By Robin May
“Should your spouse be your best friend”?
If this issue has never come up for you and your spouse, you may be thinking “Is this a real issue?” And the answer is, for some, Absolutely! But, I believe the question doesn’t adequately address what is really going on. Let’s break down the core issue and I am sure you can then answer that question for yourself!
When someone asks a question, pay close attention to what IS said, but just as close attention to what is NOT said.
Many times people who are asking this question are feeling frustrated because their spouse takes issue with the relationship they have with their “best friend”, or the person feels there is something lacking in their ‘friendship’ with their spouse. If we keep digging we might see emotions ranging from disappointment to discontentment, feeling controlled or maybe even jealousy.
So now that we understand what is really at the root of the question, I want you to put that on pause for just a moment, and let’s focus on the next question: How would you define the term best friend? Can we agree that a best friend is:
- The person you feel the closest too
- When something exciting or not so exciting happens in your life, you can’t wait to share the news with that person
- You enjoy spending time with that person, even if you are doing absolutely nothing
- You share your secrets with that person
- That person has your back no matter what and vice versa
- That person has access to your life (friends, family, etc)
- If you have it, that person has it (be it food, money, opportunities, etc)
If we can agree to that definition of a best friend, I now want you to think about your marriage. Should you prioritize that type of relationship with your spouse, or with someone else? Those attributes may not define your relationship with your spouse today, but do you think that definition is a goal worth striving towards?
Often I believe people get stuck at the term “best friend”. I loved what one writer said when discussing this issue: “There is an important distinction between the role of best friend and the role of spouse, and I would be minimizing my husband’s role in my life if I called him anything else. I believe that a spouse and a best friend are analogous but not the same. It may sound nitpicky, but “best friend” can never do justice to the far more intimate calling of the marital relationship.”
If you are striving for a marriage that is rooted and guided by Biblical principles, then you have to remember what matters most. Check the Word for what is says about marriage. Mark 10:8-9 says “… and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” If that scripture is a guiding principle in your relationship, then all else will fall into place. But you and your spouse must be brutally honest about where you are in relationship to what the Word says. Do you operate as one? Is there anyone that comes between the two of you, directly or indirectly? Do you both feel prioritized in one another’s life? Would you be willing to let go of any relationship that challenges the unity you have with your spouse?
Marriage doesn’t mean you automatically cut off everyone that you have bonded with over the years. As a matter of fact, it is quite healthy for couples not to expect their spouse to meet all of their relational needs. But if a man is to “…leave his mother and father” (Genesis 2:24) and join as one to his wife, then surely we can anticipate that there might be adjustments that have to be made to other relationships.
So let’s ask the question again: Should your spouse be your best friend?
The bottom line is this: If your spouse feels honored, protected, respected, prioritized, and loved, then I can almost guarantee you that it won’t matter if you consider someone else your best friend or one of your best friends. Or , if you know that no one…including your spouse’s mother, father, line sister, frat brother or their best friend since middle school, comes before you, then I don’t think the title would matter as much to you. Make sure your spouse doesn’t feel neglected, disrespected or rejected by you, especially because of another relationship, and then you probably won’t really have to ask the question.
One last thing – – – People often ask about friendships with the opposite sex. I would encourage you to first of all, remember the guiding principle of your marriage, second, remember that you must be extra careful to guard your marriage at all cost and lastly consider this rule of thumb that has proven effective for many couples: When there is a key person of the opposite sex that you or your spouse are particularly close to, there must be an intentional effort to build a mutual relationship amongst all parties involved. In other words, any male that I consider a good friend, has also forged a relationship with my husband and vice versa. There is mutual respect and those friends know the boundaries that we have set. The moment you start sneaking, hiding or adjusting because “my spouse just doesn’t get how close we are…” then you are setting your marriage up for failure! Consider your spouse at all cost and above all others, and watch how much smoother things go in your romance.
So now…I want to hear from you! Do you think your spouse should – – or has to be – – your best friend? Visit and “LIKE” our Facebook Page to share your thoughts!