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OT: Is your spouse your best friend? Should they be?

futurobrillante99's picture

I was curious about other's thoughts on this topic.

For me, I guess it depends on how you define best friend.

Does best mean MOST reliable. Are they there for you through all of life's ups and downs?

Does it mean you can tell them anything?

I guess, if I had a spouse, I would expect them to stand by me no matter how much I could contribute financially, no matter the number on the scale or wrinkles on my face. I'd expect them to stick with me to the end and look out for me.

However, I consider my BEST friend to be my best female friend. My bestie. She's the one I can talk about my SO with. She's dependable, trustworthy and loyal, but I don't expect the level of lifetime commitment from her that I would expect from him.

I expect my SO to be my truest friend but not necessarily my best friend, as I understand it. Does that make any sense?

What sayeth you?



nengooseus's picture

But I also have other best friends... 

My BFF and I grew up like twins.  She's more a sister than a friend and we can talk about anything (other than the guy I dated senior year of high school).

My Bestie from college has been through my entire adult life with me.  There are some parameters to our relationship--he can be judgy--but push comes to shove, he's still there.

I have a work bestie.  She's the only one who cares about the crap I deal with there.  I'm really good friends with my former boss, too, for the times I can't tell everything to work bestie.

And DH is my bestie, too.  I adore him to pieces.  And sometimes I want to choke him out (just like my other besties, lol).  I think it's important that I feel that comfort with him, too.

caninelover's picture

I have other close friends, but he is the one who knows me the best.

tog redux's picture

I was just thinking about this recently, and yes, I think he's my best friend. I have a close female friend, but there is no one I want to spend time with more than DH. We've had zero issues throughout this whole pandemic, even when both of us were working from home the majority of the time (he still is, I go in 3 days a week now); and we still spend the weekends home, as he's high risk. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve together, just the two of us, and it was great.

caninelover's picture

And same as you, its been a really positive experience.  Most days we're in our seperate corners working away but will pass each other in the hallway or kitchen while grabbing coffee or a snack.  It's really nice to have those small little interactions with him during the day.

ESMOD's picture

My husband is my best friend. 

I may be a bit odd because as an army brat, I don't tend to form a lot of long term "bestie" friendships.  I'm also busy and an introvert and live in BFE... so while do have friends..nothing of the "best" variety really.

I can see though.. for normal people... that you might have a best friend that is not your husband.  It would have a lot to do with how long you have been friends etc..

I mean, you grew up with your bestie all your life from toddlerhood.. and you marry some guy when you are 35... clearly he is not your "best" friend when compared to that 30 plus year relationship!

But that doesn't mean that your relationship is better or worse.. just that you might have a super close connection with that other person.. doesn't mean you should ignore your spouses needs etc..

lieutenant_dad's picture

DH and I have a rule that we AREN'T each other's best friends. We love each other, and we're friends in the sense that we share hobbies and interests.

However, we're also partners. There is a "business" side to our relationship that has to be managed. That means there are things I can't tell him exactly how I want to say it and have to be mindful of the weight my words carry. That means there are topics we might not discuss the way we would individually like to discuss them because they cause unneeded pain (e.g. me complaining about ET for the umpteenth time - DH doesn't want to hear the drama because he is living/dealing with the fallout).

Also, your SO being your best friend creates a breeding ground for co-dependency, and it can make it hard to leave bad relationships. When you wrap one person up to being your family, partner, AND best friend, it puts a lot of pressure on them to be a certain way and means you aren't getting a lot of outside perspective, which can be necessary.

My XH was my "best friend", and it blurred lines. I have a hard time articulating how, but it wasn't healthy. It was enmeshed, it meant that others didn't see the toxicity and abuse, and it made it so much harder to leave because I lost my husband, lover, and confidante.

I'm not saying that having your spouse as your best friend CAUSES abuse. I'm just saying that it NURTURES abuse, toxicity, co-dependency, etc if those things are there. I'm sure there are some folks who can be best friends with their spouse, but that is entirely too much of who I am invested in one person for me. I need some diversity to keep me accountable and flexible, and I need to be able to rely on DH as my spouse and not as my everything.

tog redux's picture

Well, I don't see him as my EVERYTHING. I have a close female friend that I talk to about things I don't talk to DH about (like you said, stuff with SS or just complaining, or whatever), we've been friends for 20 years now.  I just see DH as the person I'd most like to spend time with, and someone I get along with very well and trust completely. 


futurobrillante99's picture

Very well put. I would trust my SO with my life. I know that, no matter what, I can trust him to do what is in my best interest, even if it's painful. I would say I trust him more than I trust my "best friend."

