Building Friendship in Marriage

Did you marry your best friend?

I didn’t. But that was because I did not have a best friend. 

By the time I was 13 years old, I had learned that the easiest thing on my heart was to keep people at an arm’s length. I did not have a best friend by the time I was a teenager, and I preferred it that way.

The drama that went on in our junior high class convinced me that to keep my heart free from becoming close to anyone was to my advantage. 

My husband and I started dating when I was 16, and although I did grow to love him, I always kept him at an arm’s length. 

Not intentionally, and definitely not knowingly. It took many years of struggling in our marriage before I realized exactly how high my emotional barriers had gotten. 

We had many friends. Yet, there was no one that I could pour my heart out to. My heart cried for a best friend, a soul mate, someone who would listen to me, and understand my struggles. Someone I could trust.

For that was the root cause of why my husband was not my best friend.

I did not trust him. 

Are you living in a Marriage without friendship?

Do you struggle to be vulnerable and open with your husband? 

I have been there, for much too many years. Marriage without friendship is a lonely journey. True friends from the outside can help ease the pain, but until you and your husband learn to become the best of friends, your marriage will never thrive the way it can. 

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born in adversity.” Proverbs 17:7 (KJV)

Importance of Friendship in Marriage

According to Dr. Gottman, a relationship expert, deep friendship is very important to be a happy couple. Friendship is the root of commitment and trust.

What I found interesting was that it forms the basis for intimacy and satisfying sex. 

Without deep friendship in your marriage, not only will you not be connected emotionally with your husband, but you will also not have a very good sex life.

Sound familiar?

We had been married for almost ten years when my husband became a born again Jesus believer. Not only was the change in my husband a complete surprise, it also brought up many old painful scars that had never truly healed.

It also brought to light how much unforgiveness and bitterness I still had in my heart.

We decided to attend a one-week intensive counseling session, and while it helped a bit, the biggest thing it did was give me a glimpse of what a holy marriage should look like. For two weeks we had a wonderful marriage.

After getting that glimpse, I knew there was more to what our marriage should look like, but I did not know what was missing.

Over the next year, God worked in my heart and showed me the walls that I had built around my war-torn heart. 

There was no one that could heal those sores but Jesus. 

Today I can truthfully say my husband is my best friend. 

And I praise God for that. Friendship in marriage is not possible when you are an emotionally disconnected couple.

So How Can You Build Friendship in Marriage?

A lapsed friendship can be restored with intentionality, sacrifice, perseverance, and especially prayer.Focus on the Family

1. Forgive. Don’t let past bitterness keep you from opening up to him.

2. Learn to Listen, to what is being said as well as what is not being said. 

3. Take an interest in his interests and hobbies. If he loves hockey, learn all about it (OK, I’m still not doing this!)

4. Spend time with Him. Just sharing space. I sometimes sit and watch my husband build things for our farm. 

5. Share your stories. Open up, be vulnerable. Maybe he will think you are being silly,  but maybe he will just smile and think you are cute. Take the chance!

The most important part of a marriage in which you are truly friends is vulnerability. It is also the hardest part, especially when there are past hurts and a lack of trust. God can help you learn to trust again and heal your broken heart.

Marriage without friendship is a sad marriage indeed, and yet today a lot of people are living in lonely, friendless, and boring marriages.

Let’s spice things up and be intentional about our marriage. It is supposed to be a beautiful thing, and by the grace of God, it will be.

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