Table of Contents
- Should your partner be your BFF? Elli Purtell boldly argues “no way” as she proclaims to the world “my husband isn’t my best friend.”
- 8 Relatable Quotes That Prove Your Husband Is Your Best Friend
- 75+ Best Husband Quotes With Images
- Letter To My Husband: My Best Friend, Soul Mate, Companion
- 4 Things to do When Your Husband Isn’t Your Best Friend
- My Husband is not my Best Friend
- Be Honest About What You Really Want in a Best Friend
- Get a Best Friend
- Give it Time
Peter Pearson and Ellyn Bader are founders of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., and the authors of “Tell Me No Lies.” They’ve also been married for more than 30 years. Dr. Pearson said there’s a critical difference between a best friend and a spouse. “One of the criteria for a best friend is you feel unconditionally accepted,” he said. “Do I care if my buddy Mark is messy in the kitchen, leaves his bathroom a shambles and doesn’t pay his income taxes?”
But with a spouse, he said, you can’t avoid these topics.
Dr. Bader said that when couples are just getting to know each other, they often say they’re companions, and she’s fine with that. When couples have been together 30, 40 or 50 years, they use similar language, and that can be the mark of a healthy relationship.
“It’s the in-between ones, when they use the language of friendship, my stomach turns,” Dr. Bader said. “It’s a red flag for a lot of conflict avoidance and intensity avoidance. It often means they’ve given up on the complexity of being with somebody. Instead of saying, ‘Oh, well, that’s who they are,’ it’s better if they try to work things out.”
Dr. Bader said that she wished popular magazines would challenge the notion that you shouldn’t get married to change someone. “I think that’s what marriage is about,” she said. “It’s where some of the juices come from, and it’s also how you get the best out of the person you marry.”
A good marriage, she said, is when people “push each other, challenge each other, encourage each other and, yes, change each other.”
Asked if they were best friends, they laughed. “We’re good friends,” Dr. Pearson said.
“Really good friends,” Dr. Bader said. “He’s lots of things that my best friend isn’t, but my best friend is lots of things he’s not.”
And that may be the point: Calling the person you’re married to your best friend may be shorthand for saying that you actually like your spouse and that you have shared history, shared lives and shared dreams. But in the end, the expression doesn’t do justice to the full meaning of marriage or to the full meaning of friendship. After all, if your spouse is your best friend, then whom do you complain to your spouse about?
Should your partner be your BFF? Elli Purtell boldly argues “no way” as she proclaims to the world “my husband isn’t my best friend.”
After a day of seeing a particularly maddening number of Facebook statuses proclaiming how someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse was their “best friend,” I had had enough.
“I’m sorry, but you’re not my best friend,” I told my husband as we sat down to dinner.
“It’s ok,” he responded. “You’re not my best friend, either.”
I think I loved him more in that moment than ever before.
Though it may seem unnecessarily negative to admit my husband isn’t my best friend, I don’t see the crime in it. Why do we feel the need to claim this? Why are we afraid of not claiming this?
I’m certainly not saying couples shouldn’t be friends. Friendship must be at the heart of every good relationship. I’m also not saying it’s impossible for married couples to be best friends. I know many couples who are, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. What I’m saying is that it’s unlikely that every couple is honestly married to the one person they consider their greatest friend of all time—and that is OK.
In an effort to show people how in love we are and prove that we won’t be a part of the 50 percent divorce rate, we seem to keep upping the ante on describing our relationship’s amazingness. Where people used to call their partners soulmates, now we’re calling them best friends. Referring to them in this way, especially on social media, supposedly validates our relationship and assures the world we’ve got something special.
We do have something special, but in a different kind of way than with best friends.
It’s time to start embracing exactly the kind of bond we have with our spouses/partners—whether that is a best friendship or not. Here are four reasons I actually prefer having a husband who’s not my best friend. Perhaps some of you can relate.
He is an addition to my friend group, not a replacement.
