When you read on Facebook or twitter the sugary sweet posts about being married to your best friend you probably have one of two responses. You either share in that warm cuddly feeling and then immediately repost the sentiment or you throw up in your throat just a little. I'm the second one. I'm not married to my best friend. My best friends are female and they are experts at being my best friends. They have known me 4 times longer than he has. They are wired to want to talk to me and outstanding at listening. They are better at reading my mind (and my blog) than he may ever be. They are fun and relaxing to go on vacation with and are always my first choice if I need to have a good cry. We have experienced more milestones, seasons, stages, phases and changes together than he and I have had time for. They know how to deal with me. They get me. But they've had decades of practice. And they are women!
As a therapist I see many marriages falling apart because women are saying, "He should know what I need, If he loved me it wouldn't be this hard, I'm tired of telling him what I need, He's not my best friend." The truth is he shouldn't know what we need instinctively. We don't always even know what we need. And no matter how tired we are of telling him what we need, telling him is the most guaranteed way that he will know! And just because he doesn't measure up to our best friend doesn't mean we aren't loved. We are destroying our marriages and our men expecting them to have crystal balls, a female desire to befriend us and an accurate assessment of our ever changing needs. We assume that if our marriages take work then I must not be in the right marriage. Which is a lot like saying that I must be in the wrong career if my job ever feels laborious. Or I must have had the wrong kids if they are ever difficult to deal with. Good marriages are work and we are doing ourselves a disservice to compare our work in progress to somebody else's perceived finished product or Facebook post.