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How to Balance Friendship and Romance in Your Marriage

December 1, 2022

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By Dawn R. Ward

While balancing romance and friendship in your marriage might seem daunting, it’s not as hard as you might think. 

You may long to be your husband’s best friend while still keeping the spark aglow in your marriage, like many other wives. 

Ask any woman if her husband prefers friendship or romance in their marriage, and her response will probably go something like this, “My husband has sex on his mind 24/7. Hands down. It’s romance!”

The truth is, while our husbands love romance, they also crave our friendship. In this cut-throat world, they need a safe place to come home to, a retreat, a sanctuary. They need to feel valued, loved and respected. Sounds a lot like a best friend, doesn’t it? 

Why We Need to be Friends with Our Husbands

My husband is my best friend. He is my biggest cheerleader. I am his. But, being a great friend is hard work. To understand what friendship in marriage looks like, let’s start by examining our other friendships.

Communication is key. It’s easy to talk to our “besties,” isn’t it? I mean, we just seem to get each other. We should strive for this same compatibility, only better, in our marriages. 

Our husbands don’t always recognize their need for a friend in whom they can confide. Hanging out with their buddies, watching football, or playing a round of golf is often their idea of friendship. But secretly they may crave more than that.

Friendship in marriage is more than just being your husband’s buddy. It requires you to get to know him on the most intimate level possible. 

But What About Romance?

As you seek to become his safe place, his calm in the storm, friendship and romance will be the result. The more we laugh and enjoy each other’s company, the more intimate and romantic we become. While romance can tend to fizzle out over time, friendship grows through mutual trust and respect.

5 Ways to Be Your Husband’s Best Friend

How to Balance Friendship and Romance in Your Marriage

Here are five ways you can balance friendship and romance in your marriage.

  1. Love him unconditionally. Best friends give each other grace. We accept each other’s quirks and don’t try to change each other. What would our friendship look like if we were always pointing out our friend’s flaws? Well, that would most likely be the end of the friendship! 

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

  1. Believe in him. I met my closest female friend when we were eleven years old. We  have always believed in each other. I am her biggest supporter, and she is mine. In marriage, we can fall into the habit of reminding our husbands of their shortcomings rather than their strengths. Love builds your husband up instead of tearing him down.
  2. Be his confidant. A true friend keeps your secrets. There is nothing more damaging to a marriage than for a husband to find out his wife is “airing dirty laundry” to anyone who will listen. When our husbands confide in us, they do so because they trust us. Unless your husband is confessing something illegal or harmful, it’s best to keep it between the two of you. If in doubt, seek pastoral or professional advice. 
  3. Choose your battles wisely. No one likes a nag or an incessant complainer. I remember feeling convicted of my constant nit-picking when the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and asked a jolting question, “How would you like it if he talked to you like that?” Gulp! I’ve been working on breaking that habit ever since. 

“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:9 (ESV)

  1. Put his needs before your own. Putting our husband’s needs before our own should be a no-brainer, right? But, how many times has your head hit the pillow before realizing you barely spoke three meaningful words to your spouse all day? Friendship in marriage means cultivating time together and intentionally seeking to meet each other’s needs. 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 13 (ESV)

If you desire to balance friendship and romance in your marriage, ask the Lord to show you the subtle shifts you can make in your relationship. Then put them into practice. You’ll be glad you did!

Wife Step: Choose one activity that is fun to do alone with your spouse this week. 

Grab our free marriage resources here!

Dawn Ward is a speaker, writer and blogger. She is the founder of  The Faith to Flourish, a ministry that equips women who desire to grow in their faith, cultivate healthy relationships and thrive in all seasons of life. She also ministers to women with loved ones struggling with addiction, mental health issues and life-destructive behaviors. Dawn is the co-author of the book “Still Standing After All the Tears Workbook: Faith in the Battle Edition. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for over forty years and is mom to three adult children. It is her passion to help all women grow in their faith as they learn to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.

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