To me, a best friend is a person with whom you have an irreplaceable bond formed over many years. By the time my husband and I met, we both had decades-long friendships. He met one of his best friends after getting in a skirmish on the middle-school playground. I met one of mine after shyly sneaking her an extra treat during a book report in fourth grade. These two had already supported us through years of ups and downs, saw us at our best and worst, and helped shape us into the people we were when we met. There’s no way, no matter how strong of a bond my husband and I felt after some time together, we were going to consider each other on that level.
I acknowledge how fortunate we are to have such long-lasting bonds in our life, and I know not everyone shares in that experience. I also acknowledge that some married couples were friends for many years before becoming a couple, which puts them squarely in both categories. For those in a similar situation as my husband and me, however, consider what best friendship means to you and whether you truly feel your partner meets that criteria.
He is not my catch-all support system.
There are different people in my life for different reasons. When I need to complain about work, I’d rather vent to a coworker who shares the same experiences. When I want to cry my eyes out because I miss home, I feel better calling my sister. And, most importantly, when an issue comes up that a woman would understand best, I naturally want to talk to my girlfriends. Sure, I can (and very often do) discuss all these issues with my husband. But he’s not the only one I turn to, and he certainly doesn’t have the perfect solution to my every problem.
By nature, a committed relationship places you at the center of each other’s lives. It’s all too easy to become entirely dependent on each other for your every need. It’s all too easy to replace time with your friends and family with that of your significant other. Therefore, finding balance among the important people in your life (and with yourself) requires active effort. By not viewing or categorizing my husband as my best friend, I remember to access and nurture the entire network of support I have in my life. I remember to count on myself, too.
We haven’t lost any zest.
I dated a guy for a number of years, and we became best friends. We did everything together, we talked on the phone every night, we discussed absolutely every topic and emotion under the sun, we were attached at the hip. And we didn’t work out for that very reason.
What started as a wonderful companionship quickly turned too comfortable. Why make out when we could eat pizza and watch a movie? Why dress to impress when we could wear sweatpants instead? Why challenge each other’s ideas when we agreed on everything? Although these things aren’t inherently bad, they become detrimental when they overshadow or replace other aspects essential to a successful relationship, such as sexual attraction. Before either of us knew it, my boyfriend and I had formed an extremely close but devastatingly platonic bond.
To me, a best friendship feels more like someone you want to hug, not someone you want to get physical with. That’s certainly not the only way to view a best friendship, of course, but if you’re like me, you may want and need something different.
I value my husband’s unique role in my life.
I think the most confusing part about calling a spouse a best friend is just…why? This person already has a title (boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse) that speaks volumes about the kind of closeness you share and love you feel; why do they need another one tacked on top of it? I’ve heard people say, “I don’t want a mom who’s a best friend. I want a mom who’s a mom.” In the same way, I don’t want a husband who’s a best friend. I want a husband who is a husband. There’s much to appreciate about certain roles in life.
To me, my husband is the person who will build a life with me, sharing goals and dreams and sorrows at a deep level. He is someone I love whom I’m also attracted to. He is someone who will, if we’re lucky enough, be the father of my children. He does and will continue to fulfill a part of my life that no other person possibly can.
I think the best way to honor your spouse/partner is to appreciate their unique role in your life. Revel in this special and sacred relationship instead of trying to make it something else, and keep your best friends just as close.
About the Author:
Hi! My name is Elli Purtell. I’m a writer and editor living in Chicago. I love sports (most intensely the Green Bay Packers), my book club, white wine, running, South Africa, and writing about relationships and love. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and although I adore almost everything about the state, I do not like cheese. I know, it’s a sin.
I see this often in couples. One partner “can’t believe” that the other feels a certain way: How dare you not feel the way I do about this! (Meaning: Don’t you love me?) Or one partner “can’t understand” why her spouse loves his mother, even though she finds his mother unlikable: Choose me! (As if by loving both, he’s choosing one and not the other.) Similarly: “My friend and I had a falling out, so you can’t be friends with her husband anymore.” (Subtext: You’re either with me, or against me.) Often there’s manipulation involved—guilt, threats (“If you don’t do this, I’ll….”), acting aloof or snippy, withholding sex, escalating the conversation into a huge fight. All of this is intended to block a partner’s bids for differentiation—if the response is unpleasant enough, many people will just give in to keep the peace.
