Camaraderie and Closeness: This is the 3rd post of 27 – Values to Enrich your marriage from A to Z
These two Values of Camaraderie and Closeness have been a huge part of our 32 years of marriage. We first met when we were 15 & 17 and all the shared experiences over the years have shaped our camaraderie as husband and wife. Sometimes we still feel like those teenagers… (At least inside – our physical outside tells a different story.)
This closeness is at the heart of a strong marriage. While I know some will zero in on the part of ‘being intimate’ – and that is important – I encourage you not to lose sight of the last part:
– ‘belonging together.’ (Remember yesterday’s post about B is for Belonging?)
It’s about being friendly – to each other.
(What a concept, huh? Being friends with your spouse!)
How to add Camaraderie & Closeness to your marriage:
Here are eight ways to promote the Values of Camaraderie and Closeness to enhance your marriage:
1) Develop a shared vision or purpose for your life. Nothing fosters camaraderie and closeness like a common goal and a reason to collaborate together. Often a vision comes from knowing your shared values as a couple.
2) Make time for quality time. Sitting watching TV together doesn’t count. What are you planning and how are your being purposeful for your time together? (Maybe this is where a regular date-night comes in? — or go further and enrich your marriage while encouraging others? There’s a free 20-page resource for that HERE.)
3) Face-to-face communication. This is the best way to tackle issues together, and brainstorm in an open, respectful environment. You’ll also feel progress as you build off of each other’s ideas.
4) Allow for independence. Camaraderie and closeness happens when two accomplished people join forces. As in every team sport, players have certain strengths. They all practice their strengths independently, yet come together to make a strong team. It’s no different in marriage.
5) Break bread together. Yes, sharing a meal is a great catalyst for building camaraderie. And it often includes laughter, the sharing of stories, or even just peaceful moments together with no expectations. Stop eating on-the-go, or in front of the TV – sit down at a fully-dressed dining table, or at a picnic table in a park, or a spot you found when you were dating… face each other, and experience life together as you eat.
6) Regular meetings. Check in with each other – at least weekly – to be sure you and your spouse are aligned. Never assume! Be clear and deliberate with about activities, potential issues, and preferred outcomes. The more busy your schedule, the more important this time becomes. Use your shared values to make decisions. Those shared values in a husband and wife team are like sign-posts along the way. It’s easier to say “no” or “yes” if you know your shared values as a couple!
7) Help out when needed. While you respect the independence of your spouse, camaraderie is built when you respond to a need, shore up a weakness, or when you stand beside each other in success and failure. No special recognition is needed – you’re a team. Don’t procrastinate – get in there and do something!
8) Encourage your spouse. Often what is needed most to feel close, to feel familiar with each other, and intimate, is encouragement. Use all five ways to encourage your spouse.
Use the Values of Camaraderie & Closeness
The rewards of fostering camaraderie and closeness are significant. You’ll not only enjoy the satisfaction of being part of a successful team, you’ll have a lifelong friend.
This post is part of the series: 27 Values to Enrich Your Marriage