Spouses/Best Friends

One of my kids recently had a breakup of a several year relationship, sadly.

It sparked a conversation with several people - said child, friends of mine, my mother - about partners/spouses being best friends or not.

I was kind of surprised how infrequent it is for one’s spouse to be considered a best friend. My husband and I are best friends. My mom and dad and my in-laws are best friends. Talking with others, though, it seems that is rarer than I would have guessed. My mom, who is in her mid-80s was surprised I thought it was more common because in her lifetime, with many friendships, she hasn’t witnessed it very often.

So, what’s your situation and observations? Is your spouse your best friend? Do you witness that much among your friends and family members?

I don’t consider my husband my best friend. I have a small group of Women that I consider my best friends including my sister.

I don’t personally know anyone that considers their spouse their best friend or if they do they never mention it.

@doschicos I’m sorry you all have the pain of a breakup. It can be hard all around.

Hmmm…this is tricky. I’m thinking back to my H and I’s early relationship. I would say then we were “best friends” - while during our dating period we were at separate colleges and had other “besties” once we graduated and married we moved out of town so we largely just had each other. Probably best friends and very reliant on each other for most activities and time spent together.

Over the years that has changed. As our kids (3) were growing our work schedules were wonky but to accommodate one of us usually being with them. Our kids are spaced out so that went on for a long time! Like two decades! So I think during this time we also grew more independent (at least me) for our own entertainment and interests.

Now kids are largely launched. H is retired, I am not. We have lots of differences. There can be struggles to find common ground and interests. H is actually terrible about wanting to commit to activities or share his time. He is on his own schedule. “Best Friends” have to want to spend time together, MAKE time together.

We are not the best at doing that. I keep working on it! I don’t think that’s an awful way to be. We can improve but we are not unhappy to NOT be “best friends”.

In the sense that you are closest to that person and have shared much of life’s ups and downs with him/her, I guess you could use the term “best friend.” I know I see that all the time in social media with anniversary or birthday acknowledgements. I don’t think of my spouse that way, generally. I have had serial best friends, and some of them were of the opposite sex.

I do think of this “best friends” motto when I look at my kids and their relationships.

S is married - I would say they are “best friends” though have other friends and give each other space.

D1 is in a 3 yearish relationship - I am happy they seem to share lots of interests - because I think that helps nurture a “best friend” type of relationship.

I always try to open my kids eyes to trying to have a balance between infatuation, shared interests and interests and friends of your own. I don’t know that we did a good job of that - we let it slip for too long.

Definitely best friends, and we do think of each other that way, always have. Among our friends who are still in first marriages, that seems to be a common denominator. I will also say that “best friends” is not what love devolves to. We were lovers first and remain so, but that deep sense of no one closer, no one better known, no one we’d rather be with or share with first, which is I how we describe best friendship, has always been there, too.

My observation growing up in a middle class suburb was that women and men, mothers and fathers, frequently led very separate lives and that didn’t interest me. I didn’t want to play bridge and tennis with the girls, while my husband played golf and poker with the boys. Of course that wasn’t the complete picture, but that’s what it looked like to me as a teenager.

I married in my early twenties, very deliberately choosing not only the most interesting person I knew, but also someone sharing my interests and life goals. Forty plus years later, much older and a little bit wiser, I realize it’s just dumb luck how well it turned out.

Yes, husband is my best friend. We enjoy the same activities. We still entertain ourselves daily talking each others ears off, even after seven months at home just the two of us. But we aren’t totally dependent on each other. We have other friends, some of whom are shared and some not.

No idea about other couples we know. I don’t think my sisters married their best friends, but I do believe they married exactly the sort of men they wanted, and have excellent marriages.

Interesting topic!! I asked my H and he paused, said something like–I don’t know…Is this a trick question? Funny :slight_smile: Then I explained the post to him. Even after that, I think people define “best friend” differently. I used to think a person could only have one best friend until a friend of mine in our 20s kept talking about her “best friend” and each time seemed to reference someone different. Maybe to me, the title of “husband” is in a different (and perhaps more elevated position?) than best friend. Is he one of my best friends? I guess, but if I were to introduce him to someone, I would give him the title of husband, not best friend, but I suppose some people may introduce their spouse as both. I’ll be interested to hear what others say. How do others define best friend(s)?

@doschicos Is your H your only best friend?