But that “peace” comes at a cost. You say that you “can keep doing this forever,” but I’m not so sure. We all want to have agency over our hearts and minds and it’s very hard to live peacefully with someone who tries to take that agency away. It’s also very lonely—how can you be close with a partner who shuts down your true thoughts or feelings? Over time, relationships like this either break apart or partners retreat into their respective silos—the opposite of what your partner craves.
The response you describe giving is a beautifully differentiated one: He can end friendships with whomever he wants; you can continue friendships with whomever you want. You don’t get to choose each other’s friends, opinions, or feelings.
But that also means that you can’t force him to feel the way you want him to feel. Only he can come to feel that you “have his back,” and my guess is that getting there is an important part of his therapy. Yes, change takes time, but consider his progress. Maybe a year ago he wouldn’t even “grudgingly accept” your choice to keep your friends. Hopefully, with hard work, he’ll become more and more accepting of your thoughts and feelings—which is to say, more accepting of who you actually are and not who he wants you to be.
Meanwhile, now that your partner knows where you stand, there’s no need to repeatedly justify your position. Whatever he sends your way—guilt, drama—you don’t have to accept delivery. Simply say, just once, “I love you, and we’re going to have to agree to disagree here.” If he can’t move on, tell him that you’re going to the gym, or to get some work done, and that you’ll catch up with him later. He may not like this at first, but in the long run, you’re giving him a gift—the modeling of a healthy relationship—that he didn’t get growing up. The more you can show—rather than attempt to tell—him what it looks like to be a separate person who’s also a loving and committed partner, the faster he’ll learn to differentiate, too.
Dear Therapist is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to [email protected]
Lori Gottlieb is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a psychotherapist based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Connect Facebook Twitter
8 Relatable Quotes That Prove Your Husband Is Your Best Friend
Nothing is better than having a husband who is both your lover and your best friend.
Friedrich Nietzsche once famously said, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” And this couldn’t be more true; after all, the strongest relationships seem to be those that are built on friendship (hence why so many friendship quotes focus on love).
No, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your husband will enjoy going shopping and getting mani/pedis with you or that you have to enjoy watching football in order to be friends with him. What this does mean is that your romantic bond contains many of the wonderful traits that everlasting friendships do.
The two of you share common interests but also know how to discuss and get past your differences. You know what pushes each others’ buttons as well as what makes one another smile.
Just like the greatest friendships, your relationship is full of trust, respect, honest communication, loyalty, adventure and unconditional love.
You can tell each other anything—even those TMI details that would otherwise be embarrassing. Not only can you make each other laugh (as you often find humor in the same things), you also know how to cheer each other up during a stressful week; this includes knowing when to offer an ear to listen when they want to talk or to give space when they don’t.
But most of all, you enhance each other’s lives. The laughter you share, the problems you endure and the tears you wipe away not only strengthen your bond, but also give you both motivation to become a better person. There’s no question that this kind of love built upon friendship is capable of standing against all odds. It’s the kind of love that could last a lifetime.
These quotes are proof of that.
If you’re searching for the best quotes and memes to share with the people you love (or just want to feel inspired yourself) … look no further! From the sweetest love quotes, inspirational sayings, and hilarious relationship truths, we’ve got you covered.
75+ Best Husband Quotes With Images
Looking for the inspirational love quotes for your husband? Check out the following collection of Top-75 sayings for husbands on love, life, relationship, strength, feelings.
Beautiful Love Quotes For Husband With Images
“My husband is my best friend, my greatest support, my biggest comfort, my strongest motivation, my truest smile, my deepest love, my favorite, my forever. He has me. Entirely.”
“My husband has made me laugh. Wiped my tears. Hugged me tight. Watched me succeed. Seen me fail. Kept me strong. My husband is a promise that I will have a friend forever.”
“God gave me my husband so we could weather the storms of life together.”
“Baby I’m yours and I’ll be yours until the stars fall from the sky, until the rivers all run dry. In other words, until I die.”
