Marital Mondays: Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend? Part 2

So after reading the previous post (Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend? Pt 1) you realize that you and your spouse are headed towards the friend zone. You are wondering how this has happened, and what you can do to stop it. It’s not to late. As I said earlier, if you both still have that burning desire for one another than you can get back to where you once were.

First change your expectations. Expect more from one another. You had high expectations before you got married so why have they changed. Expect to spend time together. Expect to communicate with one another. Expect your spouse to be your emotional support.  When you begin to expect less in a marriage you will get less.

I know that life gets in the way. You go to work all day or if you are a stay at home mom like me you are home all day with the kids, and both can be very draining. When you come together with your spouse in the evening you are both exhausted. You eat, play, and put the kids to bed. Now your both tired and want to relax. He wants to watch Monday night football or the DIY channel and she wants to catch up on her favorite housewives and the Wendy Williams shows that are on the DVR. So you retire to different areas in the home. Gone are the days where you are both cuddled on the couch together under a blanket watching a movie.

GET BACK TO THAT!!!!!! Designate a day of the week for a movie night. Whatever day works best for the two of you. You might even want put the kids to bed a little earlier on that night. Pick out the movie in advance (you don’t want to spend time that night deciding what the movie will be) all you are interested in is getting to the couch to cuddle up. Also, set a time to meet on the couch. That will make it feel even more like a date. Just because you are married does not mean that dating stops.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Talk to each other. Continue to be interested in each others hopes and dreams. Sending a text or an email during the day also goes a long way. When I see I have an email from my husband I drop what I am doing to read it because that is not something that happens often and it brings me back to when we first met. We met blindly (via phone) through a mutual friend. We lived in different states and communicated over the phone and through email for a month before we physically met.  When I get an email from him it takes me back to that time. I have all of our emails saved and where they once filled my inbox, over the past 5 years they have become few and far between so when I do get one it makes me smile. So send something to let your spouse know you are thinking of them. Even if it is just “Hi Babe, I love you.”

Now for the good stuff…lol.

How does that Oliva Newton-John song go?

“Let’s get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let’s get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk”

I know, I know I am showing my age, lol.  But seriously, we are talking about your spouse. Your helpmate. The love of your life. GET PHYSICAL!

Every now and then my husband and I get into that routine of the 4 pecks. What is that you ask? It is when you can predict those 4 kisses you get during the day.

  1. When you leave each other in the morning
  2. When you come back together in the evening
  3. One random one, perhaps after dinner
  4. When you say goodnight

You’re sitting there counting in your head the amount of times you and your spouse kiss during the day aren’t you? You can admit it, it is 4 isn’t it? And they are not even real kisses, they are just quick pecks. Now that you realize you are in the routine of the 4 pecks, fix it.  How about turning at least one of those pecks into a deeper more passionate kiss. Don’t be shy. Have fun with it.

Another thing you can do is try committing do doing something intimate everyday for 7 days. Remember this list from Part 1?

  • Holding hands
  • Sweet talk
  • Kissing
  • Cuddling
  • Fondling
  • Having sex

It doesn’t have to be making love every night but hey if you can do it, go for it, lol. Just something intimate and passionate. It is important to take and make the time to be intimate with one another in a marriage.I know it may not always be easy. Some of you may even have kids in your bed. We have been there. Get creative you have other rooms in your home dont you?  Use your imagination! And eventually GET YOUR BED BACK. If you want a laugh read my Empty Bed Syndrome post.

So as I conclude this post, think about what you read. If you feel like you can relate to these posts, share them with your spouse. Remember to communicate. It’s time for you to stop being friends and start being spouses.

~Tricia

Marital Monday: Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend?

Recently I heard a woman say that it seemed like her marriage was in a rut and she and her husband have become just friends.  To me this is no good. Should you BE friends with your spouse? Of course!  Should you BECOME friends with your spouse?  No!  In relationships, the one thing that neither party wants to hear from the other is the that dreaded 7 words, “I think we should just be friends”. Marriage is no different. Becoming friends with your spouse is a step back.

The Shift

Friendship is what should start the relationship. It is the foundation. As cliché as it sounds, you should be friends first. The key word being first. As a friendship both parties may begin to develop romantic feelings or a “spark” may start to evolve. These feelings cause a shift in expectations as well as behaviors.

Expectations

Once you have decided to be “more than friends” your expectations should change. You should begin to expect more from one another in some of the following ways:

  • Communication
  • Emotional Support
  • Time spent together
  • Familial involvement

Behaviors

On to behaviors. After you have evolved into a relationship your behaviors towards one another also evolve. You have verbally expressed your feelings through sharing your expectations and you now have the desire to express your feelings in other ways. Affection and intimacy is now being added by engaging in any of the following:

  • Holding hands
  • Sweet talk
  • Kissing
  • Cuddling
  • Fondling
  • Having sex

Note: I am not saying that when moving a relationship beyond just friends you must do all the above. I am saying that affection and intimacy may be expressed through any of the above.

