If you’ve ever been to a wedding before, you’ve probably heard someone say something like: “Today I married my best friend”. Shoot, you’ve probably even seen it on your Facebook page when a friend or relative is announcing their anniversary. They say something like “15 years ago today I married my best friend”. Whether it’s at their wedding or on their Facebook page, they then go on to say all the wonderful qualities that makes their spouse such a good friend and how lucky they are. As a marriage counselor, though, I cringe when I see this. I cringe because it’s only a matter of time before they end up on my couch. Here’s why
Why your Spouse Shouldn’t be Your Friend
Think back a long time ago to when you were dating and there was one person that you really liked but you got put in that ominous “friend zone”. Remember that? It pretty much meant that they were only going to call you when they wanted a foot rub. It also meant that there was no way you were getting any real action from them. But they might call you for emotional support after a bad date and they needed a shoulder to cry on. You learned your lesson then: stay out of the friend zone.
When you get married, you don’t want to be in an eternal friend zone. You and your partner should be lovers, not friends – not even best friends. Lovers are people who care deeply for each other romantically. They don’t just get along well and want the best for each other like friends do. They share in each others visions, goals, and dreams. They help their partner accomplish their dreams. They also recognize their part in helping their partner meet their dreams. They want to help them because it makes their partner feel loved.
Most importantly, when you’re in a friend zone marriage, you don’t really care what your partners’ needs are. For example, they might need sex more than you. But because you don’t need it as much you don’t see why you should have to have sex just for your partner’s stupid little needs. They also might need to feel wanted but because you think that’s pretty insecure of them you just don’t bother to compliment them even though you know they like it. And even though you never have sex, you get mad when your partner talks to/looks at someone else because you think they exist to make you feel secure.
Still not sure if you’re marriage is in the friend zone? Here are some more signs for you:
Signs Your Marriage is in the Friend Zone:
- Little/no sex. Nobody ever woke up and said “Gee, I’m glad we hardly have sex. it makes us so much closer!”. Sex is the one thing that makes you and your partner lovers. If you’re not having it, you’re in the friend zone – just like when you were dating and the person you liked wouldn’t sleep with you, either.
- You only talk about everyday stuff. Every roommate talks about what chores need to be done, who’s going to pick up groceries, when the bills are due, etc. If that’s all that you and your partner talk about, you’re in the friend zone.
- You only talk about the kids. Every politician can talk about your kids – even when they don’t really know you. If all you do is talk about your kids, you’re in the friend zone.
- You haven’t felt excited to see them for a while. This one needs no explanation. And I don’t just mean you get excited when they get home so they’ll watch the kids and you can finally get something done. This means you genuinely get excited to see them.
- You spend a lot of time on your phone. If you’re around your spouse and you spend most of your time on your phone, there’s obviously not a lot going on in your relationship that’s more appealing. You’re in the friend zone.
- Your marriage is stale. If you get along well but feel like your marriage is missing that “spark” it’s because you’re in the friend zone.
Being best friends with your spouse is a good thing. But don’t let it end there. There is so much more to a happy, healthy relationship beyond just friendship. Work on building a deep abiding love with each other. Take interest in each other. Be curious about your spouse and what they’re doing lately. When you look at your spouse as more than just your best friend, you’ll see your relationship grow in ways you didn’t know was possible. And you’ll find you’re more than just best friends. You’ll be lovers.
About the Author:
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in helping couples overcome stale relationships and overcome sexual difficulties and infidelity.