Why It’s Not Healthy to Marry Your Best Friend
Picture this, a beautiful wedding ceremony with bride and groom clasping hands, looking deep into one another’s eyes before they take their first kiss as man and wife. Then fast forward to the elegant reception with the couple surrounded by flowers and illuminated by candle light. The bride stands to give her champagne toast. There’s not a dry eye in the room as she emotionally utters, “I am so blessed because not only did I marry an incredible man, I married my best friend.”
Sound familiar? Doesn’t this sound like the perfect marriage situation to you? But wait a minute, let’s back up… Rewind to the part of the wedding where the bridesmaids walk down the aisle, or when they were all getting ready before the ceremony commenting on the bride’s beauty. Rewind to the week before when the bride’s girlfriends were celebrating her bachelorette party or months prior to when they were celebrating her engagement. Rewind to the phone calls and text messages about how the bride believed she’d finally found “the one.” Rewind to the shopping dates or time at the coffee shop when the bride was telling her friends about the guy she just met. Rewind years earlier when the bride was single, dating a different guy or praying that God would direct her love life. Who was there during all these moments? The bride’s best girlfriends.
Sure, it’s romantic to believe that you will someday fall in love and marry a man who is also a friend. Great partnerships begin as solid friends. But, all the other friends involved in your life can’t be forgotten. They were, are and will be your best friend.
Building Friendships Before You’re Married
Your friends are just as important after marriage as they are prior to marriage. Since you’re not planning on getting married any time soon use this time to learn how to strengthen your friendships so they last into marriage. When your friendships are rooted in the Lord and other common ground, then they will stand the test of time and will grow with you.
Maintaining long-term friendships will help you learn what it takes to stick together in marriage as life shifts and changes. The divorce rate in America is high, so learning to hang on and not give up on someone is an important quality. The characteristics you learn in long-term friendships will be aspects you’ll carry into your marriage. It takes initiative and effort to maintain a friendship. You have to set aside time for your friend, which is sometimes a sacrifice. You have to be vulnerable, which is sometimes scary. You have to commit, which is bold. Your friends will be the friends you deserve. If you reach out often, so will they. If you open your heart, so will they. If you demonstrate your love and appreciation to them, so will they.
The most meaningful of friendships are typically formed prior to the age of 28. Now’s the time to build these relationships, then hold on to them for the rest of your life. It would be a shame to lose a friend just because you’re in a new stage of life. Being married doesn’t change who you are. You are who you are in part because of the influence, love and dedication from your friends. As Proverbs 27:17 speaks of how we are “sharpened” by other Christians. Your friends challenge you, preparing you for marriage and the life that God has laid before you.
Why Friendships are Important for Marriage
Just like your teen years, marriage involves a lot of change. God will send your marriage into many new directions over time. You will always need a solid support team around to help you through the peaks and valleys of change.
The most important thing a friend can do for you is pray for your marriage. Whether things are going great, or things are falling apart, prayer is essential. If you let go of all your friends post marriage, who will be there to offer your heart’s issues to the Lord? A prayer team at church? That’s simply not intimate enough. You need friends to act as intercessors who cry out to the Lord on your behalf and you need to do the same for them.
It’s exciting when someone applauds you for a job well done. If you’ve eliminated all your friendships from marriage, then you won’t have anyone in your life to tell you how much they admire your relationship with your spouse. Admiring attributes of our friends draws us closer and builds our friendship which in turn strengthens a marriage. God says that the pleasantness of a friend comes from heartfelt advice. Friends actually support marriage when offering a listening ear and helpful advice.
You are who you are in part because of the influence, love and dedication from your friends.
Be open to the multiple relationships God wants to use in your life to help you grow and mature in faith. Which means you also need to be open to how God will use you in the lives of other people. If you shut yourself off to having friendships outside of marriage, then you’re limiting the opportunity God has to build community through you.
You Need More than Just One Man
Popular chick flicks would have you believe that all you need is a husband, then you’re set for life. This simply is not true. One person can’t meet all your needs. You are a complex human being, just like everyone else, and you need the support and care of multiple people: friends, parents, siblings, co-workers and a spouse. In reality, God is the only being that can meet all your needs. Your husband is not God and you should never place anyone on that type of pedestal. God provides for all your needs, so He provides friends from all corners of your life to support, love and care for you in special ways.
Maintaining long-term friendships will help you learn what it takes to stick together in marriage as life shifts and changes.
So, the healthiest thing you can do right now is develop friendships with a variety of people. It’s good to have friends from different places and to have a unique friendship with each person. Build friends with different people in your classes, establish a close comradery with fellow teammates or people involved in your extracurricular activity. Establish a deep relationship with other students in your youth group. Reach out to people in your neighborhood. Then, connect with the friends of these friends.
When you’re married, you’ll have to accept the friends of your husband. So, start to learn now how to connect with people who aren’t your friends, but are loved by those you love. Stretch yourself even further and befriend your sibling’s friends and even try to connect with the friends of your parents. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy with family’s friends (that is weird) but at least be cordial and polite.
The Sanctity of Marriage
A husband has a different roll in your life than a girlfriend, and if you do get married, then you’ll need your girlfriend around to help strengthen and grow your marriage. God sanctifies marriage; therefore, it’s sacred and that’s how it should be treated. Friendships are important, but they are not sacred. Therefore, you’re repositioning your spouse if you set him as an equal to your friends. Being a spouse elevates your relationship beyond friendship.
Being a spouse elevates your relationship beyond friendship.
Be the lucky girl who has a husband who isn’t your best friend. And a best friend with whom you aren’t married. You get two instead of one. Both playing a different role in your life and both of them whom you need. And most likely, both need you too!