I have been talking about how to be friends with your spouse over the last few months. In the beginning of your relationship, being friends is very easy.
Over time, being married can turn into more of a contractual partnership. This partnership is where you have agreed to live in the same home and raise kids together.
There is so much more to being in a marriage relationship than simply raising kids and maintaining a home. The person you are married to should be your deepest, most intimate relationship.
You can check out the first two posts in this series:
One thing that many couples struggle with is finding things to talk about that has nothing to do with work and raising kids. Sure, those conversations are important. It is important to remember that your entire life cannot be consumed with what happened at work or how to handle your kids.
Today, I want to help you come up with some intentional conversations you can have with your spouse. I’m not particularly talking about conversation starters, although, if you need a bullet list of questions to ask one another, you can check out my post on:
Here are some suggestions I have that will help you to engage in interesting and fun conversations with your spouse and with friends.
Set an Actual Timer or Make a Mental Note
You don’t have to take this suggestion literally and set an actual timer. You need to keep in mind that any conversation that goes on for too long will wear someone out. Talking about your job is not the problem…talking about your job for an hour is.
Either use a timer or make a mental note of when you started talking about a subject. You should also pick up on the ques the other person is sending to you that the conversation is beginning to bore them.
Switch things up if you notice you’ve been talking for a while and the other person hasn’t responded.
Learn to Appreciate What Interests Your Spouse
For those of you who do not know, Austin and I are pretty much polar opposites. We are interested in very different subjects, activities, television shows, and music. It is very important that we have learned to appreciate what interests the other person.
Austin is a huge science fiction fan; I am not. Although, after being married to him for 12 years, I’m starting to understand it a bit more. I have found a few science fiction shows that do interest me and we can enjoy them together.
I love to craft and re-purpose old items. Austin is not a creator by nature, but has really learned to appreciate that skill in me. He now asks me to help him create things and has taken an interest in doing projects on his own.
We have started enjoying new things because we have learned to appreciate the other person’s interests. In my opinion, this is one of the most amazing things about marriage. You spend so much time with someone that they help to shape and mold you into who you become.
Develop A Mindset For Learning
I grew up in a home where we were always pushed to learn. My mom is an avid reader and feels everyone should always be learning something new. My dad is the kind of guy that is always working on a new project and learning ways to make things. Between these two examples, we were always expanding our minds.
My parents often engaged us in intellectual and interesting conversations…in fact, they still do. When we get together with my parents, the conversations range from social topics, mechanics of how things work, to theology.
By nature, I am not a learner….it is something that I have had to develop. My parents didn’t give me much of a choice about it. I’m very practical, so useless information and facts used to be quite a bore.
Over the years, I understand the importance of reading to gain more knowledge. I realize how important it is even if I don’t have a practical way of using it.
Actually, if there is any practicality to reading useless facts…it’s to give me something interesting to talk about with my husband and kids.
It is really important to spend time reading. I personally enjoy short articles and concise information. You can spend a few minutes looking at blogs and news stories. Then you will walk away with something interesting to talk about.
My mom has a philosophy that you should always be learning new things so you can be an interesting person. I think we have lost that in our culture. We have lost the art of conversation because we are entertainment driven.
Find Fun Things To Share With Each Other
I love social media for no other reason than the vast amount of hilarious things that are shared. There aren’t a ton of great things that come out of looking at Facebook all day, other than funny meme’s.
Most of us spend at least a little time on social media in a day. There are also websites like:
Clean Funny Pics
These websites will give you plenty of talking points.
I know, it sounds like I’m suggesting that you do some actual research in order to come up with fun things to talk about with your spouse….well…that’s exactly what I’m doing.
You wouldn’t find it weird to search out a new recipe, how to get rid of weeds in your garden, or tips on how to save money would you?
Don’t limit your search engine to only things that are practical. Look for funny YouTube vids to share or interesting articles to read together.
Take On A Project Together
Shared experiences is a simple way to deepen your friendship or relationship with someone. When it comes to your spouse, taking on a project together can be easy.
First of all, you live together, so you should be able to find the time. I would just caution that if you are too busy to get an occasional project done, you might consider cutting back a little bit in life.
This might be a perfect date night for you if your time is that limited.
Second, there are always projects around the home that need to be accomplished. You can always fold laundry or do dishes together if you don’t have the money to invest in a house project.
Doing projects together will require you to communicate with one another. It also allows for natural conversation to happen. When the conversation dries up, you have the task to distract you both.
Time Travel With Each Other
Jennifer over at the Unveiled Wife talks about how she and her husband time travel together. She writes about how they take a look back in time with each other and face the future with hope.
There is something wonderful about reminiscing over times that you have shared together. It is just as important to dream together and plan out things to come.
You do have to strike the balance in your relationship to live in the moment, but it is ok to time travel with your lover.
Spend Time With Other Interesting People
Having conversations with interesting people will help you to learn a lot. Find the time to have other couples over.
When you spend time with other people, stories and conversations come up that wouldn’t have if it were just the two of you all the time.
I’ve known Austin for 15 years, and there are times when he will tell a story in a group that I’ve never heard. It is just one more way that we can know each other deeper.
Dispelling The Myth That Being Friends Is Easy
Your spouse is not your BFF from your childhood or even your BFF from now. There is a big difference between a spouse and a best friend.
When my best friends annoys the crap out of me, I can just ignore them for a little while and then move on.
I can’t ignore problems with my husband the way I can with a best friend. I don’t have to live with or raise kids with my best friend.
Even though it is easier to maintain a friendship with someone you aren’t married to, any friendship requires a lot of work. It takes intentional communication an conversations to have a closer relationship.
Don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t friends with your spouse, or that over time your friendship has subsided. Instead, feel hopeful that you can share with each other fun and interesting things in life if you chose to work at it.
I hope these are some practical ways that you can build your friendship with your spouse. It takes a lot of work to keep a relationship going. Have patience, be kind and encouraging to each other….that is when your friendship will flourish.