Friends for Lifemelindahill | March 1, 2011
Remember when you were dating how you looked forward to spending time together, you did special things for one another without being asked or expecting anything in return and shared the good and bad things in your life. If a marital relationship is not built upon a solid foundation of friendship, it may become more difficult for partners to stay connected over time or to become less polite and respectful to each other as time passes because they feel more comfortable with each other. However, spouses who remain good friends throughout life usually find much more enjoyment and satisfaction in their relationship.
Here’s a list of several things that might help to keep your friendship alive, read through and see what you already do and what you might try?
• Talk – really about each other for 15-20 minutes every day.
• Hold hands, open doors for each other, be respectful to each other.
• Go for walks- the weather is getting nicer, turn off the TV and get outside.
• Dance- what’s your favorite music? Your spouse?
• Play games- card games, board games- a great way for family time in the evening.
• Work on a mutual project together.
• Plan little surprises for each other.
• Laugh together.
• Compliment each other often- look for the good things.
• Leave unexpected notes of praise.
• Develop signals that say “I love you.”
• Say “thank you” for little kindnesses.
• Talk about your dreams.
• Say “I love you.”
• Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
• Have a candlelight dinner.
When I treat my spouse like my best friend, many of these actions come naturally. Daily acts of kindness can promote the growth of romance in the marriage. When many people think about romance, they envision going away for a weekend to celebrate their anniversary or receiving a dozen roses. Most of us would think that’s romantic but researcher, John Gottman has found that true romance is best preserved when partners frequently respect and care for each other in ordinary ways. Little things like preparing a favorite meal or sending an unexpected note or even helping with the projects at hand have shown to have a dramatic impact upon the quality of one’s marriage.
Research has shown that the amount of fun time spouses spend together is a major factor in the happiness of their marriage. Sharing enjoyable times prevents people from getting bored with their relationships and helps rejuvenate them when they are very busy and preoccupied with other cares and concerns. That means that we really have to plan to make time for our marriage, it can’t just be the “leftover” time at the end of the day or weekend if we expect to really have a strong marriage. It does not matter what the activity is, as long as it allows both partners to relax and enjoy each other’s company.