I’ve never really had a BFF before. Growing up, I floated in between social groups. I never had one person who I saw ALL the time or depended on for all my friendship needs. I guess I didn’t want to over-invest in just one person. Growing up, my dad kept saying that a strong marriage is based on friendship. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be best friends with a husband if I didn’t want to spend 24/7 with any one person now. The thought of marriage brought a tinge of panic.
The “Happy Wife for Life” series is based on the findings from Fawn Weaver’s book, Happy Wives Club, where she travels around the world to find the threads that weave amazing marriages together. Secret #4 is “Friendship is Essential.” This week we will be exploring how friendship fits into marriage dynamics. Weaver writes, “Each person’s spouse is his or her number one confidant. They all have friends outside of marriage, but their greatest friendship, the one they’ve spent the most time building over the years is with their spouse.”
I don’t expect my husband to provide the same girly-friendship I get from women. I can’t provide him the same testosterone surge he gets when he is with the guys. Same-sex friendships have an important place in our lives. I’m interested in looking at how we can build our “greatest friendship” with our spouse.
I was recently listening to a new favorite podcast, Married with Luggage. This couple is together ALL the time as they travel and live around the world fulfilling their dreams. They did a podcast about introverts married to extroverts. I have come to the conclusion that I’m more introverted than I thought. I’m not sure how this happened or if it has secretly been there all along. This made me realize why social invites to big house parties are not appealing. I’m overwhelmed by all the people and dissatisfied with superficial chit-chat. Being around someone constantly can be draining. I figured out that I need alone time…and lots of it. I like to hibernate during the summer and winter months because it gives me distraction-free time to restore my energy, reassess goals for the future, and refresh my outlook. Marriage brought the tension of wanting to spend the rest of my life with my husband with the need to be left “the hell alone” on a regular basis.
What I learned is that being “best friends” doesn’t have to mean we are inseparable. We are not obligated to be around each other 24/7, even on vacations. I had no experience being a best friend before I met the love of my life. My husband taught me that best-friendship is about laughing together, being silly, and sharing inside jokes to reference in the future. We share an abbreviated language, not like pig-latin, but key words with secret implied meaning. We chat on the phone “just because.” We text each other pictures of something we see throughout our day that made us smile. We play. We share our deepest truths and most vulnerable moments with each other.
This is the first time in my life that I have a reciprocated best-friendship. I see my hubby frequently, but not 24/7. He respects my introverted need to have alone-time because this is how I recharge my energy. He gets the best of me when he gives me space to meet this need. I remember my dad giving me dating advice years ago. He told me to find a man who I can share a “friendship on fire.” My husband provides me with the joy of marriage and the fun of best-friendship. Thanks for joining me on my exploration of how to be a Happy Wife for Life.
Reflect & Share: What do you do (or want to do) that will make your marriage a “friendship on fire”?
“How to Live as an Introvert in an Extrovert World” –Married with Luggage (Podcast #36 with Beth Buelow)”
“How to Become Your Spouse’s Best Friend” –Michael Hyatt (blog)
“Beyond Loving Your Spouse: 25 Ways to Be a Best Friend” –Adrienne May (blog)
“7 Ways To Be Your Spouse’s Best Friend” –Fancy Little Things (blog)