It’s easy for spouses to say that they love each other, but how many of them still like each other?
Love is something that seems intuitive and thoughtless after we’ve said it so many times on reflex, and it’s not hard to see why that’s the case. Most of the mystique and wonder surrounding love comes from how inexplicable and hard to rationalize it is, but what happens when that mysterious attraction you have to your spouse is really a mystery of whether or not the attraction still exists?
We can easily give specific examples of why we like our friends, but if it’s hard for us to do the same for our spouses, something is amiss. True love for a spouse is powerful and non-negotiable, but when it it’s no longer accompanied by a genuine sense of liking that spouse, love can be more a trap than a thing of beauty.
The Big Questions to Ask
So, how can you tell if you actually like your spouse? Here are some of the hard-hitting questions you might ask to figure out just how much of a friend your spouse really is to you:
- Can you name specific reasons why you like your ex as a person, besides just being in love with them?
- Are there at least five things that the two of you like to do with each other outside of the bedroom?
- Knowing what you’ve learned about your spouse up until now, can you confidently say that you could still be friends with them even if you weren’t married to them?
- Are you more or less comfortable telling your spouse about daily issues than you are telling your friends about them?
- Do you and your spouse disagree on more topics than the ones you agree on?
These are some the questions that can be very easy to not even think about for years in a relationship that you’ve grown familiar with; however, familiarity has a way of mutating into apathy. The more familiar we are with something, the easier it is to stop examining it closely. Most people don’t see all of their best friends every day, let alone live with them, and this facilitates a much different perspective on people than the perspective we have of someone who is always around.
Replacing Familiarity With Discovery
Novelty and a lack of instant accessibility create a lasting sense of value, but familiarity can slip into neglect and contempt. Of course this isn’t to say that the immediate course of action should be to only see your spouse once a month, but it does make the need for a renewal of perspective now and then more apparent.
Here are some of the steps you can take to examine just how strong your friendship is with your spouse, and also what you could potentially do to rekindle a stronger friendship with our spouses if we find there’s more room for improvement.
1. Think about what it was that made you first realize that you liked your ex before you fell in love with them
2. Once you’ve worked out the things that made the two of you first start liking each other, consider how prevalent those things are in your relationship today
3. Make an effort to do something with them that can show you whether or not those feelings still rise to the surface
Whenever we’re wondering about whether or not we’re still friends with a spouse, it’s generally a sign that we haven’t done enough to spend quality time with them. There’s a distinct difference between spending quality time and just spending time. Quality time offers an opportunity to cooperatively accomplish or experience something with a person while learning more about them in the process, while simply spending time with a person is exactly what it sounds like.
Think of it this way: You can spend time with an axe murderer in a cell, but unless they were your best friend before the two of you got in there, then chances are you won’t become their best friend just by sharing oxygen with them.
If there’s really nothing that you can think of to do with your spouse that you could both mutually enjoy and rekindle a friendship through, then that lack of ideas might just provide some insight into how much a friend they really are to you in the first place.