Should Spouses Be Our Best Friends?

I’ve been listening to a radio show, which often times drives me crazy, but I must get some pleasure out of hating it, because I tune in regularly.  Today’s topic is:

Should your spouse be your best friend?

The host of the show takes the stand of:

No, spouses shouldn’t be your best friend.

Her reasoning is that many of us are misguided into thinking that we will be married to our best friend. It creates an unrealistic standard which the other partner can’t live up to.  To back up her statement she cites the high divorce rate in America of over fifty percent.   If those spouses were really best friends, the divorce rate would be much lower. Friendships outlast marriages. Her thinking is friendship is unconditional. Marriage is conditional.

As much as we like to think and hope for a marriage which is unconditional it’s a bit unrealistic.  Marriage is conditional upon standards which are typically set by society. For instance if a spouse cheats with three other partners and drains the bank account, the other spouse is highly unlikely to stick around. They may still love the other person, but stay in a marriage? Doubt it.  A best friend however may get hurt if he or she gets snubbed for a lunch date and won’t be sharing a bank account with you.  So perhaps it’s a tale of less risk, less reward.

So I partially agree with the controversial talk show host.  We shouldn’t expect our spouses to be our best friends and love us through everything no matter what. If we get that, we’ve hit the jackpot.  But to expect that does seem idealistic.

My stance, it’s good to have a best friend or several friends in your life. Surrounding yourself with great friends can get you through many troubled relationships. Sure I’d like my spouse to be my best friend too, but I’ll never hold him to that standard.

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