Rekindling Friendship in Marriage
We were about to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary and had booked a week-long cruise. While I was excited about the new experience of a cruise, I was anxious about being alone with my husband for an entire week.
Our lives had slowly drifted from one another. He was wrapped up in work and finding his place in his family business, and I was overwhelmed with the work of raising kids and being home with them all the time.
Somewhere in the hustle of life we had allowed our friendship to fade.
Our marriage wasn’t ‘on the rocks’ during this season, but it also wasn’t as vibrant and flourishing as I knew it could be. Something was ‘off.’ I knew we weren’t ‘broken,’ but I knew we weren’t where we needed to be, and the upcoming vacation felt bound to expose it.
I was right. However, in the exposure of what was missing we reconnected in amazing ways.
Our friendship had faded, and we needed time and opportunity to reconnect––not just as husband and wife, but also as friends.
Below are three things we learned through this season about finding our way back to each other in building a friendship.
- Friendships require time.
As our lives and schedules became packed with obligations, we failed to make opportunities for ourselves to get away from stressors and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Rekindling a friendship with your husband doesn’t require an extravagant vacation or elaborate plans. Although, if you’re able to take a getaway, do! What is important is to show your husband you’re making an effort to intentionally cultivate a friendship with him. Often during a season of rekindling friendship, we find ourselves laughing and flirting and enjoying one another as we once did while dating before marriage.
- Friendships require sacrifice.
My husband and I like very different things. We can either view our differences as things to divide us or as opportunities to study one another.
I spend time studying my husband, his responses, his fears, his stressors, and the activities he enjoys. Then I make an effort to speak life toward those things, engage in those activities, or simply be his companion as he participates in things.
While I may not have a knack for video games, I’ve learned my husband is just as content if I read a book next to him on the sofa while he plays a game in the evening. Many times, simply being present matters to him. Find out what your husband enjoys and make space for you to engage in those things together.
- Friendships grow with communication.
I love words, so I’m often willing to fill the space with words. But in building a friendship with my husband, I need to silence myself and open my ears, and heart, to his words.
Instead of speaking, I ask questions that allow him space to share his heart, his fears, his anxieties with me. I pray over him and for him. When I make space in our communication to listen to my husband, without fixing things and without criticism, I give him permission to be himself in my presence. He feels safe and in turn communicates more.
Looking back on that anniversary trip, I thank God for those frustrations and fears, because they did expose our weakness at the time. But in that exposure, we were able to allow God to build something sweet and healthy between us. It’s been five years since that trip, and the friendship we have today is so much sweeter than the day we were married.
If you’re in a wonderful season of marriage, give thanks and continue building a healthy friendship. If you’re struggling in your friendship together, spend some time praying about ways God can help you both build a healthy friendship.
Wife Step: Write out a list of things you enjoy about your spouse and launch from there. It will help cultivate ideas for growing your friendship. Schedule a fun date when you and your husband can enjoy each other’s company, without pressure or stress.
Natalia Drumm is a writer, speaker and teacher with a passion for building community and engaging women in the Word of God. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they are raising three little boys in their home town of North Port, FL. Natalia and her husband serve in their local church as marriage small group leaders and life group coaches. They have a passion for healthy marriages as they have seen the restorative power of God in their own marriage and family.
Natalia is an assignment writer for Lifeway Women and serves as the Bible Study Content Editor at Living by Design Ministries. She also volunteers at Proverbs 31 Ministries on their proofreading team and leads a COMPEL Discovery Group. Natalia writes over at www.nataliadrumm.com where she creates devotional study books on issues relevant to womanhood and living in the fullness of God’s design for womanhood.
When not writing, or serving at church, Natalia spends her time running, reading and enjoying a good Netflix binge. She’s also not be one to turn down a cold Coke and hot chocolate chip cookie.