How to Become Best Friends with Your Spouse

Profile photo of Harleena Singh - | 34 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

wife and husband showing how to be best friends with spouse

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Like most couples, do you also wonder how to become best friends with your spouse? Well, it’s probably because you don’t realize that friendship is at the base of every relationship.

You may have heard that friendship is like a garden; it must be cultivated, and the key lies in being persistent and consistent, without having any expectations. It may sound too angelic, but these so-called words of wisdom are practically true.

When two people decide to get married, they are actually marrying their best friend. However, as the marriage moves forwards, some people tend to lose their connection with their best friend and wind up with a broken marriage or even get divorced.

We live in a culture that is mainly self-centered, where people are frustrated because of the feeling that they are not getting what they need or deserve.

It is not unusual to see two people drift apart with time, especially if they don’t make a continuous effort to work on their marriage.

Ways To Become Your Spouse’s Best Friend

If you are wondering how to become best friends with your spouse and revive that friendship you had when you started, then follow the tips below.

Communicate

The number one tool every successful marriage needs is communication, where a couple needs to talk to each other and spend time with one another. They need to talk about their daily activities, take out time to laugh, share and discuss things, talk about themselves, and ask about each other.

Be open with your spouse and express your emotions to them. If you feel your spouse has hurt your feelings or embarrassed you, tell them.

In most cases, your spouse is not able to read your mind and understand what you are undergoing or feeling. Thus, you should not make them guess about your emotions, thoughts, and feelings, instead tell them what you are undergoing.

At times people have a hard time expressing their feelings and emotions, so in such cases writing them down to express them or seeking the help of a therapist works best.

The more you communicate with each other, talk and discuss matters, and learn about each other, the easier it will be to develop a long-lasting marriage and friendship.

Listen

Intently listen to what your spouse is saying, when you talk to one another. Help your spouse to open up and talk about themselves, rather than making any assumptions, and avoid cutting them off in-between when they are talking or expressing themselves.

You could ask some open-ended questions, where your spouse can talk freely and this way you can listen and learn more about the person you married.

Learn more about your spouse’s problems, dreams, goals, likes, dislikes, interests, expectations, and feelings. Share information about yourself without making the conversation one-sided.

Be Honest, Loyal and Trustworthy

You have to be honest, open, and truthful with your spouse. Share everything with them without keeping any kind of secrets, which is a violation of the trust you have build, as a good marriage does not have secrets.

You must be loyal and trustworthy with your spouse, if you expect your spouse to be the same way with you. Be like best friends who tell each other everything, and remain open and honest with one another.

Have a Kind, Loving Tone

To become best friends with your spouse, treat each other with kindness, and be nice with one another by keeping a polite tone. If at times you do get angry with your spouse, look for ways to phrase the harsh words you want to say in a calm and clear manner.

Avoid calling your spouse names or say things that you may regret later. You need to share your desires, ideas, needs, and wants, in order for your marriage to remain healthy and strong. Keep a loving tone and never diminish, or put them down with your own words.

Compromise, Adjust and Sacrifice

To become best friends with your spouse and make your marriage work, you need to make compromises, adjustments, and sacrifices for each other.

Learn to do things for each other without expecting anything in return, as even small things matter. Make adjustments so that your spouse is comfortable.

Treat as Equal

Marriage is a partnership, where your spouse is your partner and equal, so never treat them like a child, boss around them, or talk down to them. Sit down and listen to your spouse if they seem troubled, and don’t counsel them unless they ask for your advice.

Avoid lecturing them or setting expectations on your spouse. Maybe all they need is a simple hug or a gentle hearing from your side. Pay full attention to what your spouse is saying, and set aside your own opinion or your ideas, instead acknowledge their feelings and viewpoint.

Make Feel Special

If you are wondering how to become best friends with your spouse, one way is to make them feel special. You could do some things that show them how much your care, love, and value them in your life.

Try simple things like giving your spouse a massage or foot rub after a long day, water the plants or offer to help around in the household chores.

Make Connections

The longer a married couple is together and gets bound down with added responsibilities, the easier it becomes for them to forget to take out time for one another. Remember, physical separation spawns emotional detachment.

Thus, you need to make intimate connections and take care of your spouse’s needs or desires to make a marriage work.

You need to take out time to express your love by complimenting them on their outfit, holding hands, hugging and kissing your spouse to make them feel wanted and loved.

They need attention as much as your children and other family members do, so learn to embrace them in front of your children and family to show them how much you care about one another.