“I cannot promise you an easy life, or that I will not disappoint you. I cannot promise that I will be the perfect wife. But I can promise you that I will choose to love you every day.”
“I trust you, but not because you are my husband. The reason I trust you is because you are the epitome of everything that a man should be.”
“Your love is the strength that drives me to do everything for this family. You are the armor that shields me from tears. I love you so much!”
“I ask myself every day… How did I get so lucky to marry my best friend in this world.”
“The very first moment I laid my eyes on you, I knew our hearts were meant to be. You are my courage, my angel. You are my soldier, you saved me. I love you.”
“You are the source of my joy, the center of my world and the whole of my heart.”
“I want to inspire my husband. I want him to look at me and say: because of you I didn’t give up.”
“My husband is a great leader even if he isn’t leading the way I want him to.”
“Husbands too, deserve to be spoiled. Told they are handsome. Told their efforts are appreciated and should also be made to feel secure. If he is doing his best to treat you like a queen, do your best to treat him as a King. His need to feel loved and appreciated is REAL.”
“Marriage is a relationship in which one is always right and the other is the husband!”
“I love you in the morning and in the afternoon. I love you in the evening and underneath the moon.”
“In a sea of people, my eyes will always search for you.”
“A man’s success is measured by what his wife and children say about him. Money and accomplishments mean nothing if you let your home fail.”
“Thank you for being you… for sharing your love with me, for inspiring me to accept myself, for helping me see the unique beauty in imperfection, for showing me that love is something you do, something not just to be said but also to be shown.”
“Every day I spend with you, becomes the new best day of my life.”
“Husband and wife relationships are like the relationship of Tom and Jerry. Though they are teasing and fighting, but can’t live without each other.”
“You have no idea how good it feels to wake up every morning knowing you are mine and I am yours.”
“Home is where my husband is.”
“No relationship is ever perfect and I know I’m far from perfect but as long as you’re willing to try I’m willing to stay through anything.”
“You are my always & forever. My happily ever after. My soulmate. My best friend. My dream come true. My one & only. My shoulder to lean on. My heart to melt into. My husband. My everything. For always!”
“Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.”
“When I first met you, I honestly didn’t know you were gonna be this important to me.”
“Love you yesterday. Love you still. Always have always will.”
“The only thing better than having you for a husband is our children having you for a daddy.”
“Yes, I do depend on a man. My husband and I are a team. He depends on me and I depend on him. We support each other. That’s how marriage is supposed to work.”
“I choose you. And I’ll choose you, over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.”
“Materialistic things do not impress me. Your soul does.”
“My husband’s biggest flaws are: 1. He works too hard 2. He’s too nice. I’m a lucky girl!”
“I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow.” – Leo Christopher
“No matter how much I say I love you, I always love you more than that.”
“I look at you and I’m home. I see nothing worse than to be without you because with you my soul feels complete, you are the other half of me and I love you. You are my home no matter where that is.”
“How amazing it is to find someone who wants to hear about all the things that go on in your head.”
“How can you give me so much strength and yet still be my only weakness.”
“A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is a husband and wife who take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.” – Ashley Willis
“I love life as your wife.”
“The first time I saw you, my heart whispered “that’s the one.”
“You are my dearest friend, my deepest love. You are the best of me.”
“Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for other women because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.”
“Good morning, my sexy husband. Love you. Your wife.”
“I want to be with you till my last page.”
“Your love is the doctor to my wounds, friend to my sorrows, mentor to my dilemmas, teacher to my actions, companion to my joys.”
“Praying for your future husband. Lord, I lift up my future husband to You and pray, according to Your Word, that:
He would cherish me, his future wife, as Christ loves the church. He would flee from temptation and be freed from bondage to sin. He would meditate day and night on Your Word, pray without ceasing and stay faithful to Christ to the end. He will love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He will be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. You protect him physically, mentally, and spiritually. You will instruct him and teach him in the way he should go. He would develop strong relationships with other godly men. He would be Kingdom minded and a ministry partner. He will fear You, walk in wisdom and righteousness. He will walk in humility before You and have a teachable spirit.”
