How important is it in marriage that your partner is also your best friend?
For me the most important part of being married is that you do consider your partner to also be your best friend: There for you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. And who but a best friend would do that?
Maybe this could even mean that if your partner is not your best friend then they will probably not be around long as your partner either.
“I have never thought of any of my partners as best friends and have ‘separate’ best friends all along.”
I wonder when I hear a statement like this what sort of relationship this person has with their partner and how this might actually vary from their relationship with their best friend.
And while having said that, this actually might become the case in the nitty-gritty of relationships when there may be certain things that I might discuss with a best friend, sometimes even about my partner, that I would not share with my partner, as well as there being certain things I might talk with my partner about, sometimes even about my friends, that I would not share with my friends.
But when it comes to the really important things like making decisions that affects us both, or when it comes to exposing the very most vulnerable part of ourselves then your partner is fairly likely the only person who would ever see that and know about that part of you.
Can your partner be more hurtful than friends?
This is probably why it is that your partner can hurt you the most and often even more so than friends. While friends can disappoint you, in their misuse of the trust you place in them, by sharing something that was meant for them only, your partner can do much more harm by knowing what your weak spot is and by hitting you there the hardest.
And for those of you who really struggle with your relationship with your partner, even to the point of trusting your best friends more, then something is seriously wrong with your relationship that needs to be addressed if your relationship is going to make it long-term.
What is worth remembering here is that sometimes the issues that are present in your current relationship stem from your life experience growing up as you observed your own parents’ struggle with their relationship. Often fear is brought with you from those earlier experiences that lead you to distrust your partner, just as your mum or dad may have distrusted their partner. As you witness that you make decisions from what you’ve seen or heard that then becomes your guide into your own adult relationships.
So if this is you and you are struggling with your relationship: if you hesitate allowing your partner to be your best friend then maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what is really going on in this relationship.
An important Postscript
Let me just add this: there are, of course, relationships that cannot be considered in this way as they are with individuals who are abusive of you. If this is your situation then you might need to make a decision about whether you can be in this relationship at all. You may also need to make a decision for your safety that allows you to find a way out that doesn’t leave you more vulnerable to your partner’s abuse. This is a time when your friends really can become more important; as a support for you during such a difficult time. I’ll say more about this on another day.
So until next time – Relate with Love