Spend Time

The daily stress and pressures of life can cause a lot of strain on a marriage. You can lose the friendship you have built if you do not spend time with your spouse.

To become friends with your spouse and lessen the strains of life or rekindle the marriage, surprise your spouse by taking them away for a date on the weekend.

You could plan a romantic evening, a movie for two, or simply just spend quality time with your spouse, so that you connect with them and strengthen your friendship.

Even though you may have children and other family members at home, it is important to share some time separately only with your spouse, without any distractions.

Thus, plan such a date once a week or at least twice a month. Spending such quality time will help you become best friends with your spouse and strengthen your marriage.

Accept and Respect

You and your spouse will have differences and different views or opinions, as no one is perfect. Thus, you need to respect and accept your spouse for the person they are.

Don’t try to change your spouse, as how would you feel if your spouse wanted to change you. Put yourself in their shoes to know how they feel. Instead, acceptance is what will help you become best friends with your spouse and build your marriage.

Don’t nag your best friend, instead accept and enjoy your life with them. Respect each other at home and in front of others, by respecting their feelings, actions, and giving them the respect they deserve.

It takes time, effort, commitment, patience, wisdom, perseverance, understanding, and a forgiving heart to become best friends with your spouse.

To become best friends with your spouse and avoid your marriage from breaking up or leading to divorce, make time for one another, respect each other, talk to each other, and work hard on your marriage every day.

Always remember the Golden Rule – “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31), and apply it in your marriage.

Over To You –

How have you become best friends with your spouse? How has your marriage turned out to be? Do share your thoughts and views.



Show Comments

34 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Harleena Singh

    August 8, 2011 at 7:00 am

    @Meenakshi

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Yours is not an exceptional case, and efforts or initiatives from both ends are imperative as single-sided approach doesn’t yield much, but sometimes it does – the outcome is very subjective and varies for all individuals. There is no general remedy or formula for all marital problems, and I cannot suggest a solution, because there can be many factors or reasons for your relationship problem. These could be underlying issues like ego problems, and vindictive stance due to specific past issues.

    Maybe your spouse feels you’ve not understood him and you want him to change, as apparent from what you wrote, which he doesn’t approve of and shields himself from any such attempts. If it’s so, then you can introspect on your own approach and check if you are blinding your own faults. You can ask him if he wants you to change, and in what way, and then probably you get to say what you want. It could really be that your spouse is unbothered and on his own spree, as you suggest, or he feels steps taken by you are not reassuring enough. But, you must understand there is a reason for any behavior change or modification.

    In such span of time people do form rigid opinions about each other, based on past observations, interactions, and reoccurring problems, and lose faith that the other person can change for better. This forms a skeptic attitude and a stereotyped mentality – these are difficult to handle and solve at times and need external help. You can seek help of your spouse's family members, or try that he reads articles like this one without any persuasion, coupled with positive vibes from you.

    What I would advice is that you try convince your spouse to consult a marriage or relationship counselor, if nothing else works. However, I believe that any kind of relationship issue can be solved with the implementation of the tips suggested in this article by both the parties concerned. I wish you the best, Meenakshi.

  2. Meenakshi

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I have read this article and somehow it's easier said rhan done. I have been married fro almost 12 years now and I have given up because I tried so hard to make my husband communicate with very little success. He is basically a selfish, self centered man with only his interests in mind…..he has made it amply clear that he does not wish to change for anyone at any cost. So what now?

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    August 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for this article, Harleena! One way to be best friends with your spouse is to do fun, exciting things together. My husband and I have gone bungee jumping, zip lining, white water rafting, and on fun road trips together. I think the more positive, fun things you do as a couple, the stronger your relationship will be.

    All good things,
    Laurie

  4. Harleena Singh

    August 10, 2011 at 2:07 am

    That is so true Laurie!

    One of the best ways to remain connected as a best friend with your spouse is to share and do things with them. It lightens the atmosphere and eases the daily tensions of life, making your relationship stronger.

    Thanks for commenting, and do visit the blog again!

  5. draedarockstar

    August 21, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I like this article and it reminds me of the crazy stuff my wife an I do on a daily basis around the house and hanging out together really makes things more easier and as u said makes the atmosphere at ease and it makes it much easier to talk about anything

  6. Harleena Singh

    August 21, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Glad you could relate to the post!

    Yes, the lighter moments in life is what gives it more meaning.

    Thanks for commenting, and do visit the blog again for more stuff.

