It’s a romantic idea to marry your best friend. It makes sense, right? If you marry someone that you get along so well with (like a best friend) then you think you’d be more likely to be happy together and have a lasting relationship. But deep inside I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I hear someone say that they married their best friend. I chuckle because as a counselor, I see so many bad things about this. Let me explain:
You Shouldn’t Want Your Spouse to be Your Best Friend
1) Your Spouse Should More Than a Best Friend. Being married is a sacred thing. It’s above and beyond friendship – even above being best friends. It means that you care about your partner so much that you want to share things with them that you can’t share with anyone else. You share intimate, personal, vulnerable moments with them and they do the same with you. And together you share a relationship that transcends being best friends. Sure, you’ve had these moments with your best friend at times but it’s different with your spouse. It’s much deeper. And the new category of your relationship can only be defined as pure love. And you don’t (and shouldn’t) share this kind of relationship with anyone else – not even your best friend.
2) You Shouldn’t Want to Have Sex With Your Best Friend. A marriage is a passionate, intimate and sexual relationship. A relationship with your best friend is platonic and shouldn’t be sexual (You learned why you shouldn’t have sex with your friends in college, remember). If your spouse is only your best friend, then you’re not loving them like a spouse. Spouses are supposed to share a more intimate connection with each other. If you’re having sex with your spouse like you would with a best friend, then you’re doing it wrong. And you’re not really making love to your spouse. And your sex life will suffer.
3) There Are Some Things You Just Shouldn’t Talk to Your Spouse About. Guys, your wife doesn’t want to be treated like one of the boys. If you want to talk about football, statistics, cars, etc. you’re tainting the sacred relationship of being a spouse. You have friends to talk like that with (I hope). Gals, the same goes for you. Your husband doesn’t want to hear about cutesie outfits or relationship gossip that’s going around the office. That’s what your girlfriends are for.
If you’re treating your husband like a girlfriend you need a lesson in how to treat your husband. And guys, if you’re treating your wife like one of the guys you need a lesson in how to treat a wife. Draw boundaries and talk about friend stuff with your friends and talk about spouse stuff with your spouse. Sure, there’s some crossover but if you’re talking to your spouse mostly about the same stuff you talk with your friends about, you’re not treating your relationship like a marriage – and your marriage will suffer.
4) Your Spouse Shouldn’t Come and Go like a Best Friend. I’m willing to bet you that your best friend has changed over time. I’m willing to bet that you had a different best friend in elementary school than you did in high school. And maybe you had a different best friend in college than you do right now. Even though you may still think fondly of all the best friends you had, over time you went through spells of losing touch with them. But your spouse is someone that you should never lose touch with. If you have, you’re not treating them like a spouse. Spouses are always trying to get to know each other more and more. They do new things together and explore life together through sickness and health and until death do you part.
Being a Spouse is Different than a Best Friend
There are distinct boundaries between being a best friend and being a spouse. Even though you may have dear thoughts and feelings of your best friend your spouse should be even more near and dear to you. The four things mentioned above are just a few excellent examples of how you should treat your spouse differently than even your best friend. It’s a romantic idea to marry your best friend. And I hope everyone married someone with best friend qualities. But a happy marriage is built on more than just friendship. And when you start treating your spouse as more than just a best friend – and start treating them like a spouse – then you’ll see real love and romance (not just friendship) in your marriage.