Being a friend to your spouse is different than any other type of friendship that you will form with another person. A friendship with your spouse is based upon the characteristics of significance and security. These two characteristics are like a powerful bonding agent, something like superglue for the soul.
All friendships answer questions like these:
- Do I matter to you?
- Do you see value in me?
- Can I be real with you?
- Can I count on you to have my back?
These types of questions are rarely asked or discussed between friends, but a fundamental belief in each other’s willingness to be these things for each other is what determines the depth of a friendship. A friendship can be sustained when at least two of these questions are regularly confirmed, but a friendship with your spouse needs all four of these questions to be in play.
Most people have friends who they know will not show up when they need to move or be available in a critical moment in their life, but you can still be real with them and they value you. You know the limitation of the friendship, but that does not change the way you feel about each other.
A wise spouse will realize that these unspoken questions are being asked by their husband or wife in times when they are struggling to feel significant or secure in some way that may be totally unrelated to your relationship.
- Do I matter to my spouse?
- Does my spouse see value in me?
- Can I be real with my spouse?
- Can I count on my spouse to have my back?
The best way to sustain a vibrant friendship with your spouse is making an intentional effort to answer these four unspoken questions each week. You are developing a strategy based on the understanding that every spouse will have seasons in their life where they struggle with significance or security. You don’t want to start each day by saying to your spouse, “You matter or I see value in you.” Over time, your words will not be heard as intended. The Help is a popular movie that is known for the quote, “You is kind, you is smart and you is important”. These are powerful words, but a friendship with your spouse needs a different approach.
The best way to communicate significance and security to your spouse is to show gratitude whenever they demonstrate by actions or words that they do have your back, you do matter to them or you can be real without judgment. You can say:
- Thank you for having my back when you…. I want you to know that I have your back also.
- Thank you for letting me be real about what I was feeling and not judging me. I will do the same for you.
- When you did.…it made me feel that I matter to you. I want you to know that you matter to me.
You will be a great friend by applying the bonding agent of security and significance to the soul of your spouse whenever you get a chance.
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