  7. cooking varieties (wan maznah)

    August 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    hi harleenz, my first visit here from networkblog.
    you have a great site with many interesting articles on family issues.
    i do agree with you that married couples after a while, tend to forget or are too lazy to complement their spouse or do/say some things/words that can refresh their ties…

    glad i blog walk to your site.. hi, i am Wan, from malaysia, do visit my blog , would love to read a comment from you too. have a nice day

  8. Harleena Singh

    August 26, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Thanks for your visit and welcome to my blog Wan! Yes, in order to maintain marital ties, it is vital you learn more about your spouse and keep up the relationship by during the various things mentioned above.

  9. Deeone

    October 20, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I loved this post, Harleena. You listed great tips and advice here. I can honestly say that I have practiced these, and for that reason have been able to find and maintain a wonderful relationship with my best friend. No, everyday isn’t peaches and cream, but those are the days that communication is the most essential. Absolutely wonderfully written post! I thoroughly enjoyed every single word of it!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Glad you liked the post and tips Deeone!

      Nice to see that you have followed most of the tips, that in itself is a great achievement- something that many miss out on. Yes, there are always ups and downs we all face, but learning to overcome them is what matters most. Relationships are based on trust, care, share, respect, faith and so many other things. I think even if one of the things are missing, you develop a knot somewhere.

      Thanks for your valuable comment 🙂

  10. Carolyn

    October 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This is great advice. I agree, it’s the friendship that makes a marriage endure. I’ve been with my husband for 19 years and he’s my very best friend. When I see marriages break up, what seems to be a common thread is that they don’t have fun together. As Laurie said, you need to enjoy each other’s company. Laugh, giggle, smile.

    Thanks for making me smile, Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Welcome to my blog Carolyn- it sure is nice to have you over!

      Glad you liked the post and could connect to it. Wow! Being married for 19 years sure speaks volume in itself- that sure is a great achievement. And yes, without being friends with your spouse it is not possible to carry on this long! Being together, sharing things, having fun, caring for each other, and all the smiles and giggles is what makes marriages last forever.

      Happy to make you smile, and thanks so much for your valuable comment 🙂

  11. Daca

    October 25, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Wow, this is really amazing. I think we all can learn so much from this post and make our relationship much better. Thank you

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Glad you found the post useful Daca!

      Yes, we do need to work at the relationship- all the time to make it stronger and better- and it surely is worth all the effort you put in!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  12. Audrey

    November 13, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Accept and respect are two important things that can strengthen the relationship of two person. We must always remember that nobody is perfect so we need to accept our partner whatever, whoever they are and respect their beliefs, decisions or views in life. But, it doesn’t mean that we would mind them at all. We still need to guide them on their lives by sitting down and discussing about the issues. Being open can be a great help to develop that best friends relationship.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      November 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Glad you could resonate with the post Audrey!

      Yes indeed, to accept and respect another person do strengthen the relationships between two people. I guess there is always a give and take in relationship, and if we accept the person for who they are without trying to change them to what we want them to be, the respect automatically comes in.

      Thanks for stopping-by. 🙂

      • Audrey

        November 16, 2011 at 12:46 am

        You’re totally right!

        But sometimes, it’s pretty hard to accept especially if you’re used to having a different environment or used to being with people with almost the same attitude and mindset like yours. Despite of that, I guess if you truly love the person, you wouldn’t notice any wrong act from him/her. Like what a famous line says: Love conquers all!

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          November 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

          Glad you could resonate with the post Audrey!

          Yes indeed, at times things and situations do get tough and we are not able to accept people or their ways, especially if they have come different environments. However, as you mentioned, if you do love someone dearly enough- you would accept them for who they are, and willingly make changes in your own self- for the better. And yes- love does conquer all!

          Thanks for adding more value to the post 🙂

  13. alex

    January 15, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Love this article!

    Just the other day my girlfriend and I were speaking on this subject. I have been dating her for a one and a half years and she always says to me that she would like me to be her friend…that she could feel comfy talking about things..so I looked for some stuff online and found this…thanks.

    I will use this as a learning tool and hopefully I can become the friend my love expects me to be- thank you again. Just a question thats bben on my mind and would love some advice. I am 42 she is 26-will this be an issue between us, again we have been dating for a year and a half and so far its been wonderful…thanks

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      January 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Welcome to the blog Alex!

      Glad you could relate to the post and found it helpful! Yes indeed, being best friends is the first and foremost requirement, especially if you are dating someone or wanting to get married in the near future. I guess you simply get to know the person well enough to learn and open up to them once you become friends with them. That is what your girlfriend was wanting from you I guess that you open up with her and she feels comfortable talking about anything to you.

