This is what my maid of honor had to say about my husband and I during her speech at my wedding. Even though it was grouped in with a host of other compliments and moving words, this comment really touched my heart because it meant a lot for someone to look at my relationship and recognize it as genuine friendship.
This wasn’t the first time we received admirable compliments about our relationship. We’ve had married friends say things like “you two don’t seem like you ever argue”. (Which of course is not true).
Given so many compliments, it made us stop and think; “what has kept us so connected in our friendship and how do we continue this once we get deep into our marriage”. So we decided to evaluate our relationship and pick out the factors we felt contributed to our closeness and friendship, as a way to put them in the forefront and continue doing those things years down the road.
Now, I am no way an expert, in fact I am a newlywed. However my husband and I have known each other for 7 years and we were just friends for 3 of those years, so for this reason I do know what has kept us connected as friends and enables that friendship to continue growing.
1) Have regular date nights – Since before we got married, way back when we were just friends, we had regular date nights, (kind of how ladies have girls night out or men have guys night out). As friends, date nights strengthened our friendship and brought us closer together, so surely enough we carried this over into our marriage. Date nights have become a time for us to rejuvenate, unwind and shed the daily stresses of life, so that they don’t spill over into our marriage. Continuously dating has helped us maintain that same excitement for date nights we had when we were just friends.
2) Do nice things for each other – When I first met my husband, I can recall the many of times I said to him “why are you always trying to do something nice for me?” If I was sad or upset he was always there with a small gesture of kindness to cheer me up and vice versa. Well these nice gestures didn’t stop just because he put a ring on it. We remind ourselves all the time that we were/are best friends before anything, and should always treat each other the way best friends should, which to us consists of doing nice things for each other when needed and just because.
3) Treat our relationship as if we’re a team – From encouraging each other to push forward in our careers, to doing the household chores together to recognizing and apologizing when we have upset the other person, we have always tried to be a team. Since our friends’ only days, I have considered him to be the one person that will look out for me when no one else will. Knowing that we are always in each other’s corner, ready and willing to assist, and can put our own feelings aside for the other, has naturally drawn us closer and bonded us.
4) Seek common interest – We’ve all heard of the age old “couples who play together stay together”; well I hope it’s true because we have developed a lot of common interests. When we first met we couldn’t have been any more different. Well, somewhere our two worlds collided. I’m now yelling at the TV for Nate Robinson to shoot the ball and he’s rushing home to watch Braxton’s Family Values. Not to mention with his help, adventurous is now my middle name. In return, what this means for our relationship is we often spend a lot of time together, have a lot to talk about and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
5) Be ourselves – I think it took my spouse longer to get to this point, but he is definitely here now. I don’t think anyone sees the raw footage of who we are but us. Neither of us is extremely comfortable with our bodies; nonetheless, we will flaunt it in front of each other as if we have the best beach bodies out there. We act silly together, we cry together and yes we even burp and pass gas in front of each other. There are no limits, we understand that what you see is what you get, and being able to be who we are makes us more relaxed, happier and connected in our friendship.
6) Communicate daily – I’ll have to admit we probably take communicating daily to a whole other level. For the past 7 years, almost every single day my husband and I have spent our work days emailing or instant messaging each other most of the 8 hours we are at work. As attached as it may sound, this has really enabled us to be able to talk about any and everything and we hope to keep it this way. We would dread for our communication with each other to one day be limited to family issues, financial issues and work issues. Communicating daily has given us the mentality that no topic or detail is ever too small for a conversation.
We understand it is easy to lose focus of your marriage and slowly let that connection and friendship slip. So hopefully by staying mindful of what has bonded us as the best of friends for the last 7 years, this will help us grow and maintain that bond in our marriage and friendship for many more years to come.
How do you continue to nurture your friendship? What do you do to stay connected in your marriage? Please let us know, we would love to hear from others!
“A Unique date in a box delivered to your door”