Healthy Relationships: Should Your Husband Be Your Best Friend?
By Cynthia Hanson
Should your husband be your best friend? It’s the height of wedding season, and couples across America are kicking off their new lives with heartfelt toasts that begin, “Today I married my best friend.” Misty-eyed guests smile at the sentiment — and why not? Over the years, our culture has romanticized the idea that healthy relationships mean husbands and wives are BFFs as well as loving partners.
But is that such a good thing? A growing number of experts say no.
“Friendship is a huge part of marriage, but expecting your spouse to be your everything is unrealistic and can strain the relationship,” says psychotherapist Joyce Marter, CEO of Urban Balance LLC, a counseling group practice in Chicago. “Women need and deserve multiple people in our lives who love us and offer us support, whether it’s for a crisis like a serious illness or a daily drama with a nasty coworker. It’s not fair or wise to rely on your husband for all your friendship needs.”
Here are the top three reasons your healthy relationships and marriages can benefit from maintaining close female friendships:
It’s Good for Your Marriage.
Couples who are BFFs tend to be enmeshed, meaning they have few outside friendships and spend virtually all of their spare time together. In other words, they live in a bubble. How boring is that?