Keeping Your Relationship Strong By Being Friends


Maintaining Friendship in a Relationship

I was thinking about whether my husband and I are friends. And the truth is, he is my best friend. I know I have other friends in my life and the husband actually goes by a lot of different names like, “partner,” “mate,” “better half,” etc.. But when I thought about whether we are friends, I could find no other answer than, “Yes, of course!”

Maintaining Friendship Between You and Your Partner

I like being with him. I like doing things with him. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have other friends that I enjoy being with, but realizing that the two of us have built a beautiful friendship is something I feel really happy about.

So how do you build a friendship with your partner? Maybe it just happens over time. Maybe it’s just one of those things that sneak up gradually when you do things together or spend a lot of time together. Being friends with your partner doesn’t mean you are the same people, and I think often some might think that if they don’t like the same things as their mate they can’t be friends. Couples can often identify what isn’t the same and sometimes they conclude they are too different from their mate and can’t ever see eye to eye.

Understand What You Can’t Do Together

Maintain friendship in a relationship by finding  activities that you both find engaging, without one person being bored.

It’s true that two people will never see anything exactly the same. It’s just not possible. Each one of us filters life through our own experiences, our interpretations and ways of processing, and no two people are alike in this. Not even twins. So how can we expect to be exactly the same? Similar? Yes. The same? No.

For example, as long as I’ve known my husband, about 17 years, he has had his way of working out. He goes to the gym and lifts weights, he runs and he walks. He relates to his exercise with vigor and a sense of purpose. We tried running together in the past, but we both agreed it wasn’t great. He runs his pace, I run mine.

Then, Understand What You Can Do Together

But about a year ago I began a training method, a slow motion strength training to help my muscles and my bones. I started talking about it and on his own he decided to go with me one morning and try it. On his own he decided to join the gym and have his own trainer and do the slow motion workout. And then something really great happened.

He still has his own competitive techniques, noticing his reps and being conscious of how much weight he’s lifting. And I am way more consumed by my commitment toward total health and care of my body.

Build Friendship Through a Routine of Shared Activities

Talk to each other and find an activity that appeals to both of you, to enhance friendship in your relationship.

Even so, we now go to the gym together. Twice a week we get up at the same time, followed by our morning tea ritual while reading the paper. We leave together, in the same way each time. He drives, and when we get to the facility we work out with our different trainers, having our own unique experience.

Then we leave together, sometimes talking about the workout, we stop for coffee if there’s time and then we head home. I feel like I have my best friend with me on these mornings. He is in it with me. I am in it with him. It’s something we do together, but not on top of each other. We aren’t the same. We are madly and sometimes maddeningly different.

Build something that works for you. Build something with your special person. Be in it with them. It makes for a good ride, and sometimes a great workout.


Learn More About Staying Friends with Your Partner

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? Learn how to improve your relationship by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help you communicate clearly, minimize misunderstanding, and better connect with your mate. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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