Popular Husband Quotes On Love, Strength, Life
“A prayer for my husband. Dear Heavenly Father, I bring my husband before you today asking that you would bless him and shape him into the man he was designed to be. Give him strength to lead our family, as Christ led the church with love and humility.
Equip him with wisdom to make good decisions that are pleasing to you. Show him his worth, Lord. And show me ways that I might edify him.
Please protect his job, give him a peaceful work environment, and secure the position he has. Grant him the patience and understanding he needs to love me the way that he should. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”
“The best smell in the world is that man that you love.”
“My life really began when I married my husband.” – Nancy Reagan
“My husband is my happy place.”
“I just want to make you happy. Because you’re the reason that I’m so happy.”
“The happiest couples never have the same character. They have the best understanding of their differences.”
“I wish I could turn back the clock. I’d find you sooner and love you longer.”
“My mom taught me the power of love. I learned to focus on the long-term big picture from my father. His sense of humor and light-hearted approach always make me smile. My husband is a pivotal anchor in my life. His influence encourages me to be independent and take risks.” – Padmasree Warrior
“I’m blessed with a husband that works hard for his family. Thank you, for all that you do!”
“A sure sign of a man’s strength is how gently he loves his wife.”
“I love my husband very much. I knew it was real true love because I felt like I could be myself around that person. Your true, true innermost authentic self, the stuff you don’t let anyone else see, if you can be that way with that person, I think that that’s real love.” – Idina Menzel
“Watching your husband become a father is really sexy and wonderful.” – Cindy Crawford
“A good wife is one who serves her husband in the morning like a mother does, loves him in the day like a sister does and pleases him like a prostitute in the night.”
“My husband is a huge source of support and love.” – Jennine Capó Crucet
“My husband has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim.” – Queen Elizabeth II
“There is this guy who stole my heart. He calls me his wife.”
“Happiness is my husband’s arms.”
“I wish I could explain your eyes, and how the sound of your voice gives me butterflies. How your smile makes my heart skip a beat and how every time I’m with you, I feel so complete.”
“I have the best husband a wife could possibly have. He’s the best father my children could have.” – Vera Farmiga
“You just have to keep on doing what you do. It’s the lesson I get from my husband; he just says, Keep going. Start by starting.” – Meryl Streep
“Yes, I was in love with my husband at first sight and still am. We have the most solid relationship.” – Catherine Zeta-Jones
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”
“If anything happened, I think my husband would have to deal with that as the time came.” – Christa McAuliffe
“My priorities are always going to be my husband and my family now. That’s a huge, huge thing.” – Gwen Stefani
“I have an amazing husband who is a strong man of God. He is very dedicated to me and our family.” – Kim Fields
“You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you cannot live without.”
“I look at you and I can’t believe someone didn’t think you were enough… you’re my everything.” – Steve Maraboli
“In terms of my marriage, you know, falling in love with my husband was by far the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” – Caroline Kennedy
“I’m in love with you and all your little things.”
“A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.” – Frank Abagnale
“My husband is everything to me and without him it’s just not the same.” – Amy Winehouse
“I am happy to know that my husband regards me as a woman and a person.” – Katherine Dunham
“My husband is my part of my greatest joys, so it doesn’t feel like work or like I’m balancing anything. My husband and my kids absolutely come first, so work is just something where I figure out where it will fit.” – Monica Denise Brown
Letter To My Husband: My Best Friend, Soul Mate, Companion
Words can’t explain how blessed I am to have you in my life. God broke the mold when he made you. You have been more than patient in loving me and our family. I never thought I would be able to love again after the heartache from the past and with that being said I thank God for allowing you to be my husband. When I see you after I had a long day at work, I am reassured that everything will be ok. Michael, thank you for your friendship, your love, and your willingness to journey through this life alongside me. You are one of the smartest people I know and I have learned a lot from the wisdom and knowledge that you have poured into me. I love sharing laughter with you, I appreciate your comfort, and I enjoy our conversations. Thank you for your tenacity and your strength. Thank you your incredible talents. I am blessed to have such an amazing man of GOD by my side who loves me unconditional and sees past my faults.
