“Today I marry my best friend.” This is the foundation in which we decided to base the rest of our lives. The promise that we will remain friends in good time and in bad and for richer or for poorer. Translation: When the kids are screaming and your spouse just lost his job. Yep, you still need to be friends to get through this mess and many more just like it.
Arguments, job changes, children growing and changing, are all ways that we lose site of where it all began. The months turned into years and you no longer know the person you married, ten, fifteen twenty years ago. What happened?
Has a child ever asked you: “Who is your best friend?” Seems like an easy enough answer. Possibly you thought of a girl friend first, the one you’ve know since fourth grade. Then you think ‘My husband is supposed to be my best friend,’ and then alarms start to ring.
Friendships are hard work. So is a marriage! Let’s get back to the basics and work on rebuilding the friendship that was between spouses years ago, before kids, before busy jobs and lives.
When you dated so long ago, what made it fun? What was so attractive about your ‘other’ that made shivers go up your spine, couldn’t take your eyes off of his and to hold his hand … well you get the idea. Re-spark those interests. Give yourselves something to talk about besides your kids and jobs. Tim and I use to go hot tubing at a local spa. Great memories, so why not do it again?
Friends are NOT painfully honest with each other. My best girl friend and I had nothing in common for about 10 years, but we always remained friends. We had fun together and I would have never told her… “You are so lazy, go back to college. Or geeze you are such a slob,” when I walked into her apartment.
Okay, key factor here, we didn’t live together, but in this comparison, it is better to think of something positive or don’t say it! It is very difficult to completely purge negative comments from our daily conversations, but really, what good do they do? Make someone else feel less of a person. Not much like a friend! A lesson learned, to maintain a long term relationship, sometimes we have to censor what we say. Friends accept each other.
Ahh, faults. We all have them. Our spouses have numerous! The glob of tooth paste in the bottom of the sink, the dirty dishes left on the floor, the milk left on the counter, over night. (Hmm, sounds like I’m describing my kids.)
Lora realized that the under-her-breath comments that she made each time she picked a wet towel off of the floor wasn’t doing anyone any good. Her husband Tom, was helpful and thoughtful in other ways. Tom helped with the boys baths and read them stories before bed. “No one is perfect, and I shouldn’t expect it,” says Lora. “It doesn’t hurt me to pick it up and throw it into the hamper, so why am I complaining so much. I could save a lot of grief over a towel. One day I thought about it and if I were to lose Tom tomorrow it would probably be one of those things I would miss most.” Well said Lora!