It is tough. Especially when you’ve completely embraced the person into your family and spent a fair amount of time with them. Plus, just supporting one’s heartbroken child is both heartbreaking and a bit exhausting. Time will help. It always does. And then my hopes for grandkids gets pushed further back that’s my issue.

Husband and I spend more time with each other than we do with anyone else but we’re honestly not attached at the hip. Neither of us needs that or expects it, from anyone really. And Covid is limiting some activity. I miss our retired person matinee movies. :slight_smile: But we are each other’s support and go-to for anything good or bad. I wouldn’t tell my friends stuff that I tell him and consider my friendships more casual, honestly, because since I have him I don’t need that much more.

We’re definitely best friends and have been for the whole time we’ve been married + a bit before (32+ years). There’s no one else I’d rather be with, travel with, or even endure things with. He’s told me multiple times he feels the same way.

Neither of us have a close second. We have friends (individual and mutual), but if we had to leave tomorrow and never return here we’d find other friends without blinking an eye.

So far at least my youngest and his wife feel the same way about each other. My middle son had a GF and was heartsick when they broke up after a couple of years of being together. He feels much closer to the GF he has now, so it worked out ok at least to this point.

I have to say I’m not as sure about my oldest TBH. We don’t get to spend as much time with them to know.

Definitely yes and same for my husband in me. Neither one of us has had a lot of gal friends and guy friends, honestly. We’re not really stereotypical in our female/male roles either.

I’ll also add we were kind of friends before we took it further. Not for a long time just we met through a common friend and started hanging out in groups and found ourselves gravitating towards each other. We had fun and made each other laugh. Things just clicked and went from there. We’ve been inseparable since.

I sometimes wonder whether women with sisters may not need “best” female friends in the same way as those without… A sister-less cousin has been telling me our whole adult lives I’m her adopted sister/best friend. Clearly I fill the role for her that my own sisters fill for me. We are on a weekly phone call schedule.

Same here, and there is nothing I would tell a friend that I wouldn’t tell him.

I would never introduce him as my best friend because “husband” includes/supersedes that. I have only one best girlfriend. She predates DH, but she and I have not lived near each other since college. Ours is that enduring friendship that picks up where it left off every time, but it is a secondary relationship, and there are things that I share with DH that I wouldn’t with her or anyone else.

Like @Creekland my husband and I are best friends in every sense and have been forever (we started dating when I was 16). My only close second is my daughter, who is my second best friend. I have had lots of friends over the years (male and female), but I never felt anybody was my bestie like my husband.

I honestly feel it is a very important part of relationships. Best friends are the people you turn to in times of need, the people you can rely on always being there for you, the people you confide in, and the people you trust completely.

My daughter and her boyfriend have been in a relationship for a long time. I feel that he isn’t the one, because they don’t act like best friends. She actually has other male friends that I feel she is closer to.

After my husband, I’d consider my kids my best friends as well. I’ll have conversations with them, feel more comfortable just being “me” with them than I would anyone else in my life, after my husband.

An important criteria for me in friendship is not judging who I am, or at least being accepting. I haven’t found people outside my immediate family that I feel as relaxed around from that aspect. We know each other’s strengths and foibles in ways others just don’t.

I guess I’ve also always been surprised throughout my life by what people call “friends” and “friendship”. What others often consider friends are just acquaintances to me and what they deem to be best friends, I’d characterize as just friend status.

And speaking of spouses and sharing, because I’ve been very much in the trenches lately politically, I’m always surprised seeing so many of what I refer to as “mixed” marriages - married couples from different political parties. It’s very common in my area. Personally, that is hard for me to fathom. But may they don’t consider each other best friends.

Definitely H is my bestie. We’ve been together since I was 18 and we were friends first. He’s the first person I want to go to to share any kind of news. If I’m traveling without him, I’m constantly wishing he was with me.

I have very close girlfriends too but it isn’t the same as with H.

And we are in a “mixed” marriage politically but that doesn’t impact thinking he’s my bestie.

DH has friends, I don’t. So I guess by default he’s mine but I doubt he’d say the same. It’s really hard to make and keep friends when you don’t work outside the home and you move every few years.

We’ve been together since I was 18 as well. I wonder if that comes into play at all? Kind of growing up together as opposed to getting married later when one is more established or set in their ways.

I think it can work for folks who don’t live and die by politics. A lot of people either don’t care or make a determined effort to just keep it out of the house, no matter what their personal feelings might be. I also know couples who are on opposite sides of many social and political issues- and even of different religions. It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.