I will continue to walk with you as your wife, best friend, help meet and your lover. I will continue to keep you encouraged and not make you feel less of a man. I feel so complete with having you in my life and everyday may not be perfect but it’s perfect to me. I will try to be more humble, patient and understanding. I may not understand everything but with God I’m able to. Michael I promise to love you more today than yesterday. I pray that God will continue to lead you, to guide, to cover and keep you and more than anything to shield and protect you from the enemy.
I ask God daily to order your steps and lead you according to the works and plans He has for you. I am more than grateful how you accepted my kids like they were your own. I pray that I would always be thankful for you and to you. Michael, always remember that I love you for who you are and for what you have done for our family. I love you more than you can imagine and I look forward to spending this journey with you.
Love your wife, Tonya
I dated a close friend once. We saw the world through the same lenses — literally. We were budding photographers, who loved to travel and make photo journals of our adventures together.
We told the exact same jokes. We rarely argued. We spent a lot of time mucking around doing absolutely nothing. A perfect match, one might think. We eased into dating after months of being in the friend zone. It was simple.
Until it wasn’t. As time went by, a budding realization crept up – that we never, not once, considered each other “the one.” That we both spent more time looking over our shoulder for the next good thing than ogling each other. That’s because we were friends, not partners. He soon met his “one,” but it would be another handful of years — and a few important relationships later — before I would meet mine.
We were not friends first. We were definitely not best friends. And today, after a decade of marriage, I still don’t consider him my best friend.
Best love? Yes. Father of my children? Yes.
Partner? Sometimes nemesis? The one I want near me for the rest of my days? Yes, yes and yes.
Best friend? No.
When we met, we came together with speed and vigor. There was no easing in. Within a week, we were living together. Within two weeks, engaged. Within a year, married.
And we fought — oh, how we fought. An introvert and an extrovert. A musician and a writer. One of us loves to travel. The other doesn’t. We are passionate and complicated, and so very, very different. We don’t like many of the same hobbies, books or TV shows. But we love each other. We share values. And we share space.
When I want to talk about friend things, I call a girlfriend. We like the same movies, the same music, the same conversations. We talk about our husbands — like only friends can do.
When I want unwavering support and unconditional love, I call my mother, who has known me every second of my life.
When I want to simply live my life, I have my husband. I don’t need to call him; he is right there, in the house we share. The conversations we have about how to raise our children are — surprisingly — so much better than any child raising conversations I have with my friends. Because they are about our children. When I need to talk about my job, a terrible boss, work overload, I could call my friends – they would relate, of course. But I have to talk to my husband. He’s the one who helps me decide if we can afford to change directions. He’s the one who can give me a break at home, and who rubs my shoulders to get rid of tense knots and pending migraines.
When I am sick or hurting, he takes care of me. When I need to be challenged, he challenges me. And when I tell him my accomplishments, like, “I got something published!” he responds, with the full and casual confidence of a husband, “Well, yes, of course you did. Why would you expect anything less?”
When our buttons are pushed, we both say things to each other that we would never — in a million years — say to “friends.” But we also do plenty of other things that we would not do with “friends.” I am grateful that we have fewer boundaries, and more space to let loose with each other.
Besides, the work (and arguing) we have to put into finding television shows that we both like makes them all that more exciting to watch, together, snuggled on the couch, fighting over whose turn it is to get snacks.
Just as I love my children differently than I love anyone else (they are my babies, not my “friends”) so goes the relationship with my husband. I love him as a spouse – not a friend. With any luck, and a lot of mutual hard work, he will never fade. He will never fizzle. And he will never be my “best friend.” He will be my husband.
