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I have been married twice and while I loved both my former husbands (well, at the time), neither was my “best friend.”

Is that why I’m twice divorced? Should you marry your best friend?

The answer might depend on whom I ask. People and so-called relationship experts are all over the map on the answer.

Over at Thought Catalog, it’s a resounding yes (except when it’s a resounding no).

At Offbeat Bride, at least one bride-to-be rejects the idea because “My bestie can give me insight into problems that my fiancé can’t, necessarily, because he’s too close to the situation, and she can give me perspective.” (makes sense to me).

Some “experts” at YourTango insist, “Couples in longtime successful marriages always view their spouse as their best friend.”

Yet, writer and comedian Giulia Rozzi divorced her best friend after 13 months: as a marriage and and family therapist observes, “the guy looks great on paper as a very best friend, but not necessarily as a lover and mate, and I think there are different criteria for that.”

Oprah has a much more acerbic response: “It’s a myth, and one that has probably been solely responsible for thousands of unhappy marriages.”

And Reva Seth, author of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages, reveals the No. 1 “secret” of a successful marriage: Your man doesn’t have to be your best friend. (That’s why you’ve had a best girlfriend all along, right?)”

How can they all be right (or wrong)?

According to a recent study of several hundred men and women in their 20s and early 30s from diverse backgrounds, “Marriage is More than Being Together: The Meaning of Marriage among Young Adults in the United States,” knowing each other ranks high:

Comfort in knowing one another, a defining characteristic of “grown-up” relationships, is one of the most valued features of a successful marriage. A marriage partner should allow you to be yourself and accept you fully. According to a 29-year-old Minnesota man currently enrolled in a four year college and working full time, being friends with his future wife for several years made it possible for them to know what they were “dealing with” within their relationship. He continues “I mean we get along well and part of that, I think, what helped was that we were friends for three, four years, and so I knew exactly who she was because there was nothing for her to change who she was and what she was all about. I got to see the true side of her during that time period. It was the same for me. We knew exactly what we were dealing with.” tweet

But knowing each other and genuinely liking each other  — which pretty much defines what a friend is — isn’t the same as having your future hubby- or wife-to-be be your best friend.

If I had married my best friends at the time, I not only would have lost two husbands, but also two best friends. That doesn’t sound like such a great thing to me.

What about you?

  • Did you/will you marry your best friend?
  • How did that work out?
  • Is it better to marry someone who is a friend, but not a best friend?

 

Photo © marc morvant/Fotolia.com

6 Responses to “Should you marry your ‘best friend’?”

  1. MK says:

    I married a great guy, and over the course of our marriage he has become my best friend. We constantly work on our relationship and take nothing for granted.

    We all want a prescription or rule to follow, and “marry your best friend” sounds like a good, easy, tangible rule to follow. I believe it would be more accurate (but far less catchy) to say, “marry someone you love spending time with, whose vision of the future, definition of marriage, and concept of household operations blends well with yours. Marry someone with whom you can have uncomfortable conversations and who allows you to make mistakes. Understand that relationships constantly change, as do labels like ‘best friend’ and ‘spouse’, so marry someone who values the relationship as much as you do, and forget about the labels as much as you can. “

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles
      says:

      I like what you say, MK. “Best friend” is a vague term β€” what does a “best friend” do? Much better to detail what you want from your partner. And if you end up becoming best friends, great; icing on the cake, right?

  2. ToppHogg says:

    Did you/will you marry your best friend?

    I thought I had. Turns out that it was a pose until the legal restraints were in place and I couldn’t leave easily.
    How did that work out?
    Not well. We are now merely roommates.
    Is it better to marry someone who is a friend, but not a best friend?
    Yes. It leaves room for your other friends to remain in your life, which I was denied.

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles
      says:

      Sorry to hear that, ToppHogg. Is there any way to turn things around, or is it too far gone?

  3. Lily says:

    My best friend and I met at work a while ago and our friendship was obvious right from the start. While spending most of our time together, he fell in love with me just like this. However, I was at the time into another man who was playing me for a fool. So my best friend actually had to endure my sadness, complaints and craziness on a daily basis, always trying to make me laugh and make sure I was ok. Oddly enough, I only realize now how good and right he was for me, what we were to each other that was meaningful, but I was blinded for being infatuated to another man. Funny enough, our common friends told us we were meant for each other, so said my best friend, but I could not seize it at the time. We haven’t seen each other over the last year and a half since I moved abroad and he went back to his native country. But in last October, while we were texting, he proposed me. I first thought he was joking, but he was not at all. I wonder, how come he wants to marry me considering nothing ever happens between us? I was flabbergasted, confused and I said “No”. I still had to understand men and to grow up figuring out what kind of man I truly wanted, what I truly did not want, what I wanted to achieve in my life on a personal and professional level. Lately, I realized that, although being imperfect like me, he was actually everything I wanted from a man and the one I could perfectly imagine spending my whole life with without ever feeling bored or miserable. So I texted him, saying “Yes” and now we are getting married. I think his stubbornness did really convince me, like when he said that I WILL be his wife, that he knew it for a long, long time ago. This really changed everything in me, unblocking my love deepest feelings I was ignoring until now and I feel blessed he kept faith and did not move on. I feel blessed I did not realize things too late, for I would have missed the man of my life otherwise. I still can’t confess him such things though, I just need to get rid of my stupid fears and blockades I got from being with the wrong men over the years. But one thing is certain, I will definitely marry my best friend, for he has proved by the past he’s the best man for me.
    So I advise every women out there to first question themselves : who they are, what kind of relationship they want, what kind of man they want/don’t want, and then put their entire faith into the man who matches their expectations.
    And above all, if a man cannot be your best friend, you know you’re not in a healthy relationship, but in a one-way infatuation. There’s a huge difference ! πŸ™‚

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