Five Steps to Make Your Spouse Your Best Friend

Couples Counseling Tips: Fiery romance born from physical attraction is the basis of many engagements and marriages. But stop and think about it: What attributes describe best friend relationships? Honest and open communication, trust, acceptance, support, affirmation, empathy, and enthusiasm for shared interests…the list could go on and on. Wouldn’t those same attributes make for a great marriage?

Maintaining friendship in your marriage takes work. But if you are looking for a high yield investment, this is the one you need. Below are 5 couples counseling tips:

    1. Make a list of what you want in a best friend.

This is a simple, but effective first step: Write down all the things your spouse could do and say to make you feel like you are their best friend.

    1. To have a friend, you must first be a friend.

Now, take that list and act as if your spouse gave you that list. To have a friend you must first be a friend. Building a friendship with your spouse will happen more naturally when you act as your spouse’s best friend rather than presenting your spouse with demands for what you want.

    1. Eliminate as much negativity as possible.

Life is tough enough without nit picking and nagging between lovers. You can advance peace, harmony, and friendship more effectively by expressing gratitude to your spouse for things they already do. You may be surprised to discover that the more genuinely thankful you are, the more things your spouse will find to do to keep those accolades coming. So even if you have to start small, start somewhere.

    1. Go back to dating.

Do you remember things your spouse did for you back when you were dating that made you feel special? It’s likely that there are things you used to do for your spouse that you don’t do anymore, either. Identify those nice gestures and do them again. You probably do all kinds of things for your friends that keep them friends, so consider those things, too.

    1. Encourage their favorite activities…even if it’s not your cup of tea.

My husband and I love movies. Unfortunately, he likes sci-fi and I like romantic comedies. We joke about “punishing” the other one by dragging them to see our favorite movie; but in reality, we’ve both discovered we can enjoy each other’s types of movie genres even if it wasn’t our first choice (and often would be our very last choice). By taking interest in your spouse’s favorite activities, music, or movies, you are sending a very important message: “You’re important!”

You certainly have the option to focus on “me time” during a hectic family life. However, don’t forget that our closest support system positively impacts every area of our lives. Don’t be surprised if one day you turn to your spouse for support and they are no longer there. Friendship in marriage is the one root that can grow deep and help weather the storms of life, but it must be nurtured and protected.

This articles is presented by Staff Writer at Thrive Boston Counseling, offering couples counseling at 872 Massachusetts Ave, Ste 2-2, Cambridge, MA 02139 – 617-395-5806.