How To Be Friends With Your Spouse

As women, we desire to have a deep emotional bond with our spouse. We want to be loved and adored.

We need to nourish our spouse daily with love, support and understanding.  As a therapist, I have seen numerous men who are disappointed in their marriages.
Men’s Top 6 Requests of Their Wives
1. Be his friend
2. Show him respect
3. Fulfill his physical needs
4. Make him feel desired
5. Make him feel appreciated
6. Create variety

Be a friend:
The most important aspect of a marriage is friendship.When there is friendship, any obstacle can be overcome.
Look at the beautiful examples of Khadija and Aisha (RA) and how they showered the Prophet (peace and salat upon him) with love, providing him with true companionship. Think about your best friend and how he or she became so special in your life. It probably had a lot to do with the amount of time and effort he or she made to get to know you and spend time with you. When was the last time you and your spouse had quality time together where the focus was just on having fun and sharing?

An easy way to get started is:
1. Set a date night with your spouse and stick to it
2. Share likes, dislikes, dreams etc.

Your friends are people who accept you and make you feel happy. How accepting are you of your spouse? Are you always trying to change or nag him? These behaviors push a man away and doesn’t create positive associations to you.

In order to create or strengthen friendship in marriage, try doing the following:
1. Listen, listen, listen to him – I mean really listen without being distracted, without making lists in your mind as he talks and without watching T.V. Remember what he shares with you about his work, about his goals, etc.
2. Share the highlights of the day & be supportive and understanding,
3. Find out what his area of interests are, read about them and be prepared to discuss,
4. Always say please and thank you, no matter how long you have been married
5. Eat at least 1 meal a day together,
6. Be forgiving – overlook his mistakes and flaws and train yourself to remember his positive traits ( everyone has some – you just have to focus on them),
7. Plan activities together (be it traveling together, playing tennis, walking, eating out, going out for movie nights – anything you both enjoy doing together),
8. Laugh together – don’t take your relationship so seriously all the time. Couples that can laugh together, stay together,
9. Have time to cuddle – being in close contact, hugging & caressing melts away the barriers, anger & frustrations. We all feel better after a nice, big hug,
10. Say nice things to each other – If you spoke to your friend the way you speak to your spouse would they remain your friend? Be honest with the answer,
11. Always make up before you sleep, and sleep at the same time. Don’t lead separate lives.

Show Respect:

The need for men to be respected is so strong that when they are given ample respect, they flourish like a plant that has just been watered. When they are deprived of the respect, they wilt and harbor feelings of sadness and resentment.

Many times women put a lot of time and effort in keeping the house clean, taking care of the kids and fulfilling all the “duties”, but because they fall short in showing their husbands respect, the husbands will shut down and not show appreciation for all that she has done. It is critical to be sensitive towards men and their feelings. Even though men may not be as expressive, they can and do get hurt and it is much harder for them to recover from hurt feelings.

Here are some ways to show respect:
1. Always speak with kindness and politeness, regardless of how long you have been married. Show the same (if not more) graciousness to your husband than you show your guests,
2. Never shout, call him names or use profanity,
3. Don’t be sarcastic with sensitive issues – if he has any weaknesses or shortcomings don’t crack a joke about it. Even if he doesn’t get mad, he may feel hurt inside,
4. Listen to his opinion and honor his requests – you will be rewarded in this world with a happy home and in the akhira insha’Allah,
5. Don’t have a power struggle with him. When women are demanding and aggressive it makes the men be harsh and rigid. If you show respect for the role that Allah has chosen for him he is more likely to be accommodating,
6. Show love and respect to his family and be a unifying force. Don’t be known in his family as the person who took him,
7. Respect his “alone time”, and allow him to unwind,
8. Ask his opinions and value them.

Fulfill His Physical Needs:
Intimacy brings about a whole lot of mixed emotions. Some sisters are not interested at all, some can never get enough and others seem to use it as a way to manipulate their husbands. There really needs to be some frank talk about this subject because I have seen many marriages suffer and fall apart due to problems of intimacy.

Read More on Haleh’s Website.

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