It seems like every engagement announcement I see says the same thing. “Lucky enough to be marrying my best friend!” It is a sweet sentiment and I didn’t think anything of it until recently when I read yet another one and it occurred to me that my husband of 17 years isn’t my best friend.
Maybe he was when we first got together, but as time marched on and life got more complex, it didn’t feel like that anymore.
I had to truly stop and think about what, if anything, that said about our marriage. We got married pretty young so to a certain degree, he and I have grown up together. And as happens in most marriages, we have gone through all kinds of good and bad things together, from buying a house and having our son to parents dying and job losses. Besides loving each other, all of those things have only served to cement our bond… but are we best friends? I would have to say no.
I know for certain that I can trust him and that he is always there when I need him. We know each other so well that we even seem to think the same thoughts at the same time. No one knows me better. All of this is wonderful but, that still doesn’t make him my best friend. But does he have to be? Is there something wrong with that? I don’t think so. The role of life partner is so much more than a best friend.
I Have a Best Friend
She and I talk for hours, we rely on each other, we vent to each other and support each other through life. We see things in similar ways, so we have a lot in common yet we respect each other enough to be able to disagree and talk about our differing opinions without fear for our friendship. And if we are honest, don’t we all need a person to talk to when we are fighting with our spouse? I do. I need someone to listen to me and tell me honestly if I am being irrational or over-reacting. My best friend does that.
The more I looked at each of these two crucial relationships in my life, it occurred to me that no one person should or could be all things to another forever. It is too much emotional weight for anyone to carry and doesn’t leave room for the relationship or the people to grow. I think that you can spread yourself too thin and be of less use, overall. How many times have you seen memes that say something to the effect of not trying to be all things to all people?
As I thought about it, it seemed to me that my husband is certainly not my best friend. We started out that way, but things evolved. And that’s ok with me.