My husband and I are best friends. But it wasn’t always that way. I used to wonder what exactly it was that made other married couples describe their spouse in that way.
I didn’t get it. I would say “yes, my husband is my best friend too,” with that smile and nod look. I have always loved my husband and I always knew we were meant for one another. But I didn’t feel that fun, sparky, super-close, best friend feeling.
Life got really busy; the real world of getting a great job, paying bills, and having all these wonderful things wasn’t as glamorous as it was made out to be. It got pretty tough. Money was tight, I had debts and he liked to spend.
Soon our daughter was in the picture and we were working opposite shifts to make sure one of us was watching her. Then we only really saw each other in passing. He would leave early in the morning, in the afternoon we’d be rushing around to come home or leave, and I got home late at night.
It was a rough season of sacrifice and just trying to get by. That rough season eventually turned into a very hurtful and painful season. Our marriage was broken and hurting.
But, by the grace of God we carried on and our marriage has not only survived but it’s amazing! I am so grateful for what God has done with us. And I am so thankful that I can honestly and undoubtedly call my husband my best friend.
A Best Friend means:
1. Listening to one another. Look him in the eyes when he’s telling you something, it’s okay to look up from what you’re doing. In fact, when he gets home from work, take a break from what you’re doing and sit on the couch or chair or wherever for 10 minutes, face to face. Listening is being attentive to one another.
We would sit together face to face at the end of the day, purposely, everyday when we were first together. It’s a great way to bond, even when there isn’t anything to say. This looks different for us now, we’ll have coffee in the morning together or right after the kids go to bed we’ll spend some one on one time.
2. Laughing together. We have countless inside jokes that are just so absurd that anyone witnessing our craziness would just roll their eyes and walk away. In fact, there are so many times when we are at his parents’ house on the weekend and he cracks the most “punny” joke or just something so silly I am cracking up, and well, I’m the only one laughing. Then he’s laughing because he knows he was ridiculous and it’s all good.
3. Praying together. This is the ultimate way to bond and be closer with your husband. There are times when one of us is uncertain about something and the other knows that it’s not quite the right time to tell or impose your opinion on the other.
But when we pray for guidance together, there’s just this openness between us and a comfort that washes over us. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.
4. Flirting with one another. Go ahead and tease him. Tap him on his behind, rub his shoulders, whisper (or nibble) on his ear. Text him during the day that you’re thinking of him. Have fun with this one!
5. Fighting fairly. We were taught the method of “when you… I felt…” to express our feelings when we didn’t like something the other did or said. This has revealed more times than not that there was some kind of miscommunication. Many a fights have been avoided because we stopped and listened to each other. Also, don’t get emotional and don’t go to bed angry.
6. Kissing regularly. I like the 5 a day rule when it comes to kissing. It’s such a simple way to feel connected. Once in the morning, once when you depart, once when you return, once before bed, and one more for good measure.
Life gets busy and there have been days every once in a while when we don’t kiss. And I can just feel that those days are a bit different. It’s such a small gesture but makes a big difference.
7. Forgiving… and forgetting. How many times do you resolve an issue to have it come up sarcastically in conversation again. It doesn’t feel good. Forgive and forgive again, and then move on. If it bothers you that much don’t suppress your feelings until that sarcastic remark tumbles out of your mouth, or worse, you blow up at a completely small unrelated thing.
Talk about it, even if you think it’s not that big of a deal. If you’re thinking about it, then it must mean something to you and you are worth it to mention that little thing that bothered you. You may find that just voicing your thoughts and feeling heard is all you needed. But once it’s out there, forgive. Let God handle it. Let Him take that burden off your shoulders.
8. Considering one another’s needs. Part of this is kind of wrapped up in finding out each other’s love languages. Gary Chapman has this book The Five Love Languages that explains how everyone expresses love in a different way and feels most loved when it’s expressed in that way towards them.
So, I am someone who doesn’t really care about receiving gifts, but my daughter constantly is making things and giving things to people, her love language is Receiving Gifts. Hubby will occasionally buy flowers for her and she is soooo appreciative and it just melts her little heart that her daddy would think of her in that way.
My love language is Acts of Service, so when somebody cleans my house for me, or just loads the dishwasher so I don’t have to I feel loved and tended to.
The other part of considering one another’s needs is thinking about what might be worrying your husband. Is he worried about work? Tell him that he’s doing a great job providing for his family. Is he worried about money? Let him know that you’re in this together. Does your husband need quality time with you? Does he need intimate time with you? Does he need lunch ready so he can walk out the door without worrying about making or buying something for himself?
Needs are constantly changing and considering how you might be of service to your husband really helps to build that Best Friend friendship.
9. Choosing to spend time with one another. Sometimes we, human beings, get wrapped up in what we want to accomplish or what we (as moms!) need to get done. And sometimes we choose to work on those things instead of choosing to spend time with our best friend.
Be aware of how much time and for what things you choose to spend time doing. It’s okay to get stuff done, but you must spend time with your husband to bond and connect and be best friends.
Go on a date night. Do ministry together. Go sledding as a family. Go for an after dinner walk. Play hide and seek. Have your morning coffee together. Pick a chore or project around the house to work on together. Go for a car ride. Get ice cream. Play board games. Just be intentional that you are spending time together.
10. Being honest. Sometimes being honest is not easy. I know. I don’t want to hurt my hubby’s feelings, or I think it’s not that big of a deal to mention. Or if I think something might upset him, it shouldn’t hold me back from telling him. Keeping the lines of communication open and honest are key.
We get pretty honest with each other. When we are not in agreement about something I may say “I don’t like you right now.” It’s simple yet straight forward. We know there is something to work out.
Or if I am going on and on about something I find exciting, or my story is just way too long of a story he might say something like “I’m not really listening and I don’t want you talking to me right now.” (True story! Ha!)
If we weren’t best friends we probably would take those statements in all the wrong ways. But because we have become best friends, these are the statements that keep things light, yet true. And yes, we laugh right then and there with that kind of honesty.
Since our marriage was healed and we have reconnected in a new and deeper way we have become the best of friends. Yes, sometimes we don’t like each other, or we don’t want to talk to each other at that moment, but we always love each other.
In addition to these ways to be your husband’s best friend there is this really great list on ways to build a marriage from Amanda Conquers.