It’s natural for couples to want to be romantic together, but when was the last time you checked on your friendship as a married couple? Good friends spend time together, are trustworthy, kind, take an interest in one another, laugh together and are always on the same team – even when they are arguing.
If your relationship lacks a deep friendship it may negatively affect your sex life, as well as your recreational time together. This can leave both partner’s feeling unfulfilled in the marriage.
Being a good friend to your spouse improves communication, improves relationship satisfaction, and strengthens the physical and emotional intimacy in marriage. Here are 10 ways married couples can strengthen their friendship for an even closer connection.
1. Spend Time Together
In order to be good friends as a married couple, you’ll need to consider what close friends do. One of the best tips to being better friends is to spend more time together. You can do this by instating a weekly date night. Every week on that night you will alternate planning a date for the other person.
This is a great way to get away from the stress of work and other responsibilities and just go out and have fun together.
Some great ideas for date night are to recreate your first date, do a fancy night in by making a complicated dinner together, an early morning coffee date, have a picnic, take a day trip, or take up a hobby together.
2. Laugh Together
Good friends love to have fun and laugh together and the same should be true for you and your spouse. Research from the University of Kansas shows the importance of humor in romantic relationships. The results showed that couples are happier when they share the same sense of humor.
During courtship, studies show that the more a woman laughs during courtship the greater chance she will become romantically attached to her suitor.
Laughter is also a great way to relieve stress, diffuse uncomfortable situations, and connect you on a deeper level. When couples laugh together the brain releases endorphins, which create feelings of euphoria and happiness.
3. Argue Like Friends
When you argue with your friend you’re worried about hurting each other’s feelings and your main focus is to resolve your differences, so why should arguing with a spouse be any different?
The next time you’re in an argument with your spouse, ask yourself how you would handle the situation if you were talking to a friend. Most likely, you would not berate them or bring up issues from the past in order to shame or hurt them. Be willing to apologize, show patience, try and see things from your spouse’s perspective, and always argue with a view to solving an issue – not attacking one another.
4. Check-In with your partner
One way to build emotional intimacy in marriage is to check in regularly with one another. Ask your spouse how they are doing, what they are feeling, and if they are alright.
Some married couples do this by holding a weekly marriage meeting. This meeting is at least 20 minutes long and involves expressing gratitude towards your spouse, telling them all the things you are enjoying about your relationship lately and then addressing any issues you want to touch on such as planning date nights or family activities or discussing finances or chores.
These weekly check-ins give you an excellent opportunity to communicate with one another about a wide variety of topics.
5. Be Trustworthy
Trust is essential for healthy marriages and friendships. When couples trust each other, they create a sense of dependability, loyalty, and respect for one another.
Your spouse may frustrate you at times, but it’s important not to complain about them to your friends and family. This is very disrespectful and will deeply hurt your spouse’s feelings and their trust.
When couples stand up for one another and protect each other’s reputation, respect blooms, which in turn builds trust in a relationship. There is nothing more reassuring than knowing the one you love the most will always have your back.
6. Take an Interest in Your Spouse
Good friends take an interest in one another. You can make your spouse feel special by taking an interest in their hobbies. By doing so you show your partner that you value their company, their hobbies, and their opinions.
Even if you are not particularly interested in their hobby, perhaps a sport or musical instrument, taking the time to explore that activity and find out what your partner enjoys about it gives you a better insight into your spouse and makes them feel important.
7. Demonstrate affection through Physical Touch
When your friend is down, you loop your arm through theirs, pat them on the back, high-five them when something amazing happens, and hug them as an expression of genuine affection. If you are doing these things with friends, how much more so should you do them with your spouse?
When couples express physical acts of intimacy they create a deep emotional connection that benefits their emotional intimacy in marriage as well as their sex life. This is largely due to the oxytocin that is released during physical contact with a loved one. This hormone is responsible for feelings of intense love and trust.
8. Support Each Other
Good friends support each other. They encourage one another to follow their dreams and celebrate successes. In order to build emotional intimacy in marriage, you must be willing to support each other through thick and thin.
Visible support, such as helping out with your spouse’s work or household responsibilities when they are stressed out, is incredibly helpful. However, studies reveal that invisible support, such as giving practical advice or distracting a partner from a stressful situation, is what leads to the most positive results.
Creating a friendship with your spouse will build emotional intimacy in marriage, increase communication, and improve your sex life. You can do this by choosing to spend your time together, laughing more, and by taking an interest in one another. Strengthen your marriage by taking steps to become best friends with your partner today.