Rebecca Swanson Rebecca Swanson lives in Colorado with her husband, two small boys and toothless dog.filadendron/Getty
There are lots of predictable occurrences in life. You can pretty much bet that if you straighten your hair or wash your car, it’s going to rain; or that Googling any number of random symptoms, no matter how minor, will convince you that you’re afflicted with a life-threatening illness. And when someone posts a Facebook status or meme about their wedding anniversary—or buys a card or makes a verbal statement—it’s practically guaranteed that the phrase “best friend” will be thrown in there somewhere. I married my best friend. I’m so lucky to wake up to my best friend every morning. So thankful for my best friend. Hashtag best friend, hashtag blessed.
But I don’t like to say that. Because my husband is not my best friend.
Saying he’s my best friend is like saying “it’s a little breezy” while a tornado blows your house to smithereens. It’s like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch. There’s no phrase that could ever adequately encompass the level of closeness between us, no pithy saying that could ever do it justice.
Before you start rolling your eyes and/or gagging, let me say this: It’s not because we’re this exceptional partnership, or some epic love story for the ages. This is not a “my marriage is better than your marriage” type of thing. We’re a normal couple who has been together for a long time. We argue over stupid stuff, over important stuff, because one of us is being difficult (never me, of course). We butt heads on issues big and small, reasonable and petty. Life gets in the way, and we realize it’s been months since we’ve had a date night or weeks since we’ve gone to bed at the same time. And he knows how to push my buttons quicker than anybody else on this earth, ever—exactly what to say, what to do, what look to give to rile me right up (like pooping at inconvenient times, for one thing).
But therein lies the beauty of our relationship, and the reason that “best friend” seems like an insufficient title. Not that he knows exactly how to piss me off, but that he knows me so intimately in every aspect, and vice versa. My best friend might know that I’m petrified of zombies, but my husband knows that I’m petrified of zombies because when I was 5 my older siblings let me watch Return of the Living Dead while they were left in charge (great call, Mom and Dad).
My best friend might be able to tell you that I despise fish, or that tequila gives me a wicked hangover, but my husband can tell you my social security number, what medication makes me swell up like an overfilled balloon, and the story behind the tattered and dirty stuffed bear I still display in our bedroom. He can also tell you how I’ll react to any given situation, what I love more deeply than anything, and the fears, experiences, and traumas that cut me to the core. He knows the things I don’t say and feels the things I can’t put into words.
I love my best friends. They are dear and important and a vital component of my well-being. We’ve had some fun, hilarious, amazing times together. But as much as I adore them, I’ve never made critical decisions based on their circumstances. I’ve never cried with them as I watched our shared life crumbling beyond our control or fought like hell beside them to patch it up despite our differences. My friends can offer advice on major issues, but they’re not as emotionally invested because—at the end of the day—it’s not their life, not our life. And when I look at them, no matter how eternally thankful I am for their presence, my heart doesn’t squeeze until it feels like it could explode.
Friendships take effort, sure, but not the same as partnership. Friendships are relatively easy, but marriages are not. They take work and sacrifice and endurance. It’s staying afloat together when the world is a shitstorm and paddling hard to right yourselves when you capsize. It’s an exertion that deserves an infinitely more distinct title than “friend.” You can friend someone you don’t even know on Facebook. It doesn’t come close to being in the same category as the layered, messy, beautiful, tangled, hard-earned love I share with the person I married, not even when you slap a “best” on the front of it. The term “soulmates” doesn’t cut it, either, because it indicates some kind of effortless romance so perfect that it transcends the everyday crap—and we’ve worked for the relationship we have, dammit.
So until someone comes up with a better turn of phrase, I’ll just buy my husband an anniversary card that says something funny, and his laugh will make me laugh, and we’ll share one of the moments that make us who we are: so, so much more than friends.
4 Things to do When Your Husband Isn’t Your Best Friend
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Take a scroll down your Facebook news feed. How often do you come across a post from someone proclaiming how happy they are to be married to their best friend? I’ve seen it over and over. And I think it’s lovely. However, not all married couples are best friends. What should you do when your husband isn’t your best friend?
My Husband is not my Best Friend
I’ll admit it – my husband isn’t my best friend. Actually my husband and I don’t have best friends because we don’t have time for best friends during this season of our lives. Also, what I need from my relationship with my husband does not align with what I need from a best friend.
