Friday, September 10, 2010

Is Your Spouse Your Best Friend?

After my husband and I had been dating for a while, I sensed that my roommate was feeling a little left out because of all the time I was spending with this “new guy”. My feeling was that tried and true friendships are so much more important than relationships with guys that may not even last more than a few dates. So I was all prepared to tell this “new guy” in my life that I thought we should stop seeing each other. I planned to tell him right after our date. But then something happened that I will never forget. As he got out of the car and walked around to open my door, something occurred to me. This “new guy” was my friend. He wasn’t just another guy. He, like my roommate, had become my good friend. Needless to say, I didn’t tell him we should stop seeing each other and the rest is history. He now is not only my husband but my best friend.

Ask yourself, is your spouse your best friend? And if so (and even if not so), how do best friends think and behave? For starters, best friends back each other up. They give each other the benefit of the doubt. They know that each has the other’s best interest in mind. They are honest with each other, even at times when it’s hard to be, because they know the honesty is based on genuine love and caring.

Best friends share sorrows and joys. They know and accept each other – warts and all. They don’t give up on each other. They hang in there. They value and respect each other’s opinions and perspectives. They sometimes mess up but they apologize and forgive because they are best friends.

Best friends also put each other first in their lives. They take the time and the thought and the energy to nurture their friendship. And as they do this, their friendship becomes a sort of buffer so that disappointments and frustrations in other areas of their lives (even other relationships) don’t hurt as much. They derive strength from each other and they give strength to each other.

At this point, you may be tempted to say, “My spouse doesn’t do all those things for me.” That may be true, but the expression “to have a friend, be a friend” is as important in marriage as in any other relationship. Ask yourself, what can you do to improve your friendship with your spouse? What can you do to truly become best friends?

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