I have a confession: my husband is not my best friend. I’ve called him that before, but when I stop to think about it, I realize there is a different truth.
Now, before I go any further, let me emphasize that nothing I am about to say is intended to be critical of those who say their spouses are their best friends. That is great! It is wonderful! And, once
I share my perspective, you may end up laughing at me and saying, “It’s all just a matter of semantics, Ann.” But, I’m a writer. Semantics are important to me. So, hashing out these particular semantics is important to me.
Doug and I started our relationship as friends. Just friends. I respected Doug, admired him, and appreciated his friendship. But, I did not think of him in any other way.
Then our relationship changed. As we went from friends to good friends to becoming a couple, the way we interacted with one another became very different. And rightfully so. We were no longer in the friend zone. We were choosing to join ourselves together in a way that would always be unique to us.
As my husband of nearly 19 years, Doug knows me in a way no friend ever has. And, although the sexual intimacy is a part of that, it is a knowledge that goes far beyond the physical. It is a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical oneness that we share with no one else.
Is friendship a part of that? Yes, most definitely. But this is also very different from what we once were as friends.
I’ve had several “best friends” throughout my lifetime. As a child, I had stretches of life when I was close to various other girls. In high school, I experienced my first true close guy friend. In college, there were more – girls and guys – I grew close to. Could trust. I could pour my heart out to.
And I still have friends like that. I still desperately need friends like Doug was to me before we became a couple. I need girlfriends I can trust and interact with freely, comfortably, and safely. I am thankful for the men – often husbands of women I am close to – I can trust and depend on without fear of relational issues. And in my mind, one of the reasons I can enjoy those friendships without fear of relational issues is because my relational definitions mark Doug as my husband and my friends – both male and female – as individuals used by God to meet a completely different need in my life.
I love that there is something incredibly special about the marriage relationship. It is unique. One of a kind. Irreplaceable. An intrinsic, inseparable part of my life.
I am thankful for the difference. The distinction in my head. It allows me to freely interact with friends without contest or conflict. For Doug knows – at least I hope he does – that there is not a single friend on the face of the planet who can be who he is to me.
Not my best friend. My husband. What a glorious relationship!