A cliché you often hear in wedding vows or sentimental social media posts is that someone “is marrying their best friend.” But is it emotionally healthy for your spouse to also serve as your best bud?
Humans are social creatures, and a variety of relationships is actually vital to our mental, emotional and even physical health. These include relationships with friends, neighbors, work buddies, siblings, parents and more. Healthy marriages are built on many of the same principles as amazing friendships: respect, trust, communication, support and having fun spending time together.
Sharing a strong bond and emotional intimacy with your partner could therefore easily lead you to see your spouse as your best friend. There is no hard-and-fast assessment that this is necessarily healthy or unhealthy, but it can pose problems when this title leads to unrealistic expectations.
Relationships can turn toxic if you expect one person to meet your every emotional need. Your spouse cannot be your best friend, therapist, provider, co-parenter and more. Even if you’re an introvert, your spouse shouldn’t be your only friend and confidante. Especially when you need to complain about your partner.
Tensions can also arise if partners are on different pages about being each other’s best friend or what that looks like. One might want to spend as much time as possible together, while the other looks to other relationships to socialize or engage their interests. The latter could see their partner as clingy and feel confined, while the former could feel lonely and neglected. Having clear communication about what friendships outside of your marriage mean to each of you is just one of the ways to keep your marriage strong.