Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Friends and Lovers

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

So often, when people marry, they rely on their feelings of "love", which are more likely feelings of infatuation. Unfortunately, those feelings are usually fleeting in nature. They don't last, because they are based on physical attraction, or perceived ideas of who someone is.

The most successful, happy marriages I have observed, have not been marriages that were without conflict or trials (is there such a marriage?), but ones in which the husband and wife are not only lovers, but friends. A man longs for a companion. Someone who will do things with him, and spend time with him. While women can get so much out of relationship by sitting and talking for hours, men tend to relate while *doing*.

I have often noticed this when our family gets together with other families. The women tend to sit and talk, and while the men will sit and talk, they have a much better time, and feel like they've related better if they are doing something ~ whether it's playing paint ball, working on a vehicle, reloading ammunition, or working on the house one family is currently building. So, doesn't it make sense for a wife to take an active interest in the things her husband enjoys, and learn not only to do them, but to enjoy it as well?

Sometimes we don't have to actually participate, but if we are willing to be there, and are genuinely interested in what they are doing, it has the same effect. I'm thinking of football. My Beloved loves football. I never have. I am becoming more interested and more knowledgeable, sadly not because my Beloved loves it so, but because our sons are playing now. The added benefit is that I am taking an active interest in something he loves. I am not very knowledgeable! LOL But, he knows that I want to learn, and I am willing to ask a lot of "stupid" questions, and so I am learning.

At my age and after the number of children I have birthed, there is not much of a chance of *me* playing football! :-) But, I can take an interest. I can listen attentively when they (my Beloved and my boys) talk about football. I can go to the games and be supportive of our sons, and of my darling, since he is coaching. I can be observant and make comments or suggestions, or even ask questions that let him know that I am paying attention and I care.

There are many ways that we can cultivate our friendship with our husband. My Beloved and I are best friends. If you don't feel like you are with your husband, think about some of the ways you cultivate friendships with others. Not the specific "things" you do, but the principle behind them. Like time spent together, interest in the other person, etc.

If you do believe that you have a great friendship with your beloved, I would love to hear how you cultivate that. What are some of the things that you do and enjoy together?


Tumbleweeds said...

This is my first time to your blog , I came acrossed it via Amanda's at Much forgiven... I really enjoyed your post here and will take it to serious prayer as to How I and my Husband can get to that place as friends again..... the deep rooted kind. Shoot we were best friends befor we married why did we let that go out the window once we had our vows. Again great post

Mrs. "M" said...

My first visit too. I have been thinking on this very thing lately. We are friends for sure but life has been very fast furious for the last 5 plus years. We have lost some of the priority of having time for us to hang out. Very thought provoking...thanks for sharing this.