“He’s like my best friend.”
“She’s the best friend in my life.”
These are common statements and beliefs about a relationship with our spouse.
That they must be our friend, no, best friend — as well as all the other roles a spouse plays in marriage.
While I don’t discount that there should be friendship between husband and wife, having him or her as your best friend will be the death-nail to the marriage.
To clarify, I’m referring to best friend here as a primary and/or sole outlet of your relational needs.
When you first met your spouse, ideally you were both living lives that were fulfilling and interesting (note the emphasis on “ideally”— if you and/or your spouse didn’t have a lot going on when you first met, the relationship was already in really big trouble). One reason your spouse was attractive was the life they were living apart from you. The lives you were living before you met were an important part of what made each of you who you were.
As you began spending more time together and getting to know one another, you likely had less time to engage in the things you were doing before you met. Some couples go so far as to completely give up everything they previously found fulfilling and important in order to spend time together. The problem with this is, as you became fused, you became more and more dependent on each other to meet your individual needs.
That’s the problem with your spouse being your best friend.
As you give up those things you find fulfilling and important for the sake of the relationship, this places a tremendous burden on your spouse to fill the void of whatever you gave up. And this burden will create neediness and dependency, as well as resentment and boredom.
One of the best things you can do for your spouse is have a couple of great same-sex friendships.
Every marriage needs space between the spouses. It is within this space that you find energy, passion, eroticism, quiet time, and personal fulfillment.
While I believe that friendship within the marriage is vital for the relationship, close friendships outside of the marriage are equally important, especially if you want a marriage with lots of passion, eroticism, adventure, and energy.
One of the biggest killers of passion in marriage is all the meaningless time spouses spend together. And this monotonous coexistence is what often comes to define most marriages.
If you want to create a great marriage full of energy, adventure, passion, and love, spend some time away from your spouse with your friends.