I’ve had best friends in the past and here are my requirements:
- Let’s do fun stuff together surrounding our shared interests.
- Let’s avoid doing the boring, day-to-day stuff together . . . why would we waste time on not-fun stuff?
- Let’s keep it light, but be there when when I need an ear or a shoulder. I’ll do the same for you. But let’s keep our boundaries in place and give at least as much as we take.
- No, ah . . . romance. Because then you’d be my lover, not my best friend. That complicates the friendship.
So, now you can see why my husband isn’t my best friend.
Truthfully, we don’t have many shared interests. He’s all sports and coin collecting and I’m all writing and playing the piano. When we do fun stuff together it usually involves the children, which makes it both fun and work. We’re okay with that.
My husband and I can’t avoid doing the boring, day-to-day stuff together. In fact, one of the primary reasons I married him is because I wanted to do the boring, day-to-day stuff with him and no one else. Some days we only get around to the boring, day-to-day stuff.
We do not keep it light. My husband and I talk about science and religion and racism and war and parenting. We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. And we don’t always agree. And then we have to work through that. I’ve lost a best friend before because we disagreed on something. It hurt, but there was really nothing on the line when we went separate ways. I don’t have that option in marriage.
My husband is my lover. There’s way more at stake here than there has ever been with even my most beloved best friend.
Even though my husband isn’t my best friend (and he doesn’t make me happy) and I’m okay with that, I know that many other wives are not. What I want from my husband doesn’t fit what I want from a best friend – and I’m perfectly okay with not having a bestie. But, what if you desperately want your husband to be your best friend and he’s just not?
Here’s what to do when your husband isn’t your best friend.
Be More Specific About the True Void in Your Relationship
You may lament over the fact that your husband is not your best friend, but take the time to get more specific about which of your needs is not being met within your marriage.
Do you long for more intimate conversation with your husband? Do you wish you had more date nights? Is your husband seemingly dismissive or uninterested in spending time with you?
What is the true void in your relationship? It may take a little therapy and a lot of hard work to fix, but summing up a deeper issue (or multiple issues) by simply stating that you’re unhappy because your husband isn’t your best friend is not going to fix the void.
What do you mean when you say your husband isn’t your best friend? Write down all of the reasons why he isn’t your best friend and start tackling them one by one.
Be Honest About What You Really Want in a Best Friend
I know what I want in a best friend (and why I don’t want a best friend during this season in my life). I also know what I want in a husband. I want different things from each although some things might overlap.
Are you asking for something from your husband that he can’t provide for you? For example, do you want a best friend who can share the joys and miseries of motherhood with you over a cup of a tea? Your husband can’t commiserate with you on that because he can’t experience motherhood.
Write down what you want in a best friend and decide whether or not your husband is even a good candidate for being your best friend. If you find that he isn’t, then don’t try to force a best friend relationship with him and instead love what you do have together – a witness for your life, a person who knows more about you than any of your best friends ever have, a partner in parenting, a person who has vowed to be by your side until the end.
Get a Best Friend
This may seem a little over simplified, but bear with me. If your husband isn’t your best friend and you need a best friend then, please – get a best friend! Maybe, after years of marriage and probably a kid or two, you’ve lost best friendships you once had.
Reach out to your girlfriends, join a hobby group, rekindle a former best friendship that fell to the wayside when life got in the way. Get a best friend and let your husband off the hook.
Give it Time
If you feel that your husband and you don’t even have a basic friendship and that your lives are spent doing the boring, day-to-day stuff, give it time. There are seasons in life and some are tougher to get through than others. Check your season.
If you’re in the parenting years – if you have any children under the age of 16 – you are deep in the nitty-gritty of one of the toughest seasons of life. If you’ve married a man who is pulling his weight during this season, you’ve struck gold. He’s more valuable than any best friend. Maybe you’ll be best friends someday, when the pressure to simply get through the day is not so great.
If you’re still bummed that your husband isn’t your best friend, it may be wise to seek individual counseling. There you may be able to better tease out deeper issues or experience personal growth that allows you to feel close to your husband if you currently don’t.
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