I would rather my SO was my best life partner. Part of that is being my most trusted friend. He gets parts of me that no one else can have and vice versa. Thankfully, we REALLY enjoy each others company above all others. We have fun.

My "best friend" is my best pal and I need what I have with her so that I don't depend on my SO for everything. I have a few close friends and I've had more than one best friend. This gal has been my BFF for about 3 years.

I think it would be a huge burden on my relationship and partner if he was my best friend. I want to make a life with him and I rely on him to be a very very good friend, but he's not my best friend.

THanks l_d!!

tog redux's picture

I think this is all just semantics, really. If he's your "most trusted friend", then how is that not your best friend?

futurobrillante99's picture

It is semantics.

My best friend is a reliable confidante, shoulder to cry on and fun buddy.

My SO is someone I can get advice from, trust more than anyone else, the person whose company I most like even when he's moody and quiet, and I know he has my best interest at heart in all things.

My best friend is my release valve and she gives me things my partner cannot.

My SO is so much more than a best friend.

It's just semantics because your definition of best friend includes all the things a partner brings whereas my definition is more of a social thing.

ESMOD's picture

I understand what you mean.. maybe in the sense that if your SO is your best friend... it may mean virtually "only friend"... which could lead to a reliance on that person for "every" emotional and other need.

My DH is my best friend, but yes.. I agree there may be certain things I can't or won't discuss or discuss to the extent I might be fully feeling.  But, I also feel that is the same kind of with other friends.  I am also reluctant to share a lot and measure my words with everyone... things can't be unsaid.. so if you vent to friends and family about a person or situation... then you have potentially created a barrier to them fully accepting that you want to continue the relationsip or situation.  Sometimes, it's just more appropriate to vent on sites like this where your words.. true or hurtful can't damage a relationship that may be otherwise worth saving.


lieutenant_dad's picture

I do think you get where I'm coming from.

For me, if someone is a "best friend", there is a lot of time that goes in to that relationship and person because I care about them. They are non-related family. That doesn't mean there aren't other friends, it just means there is more effort for that person, just like there is more effort for family and a spouse.

But, if I take what would be effort for a best friend or a few best friends and dump it all into a spouse, then I lose that closeness that I would have elsewhere. That bit me (and it bit DH), and I'm highly turned off from doing that again. I've had other friends/family that it has bit, too (or is biting). It's nearly impossible to be able to talk to them about things that seem problematic and to tell them you worry because it becomes a "you don't know me or us that well". And the truth is, I probably don't because they've wrapped themselves up so heavily in their marriage/relationship. 

I'll say it again: I think it's entirely possible for people to be best friends with their spouses and it be fine. But, in my experience, it can blur boundaries with some folks that can be problematic.

Cover1W's picture

My husband is my most intimate best friend, day in and day out. We get along. And even if we disagree we can talk about why and respect each other (usually only involving SDs).

I have several other very close friends from when I was a teen.  We also talk about everything, but they aren't with me ALL the time.  It's a different relationship.

If he wasn't my BF I couldn't be with him.  I had that with my ex and it was a disaster.

MissK03's picture

About 4 months of me being with SO.. BM told me SO was her "BESTTTTT FRIENDDDD!!" I couldn't wait to tell my friends and SO for that matter. She still uses that line over 5 years later now when she is attention seeking. 

My BFF and I have been friends for about 17 years now. There pretty much isn't a day that goes by that we don't text. Even if it's a sentence or something. She knows everything about me. Plus, I have my friends from high school too. I met my BFF working. We didn't go to school together. 

Now when it comes to SO.. I don't consider him a "best friend." I feel he is STILL guarded with me when it comes to issues with BM. (Due to me pushing him with the boundaries things for years causing arguments) He doesn't fully understand my points of views.. though he might claim he does. We do talk about everything but, I pry more about past stuff etc then he has ever done to me. Not like I have anything to hide or anything. 

One thing that bothered me in the beginning was I found out through BM (when we were "cool") that I wasn't the "first" person he had lived with after his divorce. This was about 8 months into me being with him. I get everyone has a past but, I felt like that's something I should have known and been told by him. This is one of my reasons I feel like I wouldn't consider him a "best friend." 

futurobrillante99's picture

My XH1 still wanted to be "best friends" because he's socially awkward and missed having someone to talk about his day with. Um, nope. He wasn't my friend when I was his wife and I told him he can't pick and choose the parts he wants of me in his life (that benefit him).

Barf! I can't believe the BM said your partner was her best friend.

I'm not happy my SO is a widower, but it does make SOME things simpler. I'm only dealing with the memory of his LW. Thankfully, my SO seems more present and less guilty than he did a year ago.