So, my first objection to the "husband as best friend" language arises because of the attitude this shows toward what it means to be a husband. By assuming (as it does) that a husband is somehow less than a friend, rather than being much more, it degrades the importance of the marriage commitment. 

My second objection is similar, the "my husband is my best friend" idea (or that he "ought to be") is also an error because it creates confusion for the husband, who is trying to be what he really ought to be - a good husband. If he goes to church (or reads and studies) on marriage, he will find lots about being a husband. He will learn about supporting his wife financially, about supporting his wife emotionally, about leading his wife spiritually, about praying for her and listening to her and caring for her. He will focus (we hope) on doing all the "husband" things he has been told are God's will for his life. He wants to be an excellent husband.

Then, suddenly, he is confronted with a new demand -- that he be "your friend." More than that, he is supposed to be your "best friend." What does this mean? He will sit down one night with his wife and be confronted by a woman who feels he has "let her down" by not being her "friend." He has no idea what this means, just as no one else really knows. I can tell a man what it means to be an excellent husband, because God tells me in scripture, but what does being a "best friend" mean? God certainly never tells us.

Well, to hear women tell the story, it means listening to problems without trying to fix them. It means listening to your wife "vent" about things that you are then supposed to forget about. She will tell you about how much she hates her boss, but you are not allowed to tell the boss or do anything about it. She will tell you, just before bedtime, about some particular problem and then go right to sleep, leaving you to a wakeful night of worry.

But, a husband is supposed to do things, to fix the things that are troubling his family. A husband's natural tendency is to protect his wife, but as a "friend" he is supposed to just listen. As a husband, he wants her to be happy, but as a "friend" he is supposed to listen to her unhappiness without taking any action. He is supposed to listen whenever she wants to talk (as a friend) and without judgment, but, as a husband, he has other responsibilities and must always be judging. 

If she is wrong, then a friend will not tell her, but a husband will. If there is a spiritual error in her reasoning, a friend may not tell her, but a husband will. If she is angry with someone without cause, who is supposed to tell her? Her friend or her husband? If she is unfairly judging someone else, is he supposed to tell her? Or let her go on in error? 

A husband is a man, after all, and (we hope) a spiritually minded man. He wants his wife to grow spiritually. He wants her to understand the truths of God and the truths of people around her. But if he tries to explain to her exactly why her boss took a particular action (if he acts like a husband) he will be accused of not being a friend. If he tries to inject "love thy neighbor" into her revelation of anger over a neighbor's dog running loose, he will be accused of not being "supportive." 

He is your husband. To expect him to take off his husband hat and put on a "best friend" hat is an error. He is a husband. His nature, his heart, his scriptures, and his God all command him to be a good husband. How can you ask him to be less?

It has always been true that married women had friends, girlfriends, with whom they could do all the "friend" things they want to do. They can talk and laugh and cry and sip tea and converse about everything in their lives. Then, they go home to their husbands. There, as husband and wife, they relate on a level utterly unknown to best friends. A great husband is so much more than a "best friend." 

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