How to Be Friends with Your Husband When Your Kids Leave Home

The dusty, sweet smell of hay rose in the companionable silence as we covered the garlic row. We had a system going that day. I dropped the chunks of hay, he spread them. We didn’t talk much, my best friend and I. We worked in harmony. At peace.

Soon it will be just the two of us all the time.

I won’t deny that I’m having to adjust.

After cooking for five, cooking for two or three throws me off. No boys to graze on the leftovers in the fridge.

No arguments, no laughing, no banging doors, or “Hey, Mom, where’s my …”

It takes a week to build up enough laundry to make washing worth it.

The sudden freedom is unsettling, but I do like the thought of being just two.  My children are leaving.  I miss them, but I still have my best friend – my husband.

How did Richard and I stay best friends throughout our career-building and child-rearing years?

Here are some things you can do to build and maintain your friendship:

Make time together a priority. At the height of Richard’s career-building and my homeschooling, we made time to spend together.  We had a half hour chat time every day. It was a part of our daily schedule. (For more on scheduling, see here). This was a sacrifice for Richard since a farmer’s work is never cut and dried or done. He took time out of his work day to spend with me.

During this time we talked, prayed, laughed, reminisced, swam, or sunbathed. Often Richard took me off on his dirt bike to a quiet spot on our farm so I could have a change of scenery.

Marriage is the primary relationship in a family. If it is not healthy, home falls apart.  It’s easy to let the kids become more important than your marriage.  Don’t. Your kids will feel more secure knowing Mom and Dad are happy.

Beware the little seeds of resentment. Bitterness and disrespect are usually the fruit of resentment. Recently Richard sent me to the bank to get one of my credit cards checked out (he takes care of our finances). In a blank moment neither of us noticed that it was not a credit card issued by that bank.

Embarrased when the woman at the counter kindly pointed it out, I felt resentment creep into my heart. My husband should have noticed. I trust him. And now I look like the fool.

I had a choice to make: hang on to resentment or let it go.  I Submitted my thoughts and feelings to God and He reasoned with me: “That woman may go home and laugh about you. So what. You may never see her again, but you will live with your husband until one of you dies. You can live with harbored bitterness or you can live with peace and harmony between you.”

I chose harmony. 🙂

Do stuff together.  The same day we spread hay, Richard split wood and I stacked it in the wheelbarrow. Just doing it brought us closer together.

We exercise together when we can. We love to travel and explore together.  We have presented seminars together.  Doing “stuff” together keeps love and friendship alive.

Make your husband important. Meet his needs. Give up of yourself for his sake.

A few weeks ago Richard asked me to go with him so he could cut up a tree.  One of the rules of the wilderness is that you don’t work with a chainsaw alone. My sole purpose for going with him would be to be a second person in case something went wrong.

I had no reason to go.  It was cold and I wasn’t feeling well, but I knew that by going I would be helping my husband get the job done.  I chose to go. I dressed in my warmest clothes and took a blanket along. I survived. I didn’t only survive.  I enjoyed it.  And our friendship thrived.

Unless you keep your friendship alive, it will fade. Life has a way of doing that to relationships. Friendship requires time.  What you put in is what you’ll get out.

I look forward to life together with my best friend.

What do you do to keep your friendship with your spouse alive? Leave a comment! I’d like to learn from you 🙂

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is a certified SYMBIS facilitator, and is certified in TPM (Transformation Prayer Minsitry). She lives in South Africa, has three grown children, and is married to her best friend – Richard.

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