Do you hear other women talk about how they are best friends with their husbands? Do you desperately want that for your marriage?
The reality is you may never be best friends with your husband, in fact in most marriages spouses are not best friends. I know that is not what you wanted to hear when you opened up this post. You wanted a list of 10 ways you can be best friends with your husband, but there is no magic equation for this.
You can close this post, and go and google other articles that tell you how to be best friends with your husband, but when these fail you, you will find what I have said here to be the truth.
Your husband is not your girlfriend
This is just a plain and simple truth. Your husband is not your girlfriend. We as men do not want to sit and discuss our feelings, but you ladies love to do that, because that is how God made you. We like to solve problems, we listen and come up with plans. You just want to experience your feelings, and as a woman you attach feelings to just about everything that happens in your world.
We as men don’t necessarily attach feelings to each and every action or event that occurs in our life. Yes we have feelings, but we attach feelings to far fewer things in our life than you ladies do.
We as men are creatures of action, you as a woman are a creature of feeling. There is nothing wrong with either, as God has designed us both for different purposes.
This is why women are often so much better at taking care children, sick people or the elderly. These caretaking positions require feelings and empathy. Especially in regard to children since they are so emotional, this is why women connect SO MUCH BETTER with small children then men typically do.
You need girl time!
If you are often finding yourself frustrated with not feeling connected with your husband, sometimes it is because you just need to connect with other women and you may not even realize that. You need to make an intentional effort to find girlfriends at church or work, and connect with other women on a weekly basis. You need that full emotional connection that only other women can give you.
Am I giving husbands a free pass?
No I am not giving your husband a free pass to never talk to you or connect with you. It is good for husbands and wives to communicate on a daily basis, but just realize that for him this is not how he is wired and his communication with you may be short and brief. Your husband may compare notes with your about your day and his day, he may discuss plans for the week. But he may not necessarily ask you how you feel about this or that thing your are discussing, the way your girlfriend would. Don’t be angry with him about this. Be happy that he is at least trying to make an effort.
How should I communicate with my husband?
As I previously said, I am not giving husbands a free pass. Your husband needs to listen to you, and you need to listen to him. If you are upset because your mom died – should your husband be there to hear you cry and hold you? Of course he should! But don’t expect him to say a lot, he is going to do what he can to comfort you in nonverbal ways, he may just listen and say short responses. Don’t be angry about this.
Now maybe one of your girlfriends made an offensive remark to you and you are crying about it. Here he may not be as responsive, because he really does not see it as big of deal as you do. He may have a short response like “I am sorry she said that you” and be ready to move on while you want to really experience your feelings for about hour with him. This might be a time to call another girlfriend, because he might not get it.
Let your husband exercise his natural problem solving abilities
A lot of relationship books say husbands should just listen to their wives and not try to solve problems, even though every fiber of our being is screaming out to solve our wives’ problems. You need to have a rolodex of girlfriends on speed dial. When you need to talk about different problems in your life, you should call your girlfriends first to just allow yourself to “feel” your problems and vent.
But at the end of the day, problems do often need solving. So perhaps after you have vented and “felt” your problems with your girlfriends, then go to your husband, and let him offer you advice. If you are a Christian woman, this is one the reasons God gave you your husband. To lead you, and solve problems for you.
But I am best friends with my husband – you are wrong!
Ok maybe you are a woman reading this and you feel like you are best friends with your husband. You feel that you connect with your husband exactly as you do with your girlfriends. That’s great! But if this is truly the case then you are in a very small minority. I have written other posts on this blog about masculine women and feminine men. There are some more feminine men that are much more emotional than the average man, and they are better able to connect with their wife’s emotions and give her that “girlfriend” connection she needs. But the reality, most men are not even a fraction as emotional as women are, and they are much less verbal than women typically are.
Maybe we can’t be best friends, but can we be friends at all?
Certainly you can cultivate a friendship with your husband. But just realize that all friendships depend upon having at least one thing in common. The more things you have in common, the deeper the friendship can be.
Find something your husband likes to do and try to cultivate an interest in that. For instance in my marriage, my wife cultivated an interest in politics and the news because I am a huge news and politics junkie. This gives us something in common – a way to connect. So occasionally my wife will just bring up something she saw on the news for us to talk about it and she will ask me what I think.
I on the other hand I cultivated an interest in baseball because my wife and her Mom and Dad are huge Detroit Tiger fans. Before I met my wife I knew almost nothing about baseball (or any sports), now years later I can carry on a conversation about baseball and I know all the players on our team.
You and your husband may be very different people
The fact is that men and women fall in love (or infatuation), and only find out after they get married that they have very little in common. I am going to make a statement now that you really need to ponder, and understand the truth of, if you want to have a happy marriage:
A loving and committed marriage is NOT dependent on how much you and your husband have in common. But a deep friendship IS DEPENDENT on how much you have in common with your husband.
Here are some things that might make having a deep friendship with your husband more difficult, if not impossible:
- He is an introvert, you are an extrovert
- He is a Republican, you are Democrat
- He is a Baptist, you are Catholic.
- He is a saver, you are a spender.
- He loves Science fiction, you detest Science fiction.
- You love reality TV, he hates reality TV.
- He loves video games and computers, you hate video games and computers(except for Facebook)
- He believes in traditional gender roles, and you don’t.
- He loves to read theological, philosophical and historical books, you only like to read People magazine or Cosmo.
This list could go on and on. If you have things like this where you and your husband are on opposite sides of the canyon, it will be very difficult to cultivate a deep friendship in these cases. But don’t mistake this as saying you can’t still have a loving and caring marriage, because you can.
Friendship is not the reason for marriage
Friendship is not the reason God made marriage. He made marriage for two reasons, one is physical and one is symbolic. The symbolic reason God made marriage is to represent the relationship between himself and his people. In marriage, Man represents God, and Woman represents the people of God.
In the same way that God leads, protects and provides for his people, God expects a husband to lead, protect and provide for his wife. In the same way that God expects his people submit to and serve him he expects a wife to submit to and serve her husband.
The physical reasons God made marriage was for companionship (as opposed to friendship) – where God said “it is not good for man to be alone” and for having children (“be fruitful and multiply”). Marriage is the mechanism through which God would have the human race expand and survive.
But can you have an intimate relationship with someone who are you are not close friends with?
Absolutely! While it is true that deep friendship requires intimacy and things in common, a companionship can be intimate, without it being a deep friendship. You should be intimate with your husband, and he with you (and I don’t just mean in a sexual way). You should know what your husband’s favorite foods are, what his favorite colors are, his favorite clothes, his world view, his hopes and dreams as well as his greatest fears. He should know these same intimate things about you.
Adjust your expectations about friendship in your marriage and you will be happy
Unmet expectations cause huge friction in marriages. When you as a wife expect your husband to meet the same needs that only another woman can meet, you will continually be angry with him. But when you come to the fact that he is a man, and you are woman and will you never meet all each other’s needs you will be much happier for it.