When we meet with engaged couples to do their premarital counseling, we can easily see the genuine friendship they have together. They are each other’s best friends. They know how to have fun together and are genuinely interested in what is important to their partner. They invest time and energy into their relationship.
Fast forward 15 years and it is not uncommon to see that a couple has lost the enthusiastic friendship that once defined their relationship. It has been overtaken by pressures of work, finances, family, church activities, and friends. Couples often find that although they live under the same roof, they have grown into two very different people. They no longer share the same interests and may even struggle to have good conversation. Where did the fun go?
If you have given the priority of friendship a back seat in your relationship, then it is time you take action to intentionally stoke the fires of friendship. Here are three ways to rekindle your friendship with your spouse:
- Weekly Date – Friendship takes an investment of time. Where are you investing the majority of your emotional energy? It may take some extra effort or even some imagination to have a regular weekly date with your spouse, but it will pay back dividends. There are always excuses that can get in the way.
- We can’t afford a sitter. Then have a candlelight dinner after the kids go to bed. Play music that reminds you of your dating years and dance together.
- My husband works long hours. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner to enjoy some special time together and give him a well-deserved break.
- Finances are tight. If you don’t have extra money for a date night, then schedule time to give each other a nice full-body massage.
- Meaningful Conversation – When you do finally get away for a date, be sure that your conversation doesn’t gravitate towards heavy topics like work, finances, or difficult relationships. Your conversation should be fun, nostalgic or visionary. If you have difficulty coming up with some ideas on what to talk about here are some fun Conversation Starters.
- Have Fun Together – Fun is the best litmus test to indicate the health of a relationship. If a couple has fun together, the relationship is healthy. Conversely, if fun is missing, the relationship is likely suffering. It is not uncommon for a couple couple that did everything together when first married, struggles to find anything they enjoy doing together now. She spends her extra time doing crafts with her girlfriends. He likes to golf with the guys. If this describes your relationship, then here is a solution. Each of you make a list of 5 things you would enjoy doing together for fun. Share your lists with each other. You can each veto 2 items on the other’s list. Then start having fun together doing different things off of your lists. You might discover something new and exciting that you both love.
In order for friendship to flourish it needs to be nurtured. It takes an intentional investment of time and effort. Sometimes it even takes a little sacrifice. God gave you this special person to be your partner for a lifetime. Jesus quoted Genesis in Mark 10:8 when he said,
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
God wants you to operate as one in love and friendship. When we follow God’s blueprint for marriage, he has amazing blessings in store for us!