Today is my 19th wedding anniversary. I have been married for longer than I have been unmarried as of this year. And yet, the comment that The Marine and I get over and over is “you both still look like newlyweds.” We hold hands….kiss…..share fantasies…. and indulge our sexual appetites together. All in all, we have been together for 23 years and it seems like yesterday we stood nervously before a preacher promising forever. When people comment why we still look like we are in love, my mind jets back to something that I hear women say so much that I don’t understand.
“My husband is my best friend,” seems to be the new qualifier for showing the closeness of a couple. This statement confuses me.
I want to be completely clear. The Marine is NOT my best friend (or really…any other type of friend). I have lots of people that I call friends. I have one person that I would call my best friend, but there is only one person in the world that I call my spouse…my husband…my lover…..my life partner. It is an important position in my life and I refuse to lump The Marine in with everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong, My Favorite Scorpio is a very important person in my life. I easily consider him the closest friend that I have on the planet. But, the relationship that he has with his wife and I with The Marine supersede all others. It’s not just a matter of simple hierarchy. Not for me.
For me, the relationship of marriage is different because friendship does not come with many of the important matters that revolve around a marriage like:
- Commitment: When I think about the number of friendships that I have enjoyed over the past 23 years, I know I have been blessed by the people in my life. However, many have moved on to be different people. Or, maybe I have become different. Either way, there is only the commitment of the time with friends. With lovers and marriage, the commitment should be stronger than plans for lunch or shopping trips to buy new shoes. Admittedly, I am not saying that my friends are shallow. I love them completely, but I love The Marine with the commitment to make it to the end.
- Agenda: Friendship does not have the right to an agenda. With my marriage, both The Marine and I have an agenda for ourselves and our marriage. We have shared goals and a strong sense of watching each other to make sure we remain true to the person we want to be in life. And, when we stray away from our potential or our self-esteem is low, each of us steps up to make sure that the other does not accept less from their self than is required because we know that means we give less to the other in return.
- Sexual Involvement: Sex changes everything…no matter what anyone says. Intimacy brings a new level of involvement to any relationship that surpasses the boundaries of friendship. Unless you are in a “friends with benefits” situation, the sexual trust that is built into a marriage or committed sexual relationship because of shared pleasures reveals a set of likes and dislikes that run deep into the basis of all life reactions.
- Partnership: With a marriage or committed relationship, decisions are (or should be!) based on what is best for two people. In a friendship, listening and guiding a friend is an important part of the basis of the friendship. Your voice, while part of the strength of the friendship, has to dim compared to what that person wants in their life. Because you are considering your own life and the expression of your person, the voice a partnership should be mutual and in unison.
I am not sure when the route to friendship entered into the course of marriage, but I wont give into the pressure to demote The Marine to being merely my friend. The position for best friend is filled by someone who is amazing in his own right, but there is only one place in my life for my husband….and that is not a crowded meeting. He is one person who can whisper words in my ear that are trusted beyond all others. ~~Dee