God created us social beings to be companions, to accept and spend time with each other. No doubt, Akans say wiase yetra no baano baano or we are created to live in pairs.
The foundation for living together in marriage is friendship because whereas romantic love fades, friendship stays to sustain marriage.
Importance of friendship in marriage
Friendship in marriage creates a place of intimacy where two hearts share their deepest thoughts and feelings. If you feel accepted you find it easy to open up to each other. You are interested in your spouse and want to know how he or she feels and what to do to make him or her sad or happy.
With friendship in marriage, your activities and interests become enriched because you have your favourite person to share all areas of your life with. You get more out of the things you do and the interest you have because of your connection with a loved one.
You begin to find new ways to do things together so that you can share more experiences with your spouse. Good friendship with your spouse, therefore, enriches all areas of your life.
Building friendship in marriage
Put your marriage first and make quality time for it. Be physically and mentally present at home with your spouse. If this means turning down opportunities, requests and demands from work and social friends so be it because nothing can substitute a fulfilling friendship in marriage.
The single greatest attraction in your marriage is the companionship you share. Marital happiness improves with the quality time because intimacy develops between partners who share time together. Companionship gives positive self-image, security and peace of mind.
Doing things together is a message of love and simple ways to keep in touch. Couples who share activities form emotional bond and have greater ability to adapt to stress. Have at least a meal a day. You have the opportunity to relax and be physically close.
Eating together gives warm communication as you share your thoughts, plans and events at home church and community. Have common interest because doing things together builds your friendship.
Try new adventures and hobbies. Do a work out or take a walk. Play games and activities you both enjoy. You can get away from town for a couple of days to enrich your friendship.
Speak language of love. Do symbolic act of service. Hold hands and touch each other often. Physical touch is an asset for calming anxiety transferring courage, reassurance, alleviating stress, depression and blood pressure.
Touching, caressing and cuddling and holding are important ‘bonding agents’. Exchange gifts often because gifts are expressions of love. When you give, you see each other as valuable, worthwhile and good.
Affirm each other every day. Communicate each other’s strength. A kind word cheers your spouse because your pleasant words are like a honeycomb. Give yourselves pet names to show the warmth you share.
It is impossible to have a marriage without conflicts. See conflicts as a test of your love, humility, faithfulness, loyalty, maturity and self-control. If you handle your conflicts well, your friendship grows in health. Good friendship is forged in adversity.
You must, therefore, forgive each other unconditionally because if you do not forgive, you harm your friendship and your person. God also does not forgive those who do not forgive their spouses.
Your spouse, your best friend
Love all times and treat your spouse the same way you want to be treated.
You must be a good friend to have a good friend in your spouse. Studies show couples who are good friends enjoy better health, live longer and are less prone to mental diseases. Being good friend is the only way to nurture your marriage.
Therefore, let friendship with your spouse be the mother of all your friendships. Each day, each time let your spouse be your best friend.
Source: Dr. John Boakye