      Nice that while looking around you came across this post and it helped you in some way. Regarding your question about the age difference. Well there would be many views about that on the Internet, and it all depends on your personal choice.

      But if you ask me, age holds no bars where love is concerned. If you are truly in love the age difference hardly matters. It is purely the hearts that should click and connect. If you feel she is truly the one you seek and all has been going on well within you, and both of you are wanting to remain together ahead as well- then go for it 🙂

      Hope this helps…thanks so much for stopping-by. 🙂

  14. Jena Michelle

    January 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Hi…We’ve been married 32 years. I need to know how I can put love back in my heart for him. I don’t like him because over the years he has had high expectations of me, and when those expectations aren’t good enough, which they usually never are, he calls me names and is just mean.

    A few days ago, I told him I wanted a divorce. I can’t take his verbal lashings anymore…he wants to try to change. Part of me is glad he does, but questions if he can indeed change….the other part of me would rather not bother. We’ve got two wonderful daughters (15 & 12 years old) who love daddy to pieces and he them. I know it’s best I try to love him again. I’ve just love the love, the like,the respect…. any suggestions?

    Jena Michelle

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      January 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Welcome to the blog Jena!

      Wonderful to know that you have been married that long! Though I am not a relationship expert, but having been married myself all I can suggest is to accept, adjust, and adapt to the new changes taking place around you.

      Things actually never remain the same as they are when you initially get married, and due to various circumstances the love may lessen if we are not careful to keep the relationship fresh and moving.

      All of us do have expectations from each other, though if one partner has more it can create problems- as in your case. I wonder if you have also changed or started doing some things less than you were doing earlier? Or is it that his expectations have just increased more now?

      Divorce may not be an answer, especially when you have daughters who love their father, and a family who look up to and need both of you. The best answer is to communicate with each other about what you can do and what you cannot. This way he would also know not to have high expectations from you, while you too can try and reach up to his expectations in your own way.

      If he is wanting to change- it is indeed wonderful! I have seen people change and I myself am a living example of that! And if the change is from within- it will last. And there is no harm if he wants to try and get better- isn’t it?

      Give things a second try Jena- let the past go- keep it behind your back and start afresh. Give him a chance to change and get better. I know it can get really tough at times, but if you are really wanting things to get better- you wold give it a try 🙂

      Wishing you all the very best, and remember the answer lies in talking to each other, reaching out and accepting each other, and learning to adjust and connect once again. The love and respect will return 🙂

  15. Hajra

    January 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I just followed a little tweet of yours and I am so glad I stopped by! You speak like a shrink 😉

    Well, there are so many elements that go in a relationship and working on them might be the way to work things out. And this working should be a two way street. I agree with all the points but for me, the priority should be effective communication. What might sound something in our head might be totally different when it comes out of our mouths. If it did sound wrong, be ready to take it back, be ready to apologize and give the person a chance. It’s not a war where you are trying to win or have the upper hand, the thing that should be kept in mind is that the relationship is the bigger picture in this case. And that is what will suffer ultimately!

    Oh, I could just go on and on about this post! But here’s me trying to keep it as short as I can 😉

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      February 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Glad you liked the post and I take that as a compliment Hajra!

      Yes indeed, there is a great deal that goes in a relationship and IT IS a two-way street where both sides need to be committed to each other, and share the gives and takes of life.

      I too believe in speaking your heart out when you communicate, such that what is within your heart is the same as what you speak, so that there are no differences in what you think and say.

      Apologizing or saying sorry is the toughest thing for some people to do, though they are so important in a relationship. I guess when we communicate what we feel to our partner, we need to be willing to share everything. Similarly, the other person should have a big enough heart to hear us out fully- even though there may be some bad points along with the good ones.

      Learning to communicate, adapt, adjust, accept, and change is where the true keys lie in a relationship. And I think then anything is easily achievable.

      Thanks so much for stopping-by and adding more meaning to the post 🙂

      • Hajra

        March 14, 2012 at 1:44 am

        The trick is to keep your ego aside; once we learn to do that we progress over a lot of things. For any relationship, conquering your ego is a challenge but it is the best thing that works! 🙂

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          March 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

          Absolutely right there Hajra!

