My wife is my best friend. Am I an idiot or what?
I do realize how wonderfully romantic it might sound to say, “My wife/husband/partner is also my best friend,” but really it’s a very bad idea.
Recently, my wife spent two weeks with her sister and then shortly afterward left for four days to take a shoe-making class. All I had for company was a not-too-intelligent cat. I had no best friend to kill time with. Nobody I could call to go bowling, or hiking, or to get tacos, or to play Pandemic. This is just one reason you never want your best friend to be your better half.
Suppose you want to go out to a restaurant. Ordinarily if you go out to eat with a friend and suggest Dutch Treat, your etiquette is impeccable. But if you’re with your wife and when the check comes you start figuring out, “Let’s see: you had the two glasses of wine and you ate, I’d say, about ⅔ of the appetizers . . . ,” everybody looks at you like you’re a cheap bastard.
And another thing: Imagine having to admit to people, “I’ve been sleeping with my best friend. For years.” You wouldn’t even be able to say, “We didn’t plan it; it just happened.” No you’d have to admit, “We planned to sleep together—from the very start.”
All kinds of absurd predicaments can arise. If my wife ever throws me out of the house, right after the door slams I’ll be in the weird position of having to turn around to knock on the door, and when she opens it (if I’m lucky), I’ll have to say, “Carolyn just threw me out. Can I sleep on your couch until she takes me back?”
And if she contemplates divorcing me, what then? She’s the one I’ll have to call up for comfort and advice. She’ll have to listen for hours as I paddle around in a pool of self-pity because, as my best friend, that’s what she signed up for. Do you think that when I complain about my wife, I can count on her to tell me, “I never liked her” or “You’re too good for her anyway”? If she refuses to listen, if she blows me off, then she’ll be in breach of the best-friend contract, and it’ll all be over.
Think about how desperate your situation will be if your wife is divorcing you and your best friend simultaneously dumps you. You’ll be so needy you’ll be like a mangy, listless, ill-tempered tomcat that’s been returned to the shelter. How easy do you think it’s going to be to get adopted when your file reads, “Eats too much, sheds badly, yowls all night, and as for the litter box, he misses about half the time. Honestly, I think he’s trying to miss. And he expects me to clean up after him.”
I hope I’ve made my point, but in case I haven’t, I’m going to ask my wife to critique this, and in case she’s afraid to be totally honest, I’m then going to ask for feedback from my very best friend.