It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
To make a public vow to be with someone for the rest of your life is surely one of the most unforgettable moments in one’s life. Ideally, many see it as the start of something lovely and blissful. Sadly, tales of failed marriages are as frequent or even far outweighs stories of happy unions. The usual reasons for separations are irreconcilable differences and frequent misunderstandings. Since couples likely voluntarily chose to be together, it is quite strange why it suddenly becomes so difficult to see each other eye to eye in marriage. If you come to think about it, you may just realize that the missing element is friendship.
Why do couples need to be friends?
One research study shows that married couples who consider themselves as best friends experienced the highest level of life satisfaction. It is not surprising as it will surely be a breeze to be with your best buddy. To be friends with your spouse also serves as assurance that there is someone who you can confide in at anytime. So if you intend to make your relationship last, you may want to create a beautiful friendship with your spouse. The following suggestions can help you maintain happiness in your marriage:
Do activities together
Even with contrasting interests and personalities, it is a must to find something that the two of you can share together. FInding a common activity that both of you enjoy gives more opportunity to spend time with each other. These activities that allow you to have fun together will likely lead to a beautiful friendship and strengthen your bond as a couple.
Respect each other’s space
Marriage does not have to erase one’s individuality so even as you take time to be together, you also respect your differences. This means also pursuing activities that do not include each other. You do this with awareness that even as you spend time apart, you are still always ready to support one another. It is one way to let nurture individual growth that in the end will make your union stronger.
Friends are people who know almost everything about us, flaws and all, but still accept us wholeheartedly. One way to enjoy that same connection with your spouse is by having meaningful conversations. Frequent talks will help you get to know your significant other well. Of course, good communication will only work if both are willing to share and listen without leading to judgments or arguments.
Give gifts and compliments
You want to be each other’s source of joy, and being generous with each other will help. Make each other feel better by being quick to offer praises or thanks. This can include being extra patient or understanding so you bite your tongue whenever you feel like saying something upsetting. You can also fulfill each other’s wishes by giving surprise gifts or rewards. Gifts do not always have to be expensive or extravagant. It can be as simple as cooking your partner’s favorite dish or offering to do a chore. These simple gestures are often enough to show your appreciation to each other.
The happiest couples are those who managed to make friendship the foundation of their marriage. So before tying the knot, you may want to first think if the person you are about to choose will be a great friend as well.