These things don’t typically occur when just friends.

Friend zone = Danger zone

So let’s get back to becoming friends with your spouse. Do you see how becoming friends with your spouse is a dangerous place to be? I just listed ways that a friendship may change when you just take things to the next level. Marriage is the ultimate level of a relationship and requires the largest commitment of all the things listed and much much more. At this point you are married and definitely should be engaging in all of the above. If you feel that you and your spouse are back in the friend zone that means your exceptions of what you require from one another has decreased and the affection and intimacy (or “spark”) is diminishing.  When you require less at some point you begin to care less and that is a dangerous place for spouses to be.

What now?

So where do you go from here? Well I don’t believe it is too late as long as both parties have the desire and passion to get out of the friend zone. In most cases it was not consciously decided to go from spouses to friends. Life happened. Children, work, or other responsibilities took priority over your relationship with one another.

Next week for the Marital Monday feature I will share some ideas I came up with of how to get your marriage out of the friend zone.

Stay tuned 

update: Here is  Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend? pt 2

~Tricia

The Perfect Gift

My husband gave me the most amazing Christmas present yesterday. A journal. He ordered it shortly before Christmas but it came late.  It was perfect. I think the most perfect gift he has ever given me other than the gift of himself.

The perfect  size and my favorite color. But what makes it even more special is that he personalized it in a very unique and thoughtful way.  On the inside cover he typed out and inserted the following two quotes by Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.

“If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

~ Toni Morrison

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

~ Maya Angelou

On the inside of the back cover he printed out and inserted several encouraging Bible scriptures for writers.

It was so thoughtful and just what I needed.  And he did not just hand it to me, he presented it. He told me how much he appreciates me as a stay at home mom but he knows that there is more for me to do. He said he not only supports me writing but he BELIEVES in me.  You know tears were just coming down my face. 🙂

This meant so much to me coming from him because in the past when I started a blog and would write posts he was not sure how he felt about me sharing things about our marriage or family (it was this post that I had written…lol). Well for me if I am going to blog I want to be honest about things that I am experiencing and use it to inspire and encourage others. This is my therapy So after that I felt a little discouraged and hesitant about sharing things. 

Recently I told him I wanted to start seriously writing and he was totally on board and thought of this perfect gift to show me his support and love.

He means the world to me!

Love Goggles.

My husband and I were recently joking around.  He can tend to be a pessimist at times which he fully acknowledges.  I told him that he never showed that trait until we got married.  He laughed and told me that before we married I just did not see it because I had my “love goggles” on.   I laughed and then thought.  I thought about how many married women (myself included) complain about their husbands changing after saying “I do”.  Have they in fact changed or did we just have our “love goggles” on before we got married?  I think it may be a little of both.

I agree before we married I did have “love goggles” on.  I saw only the best qualities in this wonderful man that I just knew I would be spending the rest of my life with.  I honestly can not remember noticing any irritating qualities in him before that magical day.  However, after that day I noticed that my dear husband tends to think the negative at times, drag out stories, and gets easily distracted by the TV no matter what might be on.  It would be crazy to think that a 38- year old man just started doing these things three years ago.  They had to have been there all the time but I was looking through the “love goggles” and did not notice them.

These goggles distort the image we have of the one we are in love with and hope to spend the rest of our lives with.  We only see the perfect mate that we want to see.  Do not get me wrong.  I love my husband with all of my heart.  He is the love of my life, but he does have qualities that irritate me.  I just do not understand why we chose not to see certain things, that are right in front of us because we are in love.  If they did not irritate me then, why do I allow them to irritate me now?  The answer I came up with is a simple one…. I took off my “love goggles”.  I did not take them off knowingly, there was just a point when they came off.

As young women when we think of our “boyfriend” or “fiance” we see this wonderful man that has the ability to make our hearts flutter and our knees weak.  Then we marry and the fiance is now our husband.  Over time when we think of our “husband” we see this man that sits on the couch and watches TV, a man that comes home from work gives you a quick peck on the lips and simply asks, “whats for dinner?”.  We then get frustrated with this man and complain that he has changed.  I know my husband may not be as romantic as he was when were were dating or during our engagement.  But I did not fall in love with him because of the things he did,  I fell in love with him because of the person he was (which he still is).

So now what?  Well, I plan to pull those “love goggles” out of the drawer, dust them off and put them back on.  I am sure I will still get irritated when he takes too long to get to a point or immediately walks in a room and turns his attention to the TV that may be on. However, I am not going to forget about all of the great things about him that continues to make my heart flutter and my knees weak.  This is the man that chose me to spend the rest of his life with and who I chose to spend the rest of mine.  He is my best friend, the father of my children, my lover, my soul mate, and my husband!

~Tricia