Tuesday,18 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)
Tuesday,18 September, 2018
Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Secrets of a happy marriage

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Do you sometimes wonder how to become best friends with your spouse? Have you ever considered that friendship is lacking in your relationship? Well, you’re not the only one. Many couples do.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just be in love with your spouse — you should strive to be best friends too because a trusting friendship is the main component for a successful and fulfilling marriage.

Like most aspects of marriage, friendship doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it by being persistent and consistent without having any expectations. However, if you truly love your spouse, spending time with him, putting him first, or being encouraging should come naturally.

Of course, it’s easy to forget these things, especially if you have been married for some years. But if you put the following tips into action, you can start to cultivate a real friendship with your spouse and transform your marriage to a deeper level of love, intimacy and trust.

Speak your spouse’s language. This is one of the most important skills to develop. If you use the right language that makes your spouse feel cared about and loved, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your marriage can turn around.

* Make spending quality time with your spouse a priority, no matter how busy you are. Join him in some of his favourite activities and get him to join in yours. You may also try new things together to see if you like them.

* Be nice to him. Try to be super-sweet to your spouse, as you are to your girlfriends. This friendship need be no different.

* Join in his excitement. Share his passions and be interested in his stuff — a favourite sport, a certain band and so on. Let him know that though you don’t personally care about these things, you do care about him and the things that make him happy.

* Have fun together. One-on-one time with your spouse is absolutely necessary. Don’t let children be the excuse for not being able to have a date night. Go to fun places, sip coffee or have dinner, and laugh at each other’s stories.

* Surprise him. From extravagant trips to a favourite candy bar, surprises are the perfect way to show love to your spouse.

* Don’t forget to love him for his weaknesses too. Lift him up. Whether physically or emotionally, sharing a burden with your spouse will show how much you love and care for him.

* Praise his talents. Let him know how amazing you think his talents are. Even if he has heard you tell him time and again how incredible he is at the things he does well, keep telling him. Praise is very encouraging to him, and it is exactly the kind of thing best friends do for each other.

* Forgive him for forgetting your birthday or anniversary and move on. It’s natural to get mad, but don’t drag it out and make him suffer. Remember no one is perfect.

* Tell him your secrets as you used to do with your best friend. Be open and don't keep anything from him.

* Always put him first. Keep his best interests in mind during all your actions. Don’t take him for granted, as you must be alert to your spouse’s needs and feelings. In a true and close friendship you can be yourself and talk about anything without being judged. If you have an argument, you’re also less likely to shame or blame your friend in order not to hurt her feelings. But with your spouse, you might not care what you say or how you say it, which could lead to fights and resentment.

* Watch your spouse’s back. The healthiest relationships are those where you’re in a team, protecting each other and standing up for one another. This creates safety in marriage, which then creates closeness and trust.

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