Every morning I wake up next to my husband feeling oh so grateful that he chose me 30 something years ago. There are those occasional milliseconds when I want to put a pillow over his annoyingly snoring face, but I love him more today than yesterday, and I will, without a doubt love him more tomorrow than I did today.
I don’t claim to be an expert on how to have more companionship in marriage. But I have been on this planet for a while, and I have used our marriage as my own personal research lab for experiments aka daily observances on everything from why he forgot to pick up the birthday cake from Costco, to why he sent me the sweetest text when I was so ticked at him.
I have become quite familiar with what brings my husband and I closer and what doesn’t in our own marriage, in talking to other people about theirs, and the dozen or so books I have read on how to have more companionship in marriage. but of course your marriage is different, but hopefully you will learn a few things in this article to creative more companionship in your marriage.
Relationship expert John Gottman, professor at the University of Washington, and author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, says “Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship” The dictionary describes a friend as, “one attached to another by affection or esteem”
Research has shown that couples that have a great friendship have a higher percentage overall of marital satisfaction.
When you like your spouse, you can enjoy both romance and more companionship in marriage.
As time goes by, it is easy to fall into a routine where family responsibilities overshadow a personal connection with your spouse. You need to take the kids to soccer practice; your spouse needs to buy groceries for the family outing on Saturday. Paying more attention to each other may just be the first step to sustaining companionship in marriage. And I don’t mean pay more attention to each other’s flaws, even if that mess on the night stand sits there for days.
Let’s look at how being friends with your spouse can help you see that they are so much more awesome than they were yesterday, and even develop a love that will last past tomorrow.
Benefits of Developing More Companionship in Marriage
- Increases happiness. Your blessings multiply when you share them with your spouse. Ordinary activities like folding the laundry together, or picking out paint for the bathroom, will take on more meaning, and you create memories that you can both savor.
- Feelings of validation. When you are friends with our spouse, you accept each other and each one helps the other feel like they matter. You feel more confident when you know that your spouse is on your side. You can build a safe place where you can freely talk about sensitive subjects and deal with sometimes intense emotions.
- Strengthens marriage. Your relationship is arguably the most important and enduring relationship in your life. Keep your marriage/relationship alive and growing.
- You enjoy being together. Companionship may take on an even greater value as time goes on. Studies show that marriage and friendship can help us live longer and avoid health issues caused by the stress of isolation.
How to Encourage More Companionship in Marriage
- Spend time together even when you’re not together. Take pleasure in being together. Stay connected through text messages, and phone calls when you are away from each other for long hours or when your partner/spouse is feeling under the weather.
- Participate in activities you both enjoy. Watching TV together can be oh so relaxing, but consider trying more challenging activities to help you to grow together. Sign up for a hip hop or ballroom dance class or even scuba lessons. Collaborate on a hobby like painting a room or refinishing a piece of furniture. Make your evenings more special by preparing a gourmet meal together or taking a long walk or drive.
- Participate in activities that your spouse/partner enjoys. Does your spouse love Karaoke? Give it a try. Being open to trying interests that your spouse is passionate about may just open your heart and mind to knew things. You may discover that golf, or gardening are actually fun!
- Plan outings and short trips together. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to reconnect and see your partner in a better way. Plan a camping trip or check into a resort nearby for the weekend.
- Get a babysitter. Parenting can have a huge impact on the companionship in your marriage. It isn’t easy to get away, however it is important that in between diapers and driving lessons, you steal away some private time do create memories. Companionship in marriage will also help you to develop the skills to negotiate on issues like bedtimes and discipline.
- Forgive one another. Try to manage conflicts before they interfere with your friendship as well as your companionship. Focus on the good qualities you see in your spouse and let go of resentments that could pull you apart. And remember to apologize when feelings are hurt.
- Live in kindness. Friendship blossoms when we treat each other with generosity and kindness. Show empathy. Always express your love and affection with kind words and thoughtful gestures. Surprise your spouse by vacuuming the living room, sending a sweet letter in the mail, or buying their favorite treat.
- Go on double dates. At some point, investing in relationships with other couples will reduce the risk of putting too much pressure on each other to attend to all your spouse’s needs. Hanging out with other couples can be especially valuable and very fun. You may even pick up ideas that other couples use to become closer to each other.
- Find your own balance. Of course, we’re all individuals with our own unique ideas on having a happy marriage. Carve out adequate time for yourself, and respect your partner’s boundaries. The more you understand, respect and except each other, the easier it is to live in kindness and harmony.
10. Be a good friend to your spouse. Work at your marriage and try not take it for granted. Even the best of marriages take work. Trying to give each other all of yourself, will give you more love and create more companionship in marriage.
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