Friends are people we confide in, have fun with, and can be ourselves around. Does this sound like your spouse? If so, fantastic! It’s great to be best friends with the person you share your life with. If not, never fear; you can be a better friend to your spouse. Let’s be real for a minute… life and kids can make friendships challenging to maintain, especially with those in our own house.

Here are 5 ways you can be a better friend to your spouse:

Build playfulness into your daily routine.

Friends are people we love to laugh with. To be a better friend to your spouse, take the temperature of the playfulness of your marriage. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the daily routine. When you add kids to the mix, your time is even more stretched. Look for ways to be playful throughout the day. My wife and I are notorious for love taps on the butt. It’s playful and flirty all in one! Win-Win!

Explore each other’s interests

Remember when you were first dating? You wanted to know everything your boyfriend or girlfriend was interested in. Well, interests change. If you haven’t continued the conversation, then dive back in. Good friends know what each other likes. To be a better friend, show a genuine interest in your spouse’s hobbies or passions. 

Have a regular date night… and don’t talk about the kids.

Life is busy, am I right? Having a regularly-scheduled date night is vital to your marriage. Don’t get stuck on just dinner, either. Get creative! Talk to your spouse about what is fun for them and for you and mix up the date nights. Maybe that means going bowling, taking a couple’s paint class, ax throwing, a bike ride, cooking together, watching a movie at home, or stargazing. 

Date nights don’t have to be expensive either. Oh, yeah… don’t talk about the kids (if you have them). This date night is for the two of you, your friendship, and your marriage.

Show your spouse they are your priority.

When your spouse was your boyfriend or girlfriend, you probably ditched hanging out with friends to be with them. You skipped out on shopping or playing golf just to spend more time with them. This should carry right over into your marriage.

I have a friend who is a high school teacher. When he asks his students who has a boyfriend or girlfriend, he always raises his hand, too. He has been happily married for over 15 years, but he knows he can never lose the interest he had in his wife when she was his girlfriend. Don’t lose that interest!

Make time to talk and listen.

Friends talk about everything. They are people we can confide in and share our emotions and desires with. Your spouse should be the best friend you have. Carve out time in your day to have deep conversations and check in on each other. 

Make it a point to ask, “How was your day?” then sit and listen. Don’t listen to fix something or add commentary but listen to genuinely understand how their day was. If they ask for your input, then offer it, but don’t expect to always say what is on your mind. This works both ways.

You can be a better friend to your spouse. The two of you can continue to rekindle your close friendship. Protect your friendship and protect your marriage.

Take your spouse by the hand, tell them you love them, and you want to be their best friend.

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***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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