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Your life partner is supposed to be your best friend as well, but you look at your marriage and there’s no more friendship. You’ve retained your title of husband and wife, but you’re certainly not friends.
But why? How did you come to this place?
Whatever the reason or journey to this place, there’s always a solution. Be encouraged as we delve into the reasons you’ve strayed from friendship and potential solutions for each situation.
Most importantly: don’t lose hope!
1. You have fallen into a routine.
Between work, kids, and the fullness of life, it’s easy to go into autopilot. Marriages often fall into a rut. When every day seems the same, it’s time to mix things up. With proper scheduling, you can plan entirely new days.
Make time for fun activities to do together. If you have kids, you can plan quality family time too, but make sure you and your man have some time when there’s just the two of you. From “taco Tuesdays” to “anything can happen Sundays,” any day of the week has the potential to be new and interesting.
You can keep some aspects of your current routine but make sure to change anything that no longer works for you. For instance, instead of spending time in front of the TV after dinner, you can play a board game, or instead of a home-cooked meal you could go to a new restaurant and order something you’ve never tried before.
Friends have fun, so if your days aren’t fun anymore, try being more spontaneous and don’t be afraid of changes.
2. You don’t have the same interests anymore.
Change is inevitable, and you and your husband have probably changed since the time you first fell in love with each other. Maybe you’re not the same people you were back then, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The point of life is change and growth, and couples should grow together.
Perhaps you haven’t grown together but have gone in different directions. Your interests have changed, and you are simply too different to feel like friends. Fixing this could be as simple as finding a hobby you can both enjoy together. The thing about interests is they can change, and you can always find new ones. So, if none of your interests currently match, find a brand new interest you both enjoy!
Maybe your husband doesn’t get what you see in making paintings, or you don’t understand what’s so fun about baseball, but you don’t have to. You can have separate interests and still find more of them to enjoy together. Try to have at least one hobby you can do together as a couple. It could be making pottery, taking dancing lessons, or cooking lessons. The possibilities are endless as long as you commit to finding your “thing” you can enjoy together.
3. You don’t talk like friends do.
Do you have conversations that friends have? Friends are kind to each other, they laugh and tease together, they open up and are vulnerable with one another.
You and your husband should have heart-to-heart conversations about your fears, hopes, and plans. You should also be able to laugh together as friends do. Your conversations should be uplifting, make you feel good about yourself, and strengthen your bond.
What do your conversations look like with your husband? If your conversations are only about what you will eat and when you will come home, it makes sense that you don’t feel like friends.
Find the time to really talk and have deep, meaningful conversations about your future, your feelings, and the ways you could grow.
Most importantly, have honest conversations because if you can’t be honest with your husband, there’s a bigger problem in your marriage. You should both feel safe to open up to each other and share freely.
Friends often give each other advice, so if you don’t make decisions together anymore, start doing so. Turn to your husband for support and ask him for his opinion and advice when you need it.
4. You no longer do fun things together.
Married people should be serious, to a certain extent, but when you’re so serious that you forget to have fun, you’ve gone too far.
When was the last time you did something fun and simply laughed together? That’s what friends do most of the time, so you may just be missing fun in the relationship. Make plans to do something fun, and remember you’re never too old to enjoy life to the fullest or try new things.
Perhaps the weight of responsibility has sucked the fun from life, and you forgot how to act like two kids in love. No amount of responsibilities require you to give up fun!
Loosen up a little and plan activities that will make you laugh and have a good time. Go out and dance the night away. Be playful, tease each other, joke around, and play in the snow or the leaves. Most importantly, stop being afraid of seeming silly and laugh your hearts out.
5. You aren’t there for each other like you used to be.
Friends are supposed to be there for each other, and if your husband isn’t your friend anymore, he probably doesn’t give you the support that you need.
Does he comfort you when you cry? Do you feel safe to open up to him and be vulnerable? Does he hold and support you when you feel like you’re falling apart?
Well, he should, and you should be doing the same for him. If this isn’t the case, do something about it.
You should be able to rely on your husband to be there for you when you need him, and you should be entitled to a warm hug when you need one. Your husband should also celebrate your accomplishments with you.
If things have gotten so bad you can’t count on his support anymore, you may need to seek outside help. A therapist can help you both make changes to improve your marriage and start acting like friends again.
If you have tried getting help, but your husband isn’t willing to grow or change, you might want to consider whether that’s something you can accept or if it’s a sign that he’s simply checked out of the marriage.
6. You aren’t kind and respectful to each other anymore.
Friends are both kind and respectful to each other. If things have gotten so bad you can’t be kind and respectful to each other, seek out counseling.
Words like “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you” should be a regular part of your vocabulary, so if you can’t say them anymore, you need help. You should be able to talk nicely about and to each other, so if you can’t even do that, your marriage is in big trouble.
Most often there are underlying problems that are continually pushed under the rug. Little arguments come up, but the minor issues are rarely what’s to blame. Talking to a therapist can help you identify the roots of your problems and start communicating kindly and respectfully, even amidst a disagreement.
Begin by treating your husband with the same kindness and respect you desire, and he may follow suit. Whereas, if you are disrespectful and mean, you are likely to receive the same kind of treatment in return. It doesn’t matter who started it as long as someone finally chooses to end it.
7. You don’t enjoy each other’s company anymore.
Maybe you simply don’t feel good in each other’s company anymore. You don’t have much to talk about, you don’t laugh together, and you don’t enjoy doing things together.
If you want to save your marriage, don’t ignore this big problem. You and your husband should enjoy spending time together more than you enjoy spending it with anyone else.
Finding fun activities you can do together and working on communicating better can help you, but it’s still important to seek the help of a professional. If you want to enjoy your time together again, you have to find out why you are not enjoying it in the first place, and a therapist can help with that.
