Best Friends Forever

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This Sunday, one of my best friends from back home in Pennsylvania got engaged.  What an exciting time!  Although I’m filled with joy, part of me can’t help but be a little nostalgic.  I’m realizing this is an end to the young, single chapter of our lives filled with carefree girl’s weekends or movie nights in our pajamas. It is the beginning of the married adult chapter full of time spent with husbands and starting a family.  Reasonably, this is a time when our friendship takes a back seat to the marital relationship.  Her future husband should be her best friend, constant companion, and confidant.  As outside friendships change on the “priority list” compared to family relationships, I think that maintaining the friendship with your spouse becomes even more valuable.

When I see couples like my own parents, I am amazed at their ability to still LIKE each other after over 25 years as a couple!  They may be married, live together, and see each other everyday—but that doesn’t automatically make them friends.  It takes work!  Sadly, once you lose the friendship or companionship aspect of your marriage, it can seem so difficult to get that back.

Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, and Susan Blumberg, authors of the book Fighting For Your Marriage, have some great advice to keep the friendship alive with your spouse.  Ideas from their book include “make the time”, “protect your friendship from conflict and issues”, and “talk like friends”.  But how can we REALLY do all that?

  • Make the time
    • Life is busy, but friend-time with a spouse is important.  If you plan an hour or two to spend time talking and having fun together, your friendship can be refueled.
    • Come up with fun ideas for distraction-free time together and write them down. Sometimes bringing back activities you did as a kid, like painting or water balloon fights, can add new energy to your relationship!
  • Protect your friendship from conflict and issues
    • Setting the ground rule that you’ll spend a certain amount of time together without discussing problems will allow you to focus on having fun and learning more about each other.
    • This doesn’t mean avoid conflict as working through difficulties can increase intimacy.  It means that couples should not let conflict consume their interactions.
  • Talk like friends
    • When you talk to your friends, you don’t spend the whole time solving their problems or telling them what to do.  You probably listen, caring about what they think and feel without getting defensive about their comments.  Remember this when talking to your partner.
    • We don’t try to change our friends, but we accept them, relax with them, and enjoy being together.  Spouses should get that same quality time with us, too!

For more fun activities, you can go to http://www.alabamamarriage.org/healthy-relationship-tips.php and try them out!

As I approach this time of change, I know my friends will still be there for me when I need them.  They may have less time to spend with me, but I understand that.  A good friend knows that the real BFFs, or Best Friends Forever, should be husband and wife!

Shauna

One Response to “Best Friends Forever”

  1. Suzi Trimboli Says:

    It sounds like you have learned alot already Shauna…. There will be lots of couples that will be blessed with what you have to say. All they have to do is listen. I look forward to hearing more from you….. Love you Suzi

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