Over the years, I’ve watched my friends’ relationships with their spouses. They tell me they married their best friend, and I wonder how they can be so “attached at the hip.” They do almost everything together, from shopping to attending interest clubs to watching TV. They like the same shows, the same music, and have the same friends. Some of them even share a Facebook account. They always say they married their best friend. I find it a bit odd and sometimes even disturbing. It wasn’t how my marriage was, and I don’t think it will ever be that way.
My husband and I love each other deeply. But we don’t like the same music and have a hard time finding a movie we both will enjoy. We don’t have the same friends except for one or two other couples, and we definitely don’t have many similar interests. We actually enjoy spending time apart doing our own things, although our time together is also lovely. My husband and I have discussed it at length and decided while we are married and in love, we are each our own person and prefer it that way. I always considered my best friend to be one of my female friends I spend a lot of time with.
Recently, though, I’ve experienced some realizations that some of the people I call friends aren’t really my friends. There are various reasons and situations that I won’t go into here, but they caused me to realize something else. I also married my best friend.
One day, I was upset when a “friend” did something that hurt me. I didn’t really want to talk about it because I knew voicing the pain would make me cry. My husband gently told me, “You can talk to me about anything.” I told him what happened, and he told me he never saw this person as my friend, and if she truly was a friend, she wouldn’t treat me that way. That moment began a shift in my perspective.
While he likes Country music and 80s Rock and I like Alternative and Pop music, he respects me. I love reading, and he avoids it unless absolutely necessary, but he’s always supported my goals and dreams. He wants to stay home, and I want to travel and see the world, but we manage to have a good time when we’re together. I feel safe when I’m with him.
What is the definition of a best friend, anyway? I think the meaning changes based on the person. I’ve always defined a best friend as someone I can talk to without reservation, like spending time with, who will help me if I need it, and who will have my back when things get rough. The only person who has done this consistently in my life for the last twenty years is my husband. And it has taken me this long to discover it.
Going on a long weekend away to Las Vegas cemented my new conviction. A band I adore, Third Eye Blind, was playing, and he went with me despite not knowing who they or the opening acts—who I also like—were. I wanted to see all the sights while we were there, and he wanted to nap by the pool. We got some pool time in but spent most of our days wandering the city. He consented to everything I wanted to do, sometimes with a few mild complaints. He was incredibly considerate of my food allergies when we chose restaurants, opened all the doors for me, and held my hand the whole time. We laughed a lot. Love like this is epic.
I don’t think we’re suddenly going to be doing everything together, and I’m certainly not going to start listening to Country music when I’m not riding in his truck, but I feel less of a need to seek new friendships or try to repair the ones I have that are torn. To my real friends, and you know who you are, you’re still cherished, and I know you’ll be happy about my discovery.