          But many a times it’s easier said than done- ask those who undergo the problems! Yet it is the only way if you really want to make things work 🙂

          Ego does get in the way in most relationships and its something each one of us have to learn to overcome and move on 🙂

          Thanks for stopping by 🙂

          • Hajra

            March 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

            Absolutely! Keeping the ego aside isn’t an easy thing; even for people who are very sorted out in what they want and do. The ego is a strong thing that somehow manages to creep in everywhere! 🙂

            • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

              Harleena Singh

              March 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

              That’s true- but if you are able to even start a little work at keeping your ego aside, you can do wonders in no time. 🙂

              Thanks for adding to the conversation. 🙂

  16. Janice N. Richards

    February 26, 2012 at 5:36 am

    My ex-husband and I started out as best friends.

    We were high school sweethearts. We went to college together. We did everything together but somewhere along the way he changed. It started when his dad died suddenly. Then the kids came. Then we grew further and further apart. I tried everything and I gave everything I could until there was nothing left to give.

    After fifteen years of marriage and twenty years together he cheated. The same weekend I found out my father dropped dead. While I was helping my mother with paper work he was cleaning up any signs of cheating. Six months later we were divorced. It was suppose to be a friendly divorce for the kids sake. Then his lawyer got into it and said we couldn’t talk. Then his lady got into and wouldn’t let us talk. Twenty six years later we don’t talk and he has almost no contact what so ever with his boys.

    We came from the same church, the same social economical background , the same culture. However, once you let a third person tell you how to live your life it is all over. Once a spouse listens to others who are single or divorced it doesn’t matter anymore how hard one is trying. Marriage is a sacred bond and should remain between the two people together. Others create damage.

    There has been no excuse for him divorcing his children. We were the perfect couple. All our friends looked up to us and couldn’t believe it when it happened. The dumb part is I still love him. But he couldn’t say “I am sorry”, he couldn’t say “I screwed up” he couldn’t say let’s work it out. So here I am alone with my kids and they are the ones that got hurt the most.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      February 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Welcome to the blog Janice!

      Truly a touching life experience story, and no one other than you would know the pain and trauma you must have undergone all these years.

      I guess everything must have been wonderful when you started your lives together as best of friends, as is always the case initially!And people often get an excuse to change or change due to various circumstances at times, and his dad was the reason he changed- though this kind of a change is not acceptable. I always thought the kids always bond a relationship further, but in your case it seemed the other way round.

      I am still not clear about the reason for his cheating, other than the fact that he got carried away or taken in by some woman. But yes, after so many years of marriage you ought to stand by each other and not cheat on one another.

      Surprisingly he didn’t even feel for the boys nor want to talk to them, or to you for that matter. How strange indeed can a person be, and to act almost like a stranger to you! Perhaps he did get carried away by other people, which made him take such decisions in his life. Nonetheless, that is no reason for the way he behaved.

      Yes, you are right that marriage is a sacred bond between two people, and any other person- no matter who it may be would always cause damage and drifts in it.

      I feel sorry for your boys, who are the ones bearing the brunt of things. Of course, when you are so much in love with someone, such breakups leave you broken and shattered.

      I can just advice that let time heal the pain, though I know it’s easier said than done. But if you have to move on in life, there is really no other way. May be things weren’t just meant to be, and now you are seeking your own path to new beginnings. I guess you got to see the positive things life brings forth for your boys and yourself now.

      Wishing you all the very best in life, and thanks for sharing your experience with everyone 🙂

  17. Debbie

    March 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Great article, Harleena!

    I’ve been married for 40 years and can attest to all of it. A successful marriage takes work and must be nurtured. Bravo!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      March 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Nice to see you back Debbie!

      Glad you liked the article. Yes indeed, a marriage does take lots of time and effort, and needs to be nurtured to make it a happy and successful one. You can surely vouch for it having been married for 40 years! Wonderful indeed, as I keep saying so often, whenever I hear someone being married that long, especially nowadays when we have divorces coming through every now and then. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  18. umashankar

    March 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I understand and accept all the things you suggest here, but in my life i face difficultly to follow these things, for example how to Make them feel special. i don’t know.

  19. Hema Unnoop

    May 3, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I really wish people would share more of this kind of posts than those that do us no good. Yes, we have become self centred. Marriage means collaboration which many just don’t seem to understand. I recently have been witness to a marriage falling apart for no good reason. Some people want space in their marriages. Why marry if space is what you want? I married my best friend but things weren’t always nice and bright especially in the first year that we got married. We had to communicate and decide what works best for our relationship. Today I am happy in my marriage and I totally agree with you on making time for each other and respecting each other. Thank you for such a lovely post Harleena.




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How to Become Best Friends with Your Spouse

by Harleena Singh time to read: 6 min