Should You Be Best Friends With Your Spouse?

By Danielle Braff
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Does the lack of a best friendship with a spouse ultimately lead to a divorce? Or are we putting too much pressure on one person in our lives?

Chicago Tribune

Julia Rohan sits just 1 foot away from her husband in their home office, but after the work day is over, she doesn’t want a break from her best friend.

“I worried that working together would affect our friendship, we spend so much time together, but it’s actually strengthened our friendship,” said Rohan, who lives in Chicago and has been married for six years.

She’s far from the only person who relishes marrying her BFF (best friend forever). On their 25th anniversary, Michelle Obama told Barack Obama, “You’re still my best friend,” in an Instagram post.

And at an iHeartRadio awards show, Justin Timberlake thanked his “best friend” and wife, Jessica Biel.

Yet when actress Anna Faris split from Chris Pratt after eight years of marriage, she said she didn’t consider him to be her best friend.

“The idea of your mate being your best friend, it’s overhyped,” she wrote in a controversial essay for her recently released memoir, “Unqualified.” “I really believe that your partner serves one purpose and each friend serves another.”

So does the lack of a best friendship with a spouse ultimately lead to a divorce? Or are we putting too much pressure on one person in our lives?

“Never before in history have we expected our spouses to be all things to us: our passionate lover, best friend, therapist, provider, equal partner, co-parenter,” said Dusty Williams, a mental health counselor in Jacksonville, Fla. “It’s not realistic, nor is it healthy.”

If your spouse is amazing at listening to a problem and giving good advice, then you should go to him for that; but if you have another friend who is a rock star at empathy and can listen for hours, there is nothing wrong with going to that friend first, Williams said.

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