to the Linky below! Today Jamie Worley shares valuable advice in keeping a friendship with your husband.
My parents were married nearly 25 years before they divorced. As is almost always the case, there were many factors at play in their divorce, but I believe the biggest factor is that they’d grown apart. It’s normal for people to grow and change over the years, but it takes intentional effort to grow together.
Since then – as a woman who has been married, divorced, and remarried – I’ve learned many lessons the hard way. I’m thankful beyond words for God’s grace though my thick-headedness. For nearly a decade now, I’ve been married to a wonderful man who has learned his fair share of lessons the hard way as well. As we’ve navigated life and parenting in our blended family, adopted three more children, and struggled through times of stress and loss, we’ve come to realize this truth: friendship with your spouse is essential to a strong marriage!
How to stay friends with your husband:
Carve out time together and make it a priority. Even if you can’t get out of the house for date night, there are plenty of ways to find time together. Some of our friends established Friday night “dates” in their bedroom; they’d order a pizza and get a movie for the kids, then have dinner and romance in their own bedroom. By the time the kids were teens, they’d claim to be mortified at knowing what Mom and Dad were doing behind those bedroom doors, but it made the kids realize marriage was a priority to their parents — and that real romance isn’t how Hollywood usually portrays it!
We haven’t done that (yet) but we do take time when Ken gets home from work to sit on the back porch or chat in the kitchen to catch up on our days, and do our best to make the kids understand this Mama-and-Daddy time is important. As long as we follow through on promises to do something with them afterwards, the kids are usually good about letting us do this without [too many!] interruptions.
Any time we’ve let time together slide on the priority list, we’ve seen the ill effects on our relationship, so we protect this time – although it does look different at differing life stages!
A sense of humor makes nearly every situation better, even the hard ones. When we added our two littlest ones to the family earlier this year (at age 4 and 5), there were days I thought I might lose my mind — but as I’d regale Ken with the struggles of the day, we’d usually end up tickled about it all. No matter what we face, laughter really is often the best medicine. When things aren’t so tough, it’s even easier to find reason to laugh together!
Need more motivation? Read a bit about the science behind smiles to find out how good it is for you!
If I want to get into an in-depth discussion about shoe styles, household decor, or hormones, I’ll likely bend a girlfriend’s ear rather than subject Ken to those topics — but we do need a chance to chat and reconnect. Often. We trust each other enough to share our deepest thoughts, but conversations don’t always have to be profound; just knowing we care about what the other has to say goes a long way to keeping our friendship alive and well.
Your hopes and dreams should show up in these conversations occasionally, too. It’s an opportunity to encourage each other, and it helps you stay on the same page for what your lives together might look like in years to come.
Share a Hobby
It’s not truly a necessity, but a shared hobby does help give you something to talk about, something to do when you’re spending time together, and often something to laugh about! Try making time for an interest you already share, give each other’s favorite activity a whirl, or try something new to you both!
Think about how you treat your best girlfriend. Most likely, if she’s having a crisis, you’re there to help. If she needs to talk, you offer a nonjudgmental listening ear. You usually have fun together no matter what you’re doing. You can be yourself with her, but you always make an effort to consider her feelings. Do you show the same consideration to your husband as you do to your girlfriends? If you’re anything like me, this is sometimes hard to live out on a daily basis, but remembering he’s my friend as well as my husband gives me a reality check in how I treat him.
In every marriage, romance will have highs and lows, but genuine friendship with your spouse is a strong glue. Bonus: it makes life more enjoyable, too!
Jamie is wife and homeschooling mama in a family blended by marriage and foster-adoption. She credits Jesus, a husband with a great sense of humor, and copious quantities of steaming hot tea with keeping her sane. Follow along with her at See Jamie blog.
Now, what advice do you have for us today? Leave the URL of a blog post about marriage in the Linky below. And be sure to link back here so that other people can read this great marriage advice!