I was once with a friend while driving when a couple in another car drove up alongside our car in traffic.
My friend turned to me and said “this couple is married”. I asked him if he knew them and he said he didn’t.
“So how did you know they are married?” I asked.
“It’s in the way they are sitting. Facing front and minding their business, stone faced” he replied.
I looked closer at the couple and, Lo and behold, I caught a glimpse of their wedding bands!
People make this as a joke, that when you see a couple, you can tell if they are married, dating or still in “toasting” level.
They say that there is just something stiff about married couples.
I think what they are seeing, in essence, is a loss of friendship between these married couples.
We discussed this on the Wivesroundtable radio show as well as in our closed female only group on Facebook – Women of Wivesroundtable, and these are the great suggestions that came up on how couples can build friendship in their marriages.
Ingredients that makes for effectively building friendship in marriage
👉Effective communications: Be open and approachable to your partner. So that he/she can be free to talk to you and be around you. Listen well to them and take interest in what matters to them, no matter how trivial you may think it is. If it matters to them, it is important!
👉Forgiveness: Holding grudges of past hurt can build up a thick concrete wall between you and your partner! This wall can drain life out of the friendship and intimacy that exists in your marriage. On the other hand, forgiving and letting go of hurt can bring this wall down and give friendship a chance at blooming in your marriage
👉Seeing the best in each other always: Amplify your partner’s strengths and great sides rather than their weaknesses. Learn to see the best in them. This will help your relationship as well as your peace of mind
👉Time out together: Spend quality time together! Go out to fun places – cinema, mall, just sit out with your partner and talk about your individual lives. Create great memories together. Laugh! Laugh a lot! Have fun! Date your wife/husband again!
👉Praying together: Above all, pray as a couple! Pray together, pray separately. Pray for one another. God makes all things beautiful, if we believe.
What if all these fails? Or when only one party is the one continually making these efforts and sacrifices while the other party is bent on frustrating the efforts and making them question their self-worth? What happens??
A WRT Woman – Chima Ejimofor replies to this by saying
The dynamics of marriage can be very interesting.
I have been through this phase you described. Incidentally, I cried out in prayer and the answers came in very interesting ways.
1. My happiness and self-worth is my responsibility. Take charge of it!
2. Never demand from your spouse what only God can give!
3. When I began to look for areas where I could give to others, simple things like leading cell fellowship, volunteering/giving practical support in other people’s events/platforms like this one; the feedback you get from helping someone else in life takes your feelings of self-worth to another level.
4. Enjoy the adventure of new friends, learn new skills, choose to reinvent yourself!
5. Ensure you relate with your spouse with kindness and respect. Choose to love. Believe for and pray them out of that “dark place”!
Hope this helps!