When you were a kid did you have a best friend? The person you did everything with. In elementary school you probably played games at recess together. In middle school you probably rode bikes all over town together. In high school, when the weekend hit, you were hanging tough.
Then you began dating, and you began to spend more time with who you were dating. The same thing happened in college and when you entered the workforce. The time spent with your boyfriend/girlfriend outweighed your time spent on all other relationships. You were becoming best friends with your significant other and many of you married him/her.
But my question to you is, do you truly consider your spouse your best friend?
What is a best friend?
I am big on definitions, especially of common words and phrases we use all the time. So, as I sat down to write this post I used Google to find the definition of “best friend.” If you Google it you’ll find these words,
The one friend who is closest to you.
If you are married, your spouse should automatically be the closest one to you. You live together, have joint accounts, share a bed, and saliva! There cannot be anyone closer to you than that. So, why don’t we consider our spouse as our best friend?
Your spouse can be your best friend
A couple months ago, my wife and I went to a marriage retreat. While at the retreat we crossed a line we had never crossed in our marriage before. Being best friends with your spouse wasn’t a new concept to us. We believed it, and felt we were best friends. However, that weekend we both shared things with each other we had never shared with anyone before prior to that weekend.
After 12 years of marriage, and knowing each other for 20+ years, we finally shared a deep secret and personal challenge we both faced. Both of us were shocked, and even a little hurt, but the feeling of complete honesty and transparency outweighed it all. I felt like, “I really know her” and I am sure she felt the same way.
What prevents us from being best friends?
Maybe your desire is to be best friends, but you just aren’t there yet. Or maybe you feel your spouse is your best friend, but you are not his/her best friend. While we were at the marriage retreat I mentioned earlier, we met the couple who were the featured speakers, Dr. Clarence and Brenda Shuler. I recently started reading one of Dr. Shuler’s books on the subject of being best friends with your spouse (his book was the inspiration of this post).
Dr. Shuler had some great insight in the book and in his talks at the retreat. Much of which encouraged my wife and I to be totally transparent, and share what we shared. Here are some insights I gathered from Dr. Shuler’s talks and his book about what prevents us from being best friends with our spouse.
1. You are selfish.
Remember your best friend from back in the day. One of the reasons you may have considered them your best friend was because no matter what was going on with them, if you were in need, they were there for you. No matter what. In marriage we sometimes allow our own personal needs to come before our spouses. It is the “give me what I want, and I will give you what you want” method in marriage. That is a failed method and can prevent you from becoming best friends.
2. Fear and your past.
Perhaps you have been hurt in the past when you revealed something personal to a “friend.” The result of that may cause you to fear opening up to that level again. Think back to your best friends growing up. More than likely they knew almost everything about you. Because they were truly great friends, best friends, it didn’t change how they treated you, or felt about you. In marriage, you should feel as safe with your spouse.
3. Lack of commitment.
Maybe you have not fully given yourself to your marriage. When I shared the challenge I was dealing with to my wife, it was an all-in type move. I was saying, I am fully committed to you, and I believe you are to me. Sharing that with her could have blown up in my face, but I trusted we were both in this for the long-haul and we would help one another through it.
Be best friends with your spouse
If you desire to be best friends with your spouse, hopefully the insight above can help you do so. Maybe you are like me and my wife, believing you are best friends, but not fully living it out. I encourage you to not let the three points above, or anything else prevent you from being best friends with your spouse.
Your spouse can be, and should be, your best friend.
Do you have a problem with your spouse being your best friend? Why? You can leave your comment below.