Marriage is built on many things. Friendship, I believe, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Before we get into the top tips for cultivating a thriving friendship, the best piece of marriage advice I can give you is to love and accept yourself for exactly who you are. Identify the areas that you need to work on as an individual rather than wanting your partner to fix you or complete you, which can only lead to disappointment. A thriving marriage is built on two whole individuals. It creates a solid foundation for you to build a long lasting intimacy and friendship.
Connect – be intentional about putting your phone away. Make a challenge out of it if you wish – the first one to look at their phone does the dishes!
This one is a game changer. Looking into each others eyes, and being present in the moment that you’re in together communicates to your partner that they matter to you more than your friends highlight reel on social media. Remember that talking and connecting aren’t necessarily the same thing.
Laugh – Master the art of making your partner laugh. Laughter is one of the main ways that humans bond with each other. Inject more laughter into your relationship – Don’t take yourselves too seriously. Dance in the kitchen, play games, share private jokes in public. Find any excuse to make the other person smile.
Learn – Never stop learning about each other. Ask more questions. Before you go to bed, seek to learn something new about their day. Even just simply asking “what made you smile today” might mix up your usual response. The longer you are with someone, you can start to assume that you know everything about them, but staying curious about each other keeps that friendship alive.
Save the best of yourself for each other. After a long day it is tempting to switch off and switch Netflix on. I see you! I’ve been there! You can break the cycle. If this has become your routine you can switch things up! Create new habits that feed your friendship. Use the best of yourself to make the extra effort to pull together.
Dream – prioritising both individual and shared goals is vital to your marriage. Dare to dream a little with each other and discuss where you want to be heading. Create a vision for the future that you are both excited about journeying towards, this ensures that you to grow with each other rather than grow apart.