Many people question whether husbands and wives should expect to be each other’s best friends. Spouses are often faced with difficulties throughout their lives and marriage, so how can they still be best friends with one another? While it may come as a surprise to some, over 83% of married couples report being best friends with each other.
Pope St. John Paul the Great’s Theology Of The Body calls couples to recall the original unity–the remarkable best friendship–our First Parents enjoyed before the fall. While many couples, today think that men and women aren’t supposed to even expect to be each other’s best friends, the Church is clear that that is exactly what God created men and women to be. Adam’s exclamation, “At last, this is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!” was, according to St. John Paul, an acknowledgement that Adam and Eve saw, in each other, two people who could truly “get” each other. Through God’s grace, they enjoyed “the peace of the interior gaze” that allowed them to share the deepest part of themselves with each other without fear or need to hold back at all. Since the Fall, because of our tendencies to self-protection, selfishness, and fear of vulnerability, this level of friendship can be challenging, but that is what the grace of a sacramental marriage is intended to empower couples to enjoy. Our efforts to cooperate with that grace allow husbands and wives to be witnesses to the love God has for the world and the friendship he desires with each of us.
Here are three simple More2Life Hacks you can use to guarantee you’ll be your spouse’s BFF,
1. Take Care–Being your spouse’s best friend begins with finding little ways to take care of each other every day. Happy couples look for little ways to make each other’s day easier or more pleasant, they look for opportunities to stay in touch throughout the day with “I love you” texts and short calls to check in. Being your spouse’s best friend doesn’t require tons of money for elaborate dates or huge swaths of time to connect in deeply meaningful ways. It means making the point of using this present moment–even the moments you are apart–to reach out to each other and connect in some loving way; offering a thoughtful act of service, a friendly call or text, leaving a short romantic note or other loving token of affection, an offer of prayerful support. These little efforts make a big difference in how much you and your spouse can feel like each other’s friends.
2. Date Everyday–Date nights are wonderful, but they usually can’t happen often enough and they aren’t the panacea people make them out to be. Couples who are real best friends don’t save their relationship for date night. They date every day, making little appointments to work, play, talk, and pray together every day–even for five minutes at a time. Making daily dates to do the dishes together, take a short walk or play a hand of cards, take a little time for couple prayer, and make a point of talking about something other than just the chores goes a long way toward maintaining the little connections that make being best friends possible.
3. Enjoy Little Adventures–Research shows that couples who feel like best friends make a point of trying new things together. They are open to participating in each other’s interests–even when they don’t personally enjoy the same things to the same degree. Couples who are best friends practice the notion that the activity they do together isn’t the point. Rather, the activity is just an opportunity to be together, to share something with each other, and maybe to learn something about each other. The new things you try don’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Make a meal together and try a new recipe. Play a new game. Explore a different part of the neighborhood. Try out something your spouse enjoys but you aren’t so sure about–and keep an open mind and friendly attitude about it. The point is, couples who are best friends look for little adventures to share that enable them to take their friendship in new directions.
For more information on how to be best friends with your spouse, check out For Better…Forever! A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage and make sure to tune in to More2Life, weekdays 10am E/9am C on EWTN Global Catholic Radio/Sirius XM 139.