Typically, when people want to have some down time, they think of recreational activities. The idea of leisure time is generally not about going on a personal retreat. That is more geared towards spiritual refreshment. It’s more about having some fun in a relaxed atmosphere and best of course with other people. Who best to hang out with - a friend(s) of course! And why do we think friends when we think of fun? Because a friend is that person you can talk with and play with. A person you can share your thoughts with and do activities together with.
Many women complain that their husbands like to hang out with “the boys” all the time. They wish he would spend more of his down time with them. Between work hours (and this includes ministry) and recreation or leisure time, there’s not much left for “wife time”. And if much of “wife time” is spent talking about the needs of the home, kids’ etc., there is literally no time spent having fun as a couple.
What the man needs is a companion not just a co-worker. He needs someone he can enjoy recreational activities with. If you as a woman show some interest in his interests, and indicate that you would like to be a part of those, there is a good chance that you become that person he likes to hang out with. He married you (hopefully) because he liked hanging out with you - talking, sharing, having fun, etc. Saying “I do” or having children shouldn’t stop that. Find some common interests and suggest some time out (dates if you will) doing just that. Make companionship a priority and demonstrate that you are still that friend he fell in love with and married. This is not to say that it is solely the woman’s responsibility to build friendship.
But trust me on this - the more interest you show and a willingness to engage in your husband’s recreational activities, the more time you get to spend with him. To hang out with you, he needs you to be his friend!
In a nutshell: One of the emotional needs of the man is recreation. Men are work-oriented. But after they are done with work, most men like to do something to wind down - be it watching sports, playing a sport, going to the gym, cycling, etc. If the wife shows some interest in being his recreational buddy, he is likely to spend more time with her. The more time they spend having fun together, the more they bond, and the more he opens up to her.
Most men would want to spend time with their wife if they could have her as a friend and not just a helper. Will you be that friend for him?
GOD said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” So GOD formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion. [Genesis 2: 18- 20; The Message]
Your take: What are some things a couple can do to build a strong friendship in their marriage?