Recently R.C. Sproul Jr. linked to an article by “Joffre the Giant” entitled “4 Things I don’t want to hear about your wife”
While the majority of the article was really very good, he led with quite a stinker: 1. Don’t tell me your wife is your best friend.
He says: “Wives are young men’s mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men’s nurses. Best friends aren’t those things, wives are.”
But in fact, some best friends are those things, because some best friends are ALSO spouses. Friendship does not define the spousal relationship in its entirety (it couldn’t possibly and I doubt any but a very misguided few think it could), but it is a description of a particular aspect of a particular relationship, and it is worth expressing for just that reason. It may not apply in all cases Continue Reading.
Joffre’s wife is not his best friend (apparently). My wife is beyond any shadow of a doubt my best friend. So it holds semantic content for me to say “My wife is my best friend.” It tells you something positive about my relationship, something that is unique about my particular relationship, and it is not merely a synonym for she is my wife. Nor is it merely a comment on how well she does her job as Joffre’s proposed accolades (“How about you say that your wife is a great wife, best wife in town, most skilled mother in the county.”) are. It has both a qualitative and quantitative component. It adds to the total sum of the relationship and has some affect on the nature of the relationship–and there is nothing wrong with that.
If my wife was only or merely my best friend, then perhaps there might be something worth criticizing, but I doubt that anyone who tells you “My wife is my best friend” is in anyway limiting the relationship to “besties” or “BFFs” (gag me with a spoon). There is certainly an element in popular culture which sees marriage as a “temporary” relationship which can be based on convenience. These are the folks who are just as likely to introduce you to their “significant other” as to the “wife” or “husband” because they see no real change in the relationship between pre-marital co-habitation and marriage, between casual consensual sex between “friends with benefits” and sex within the bounds of marriage. Such as these may indeed be denigrating the marriage relationship when they speak of it, but I think such are arguably less likely to describe their “S.O.” as their best friend.
As for me, my wife is my strong support, my wise counselor, my cherished lover, my submissive follower, my children’s mother, my co-follower of Jesus, my life-long partner, and yes, my very best friend.