Your marriage won’t continue for much longer if you don’t enjoy being in the same room, so be preemptive and seek professional help.
8. You aren’t willing to bury the hatchet.
Perhaps you had a huge fight that you haven’t yet recovered from. You’re still holding a grudge, or you resent your husband for something he did. Maybe the roles are reversed, but either way, you aren’t willing to bury the hatchet and make things right again.
Your husband is your companion through life and the most important person you need to get along with. If something he did hurt you deeply, don’t quietly resent him for it until you can’t stand him anymore. Talk about it, let him know how hurt you feel, and what he can do to make things right. When he does this, forgive him. If you can’t forgive each other, you’ll end up resenting one another, and it could doom your marriage.
So, let bygones be bygones and find a way to bury the hatchet and make peace. Holding a grudge is toxic and can ruin your marriage, so either find it in your heart to forgive each other or come to terms with the fact that you can’t forgive and consider separating.
9. You don’t empathize with each other.
Empathy is important in a friendship as well as in a romantic relationship. Your husband should be able to understand how you feel and see things from your perspective and vice versa. Have compassion and seek to see your husband’s point of view. As long as both of you can do this, your marriage will likely be happy.
Misunderstandings can easily turn into major fights just because people can’t look at things from each other’s perspectives. Work on being more empathetic and generally aware of how your husband feels. If you can be truly empathetic you will be able to comfort each other, understand each other better, and have fewer fights.
10. You take each other for granted.
It’s good to know that you’re committed to each other for life, but it could make you take each other for granted. When you take your partner for granted, you show less appreciation and gratitude for the things they do for you, and this can push them further away from you.
Begin by showing appreciation for the little things. Don’t hesitate to say “Thank you” every now and then. As you begin to show thankfulness for the everyday kindnesses your husband shows you, his heart will soften. He will feel valued and will most likely reciprocate your thankfulness.
It’s easy to take someone for granted when you know they’re not going anywhere, but remind yourself they don’t have to stay – they are choosing to, and they choose to every day.
11. You no longer give each other compliments.
How often do you and your husband compliment each other? Friends make friends feel good about themselves, and one way of doing so is by giving compliments. Maybe the only compliments you’ve been giving recently are backhanded compliments such as, “You’re kind to wash the dishes, but I don’t understand why you couldn’t do that more often.”
Start complimenting each other on intelligence, physical appearance, style, skills, and anything else that you like about each other. You did that while you were dating and that’s what got you together in the first place, so why would you stop now that you’re married?
Remind yourself of everything you love about your partner, let him know about it, and encourage him to do the same.
12. You’re not willing to compromise.
Oftentimes marriage is about compromise. You’re two individual people with unique likes and dislikes. The magic to making marriage work is learning when and how to compromise with your spouse.
Your husband should be able to share the things he likes with you, making him feel more important and cared for by you. So, accommodate his preferences from time to time and let him accommodate yours.
For instance, if you want to eat chocolate and watch a chick flick while he would prefer to eat chips and watch an action movie, eat chocolate and watch an action movie.
Don’t always make him do what you want to do. Consider his preferences before deciding on what you will do, and vice versa. Learn to make compromises, and you’ll work better as a couple and as a team. If you learned anything as a child, you don’t always get your way, and that should be okay with you.
13. You don’t accept each other fully: flaws and all.
When you’re with someone for a long time, you get to know them so well that you become aware of all their flaws and shortcomings.
At some point, you could become so focused on those things that you don’t see your partner’s good qualities anymore. You might start criticizing your partner to such an extent that they feel attacked and start distancing themselves.
The same could be true of your husband. He may have lost sight of the things he loves about you. If this is the case, focus on the positive things and switch criticism for compliments and words of appreciation. Your marriage will be happier, and you’ll learn to love and accept each other for who you truly are.
14. You don’t make each other feel special.
Friends are intentional about making each other feel special, and maybe you don’t do that anymore. You certainly showed a lot of interest in each other’s thoughts, likes and dislikes, opinions, days, concerns, fears, dreams, and goals when you were dating, and you shouldn’t stop now that you’re married.
Make each other feel special by showing the same amount of interest in each other as you did back when you were still trying to impress and seduce one another. You shouldn’t stop seducing each other just because you’re married; that’s called being lazy. So be intentional, plan a special date whether out or at home, and make your husband feel special and desired.
15. You don’t like each other’s friends.
Maybe the reason you don’t feel like friends is that you have separate friends and your husband doesn’t like your choice of friends or you don’t like his. You probably have a reason not to like someone your husband likes but try to at least be respectful to those he cares about.
You can also have common friends. There’s nothing wrong with having separate friends, but make sure to find some couples you both enjoy as well.
Whatever you do, don’t forbid each other from seeing your friends unless you have an extremely valid reason to do so. For instance, if you don’t like your husband’s friends because they drink and talk about women, you might want to let that slide, but if they influence him to the point he starts acting like them, you have every right to say something.
16. You were never friends, to begin with.
In the end, maybe you and your husband never were friends. You had fun and you talked a lot before, but it was a normal part of courtship – not friendship. It’s never too late to learn how to cultivate a friendship in your marriage. You obviously enjoyed each other at some point, so you have the building blocks necessary to creating a thriving friendship.
As a married couple, you should be each other’s best friend, greatest comfort and support, and most treasured company. If things aren’t like that in your marriage anymore or they never were, you might want to involve a professional in your problem.
A therapist can help you find ways to be friends, regardless of your journey before marriage. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and do whatever it takes to make your marriage happy and friendly.
Still not sure what to do when you and your husband are no longer friends? A friendship is such an important part of a healthy long-term marriage, so it’s something to take very seriously. That’s why relationship counseling – either by yourself or as a couple – is something to really consider. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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