Nov 062013 9 Responses

My Best Friend, But Not My Only Friend

The heart of marriage is friendship.

Without it, a meaningful marriage cannot exist.

One of the primary responsibilities of a couple is to continually develop and nourish a deep friendship in every stage of a relationship.

It begins with dating. This is one reason sex should be saved for marriage. When sex enters into a relationship too quickly, it stunts the growth of the friendship. At a time in which two people should be exploring the personalities of one another, sex clouds their thinking and hinders decision making.

It continues in the earliest aspects of marriage. As dating gives way to marriage and life is lived together, deep bonds should be formed. This early stage can be one of the toughest and most challenging times as a young couple realizes the complexities of living with another person. This is another reason sex should be saved for marriage. At the time in which early struggles present themselves—two people learning to live together—God gives us a great gift to keep us together—the awakening of sexual intimacy.

It solidifies while having children. At this point a true partnership should be formed as a couple attempts to juggle all the pressures of living and raising a family. This stage of life is much more difficult to navigate alone than together. By working together, a couple can thrive in the midst of a very exhausting period of life.

It fully blooms with an empty nest. If a couple does the work necessary to build a true friendship, it’s full effects are not experienced until later in life. Having grown through so many different seasons and experiences, a mature friendship becomes nearly unmovable. While problems still arise, the couple is so experienced in dealing with conflict and so confident from past experiences, the problems do not create any fear. Both individuals find their greatest satisfaction in living life with one another.

Marriage is meant to be a relationship between two best friends.

My wife is my best friend.

But she is not my only friend.

While some overlook the importance of building friendship within marriage, others misunderstand the role of a spouse. They believe our spouse should be our only friend. This is fraught with peril.

Spouses are supposed to be friends, but they are never expected to be our only friends. It is a role they should not play, cannot play, and hopefully do not want to play.

We need other friendships besides our spouses.

  • We need friends who enjoy activities which our spouses do not enjoy.
  • We need friends who are going through similar experiences as we are.
  • We need friends who can lend a listening ear or offer support when we are in need.

Everyone needs friends and a spouse is not enough.

Expecting our spouse to be our only friend (or expecting us to be their only friend) is demanding too much from them.

I want to be my wife’s best friend; I don’t want to be her only friend.

There are things I don’t want to talk about.

There are things I don’t want to do.

There are things I don’t want to care about.

As long as she has another friend, she experiences the love and support she needs without me having to listen, accompany, or care about every aspect of what is going on.

Obviously if she wants me to listen, accompany, or care then I will—because I care about her. However, if some of those roles can be played by other people, we will both be better for it. As I am with her, she is with me. She wants to be my best friend, but she doesn’t want to be my only friend.

Being someone’s only friend is exhausting. It’s a role no one should play.

Being someone’s best friend in the midst of many friends is a wonderful role.

Marriage is built on friendship. We should be each other’s best friend but not each other’s only friend.

Is your spouse your only friend? If yes, why?

Is your spouse your best friend? If no, why not?

9 Responses to My Best Friend, But Not My Only Friend
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