Clint Edwards thought he had friends before he was married. Now, he knows he didn’t understand what friendship could really be.
As the dad — who blogs at No Idea What I’m Doing — wrote on Facebook, more than a decade of marriage had made his wife his best friend. Which should have made it easy to ask her if she felt the same way. But the question she offered in response was more difficult than he anticipated. Edwards wrote:
I asked Mel the other day if I was her best friend and she gave me a twisted, I’m confused by your question, face and said, “Well… yeah.” Her response made me feel like I was asking if water was wet.
“Why do you ask?” she said.
As Edwards explained, as a busy dad and husband, he’s come to the point in his life when he doesn’t have many friends to hang out with anymore. And when he does have the opportunity to hang out with friends, he’d rather spend time with his wife. But it has been a long road to get to this point.
Sharing a photo of himself and his wife on the first day of their honeymoon, he wrote:
Like most couples, however, we fought a lot for the first few years. There was a time, right after we had our first child, when we were both over worked and under slept that I thought for sure we’d separate. But once we worked through all that.
But the trials that can pull a couple apart helped strengthen their relationship — not just the marriage, but the friendship as well:
Once we moved to a couple different states together, earned a few degrees together, had a couple more children and bought a house and minivan together, gained weight together, went out of fashion together, and shared every element of everything together, that we learned how to really, and I mean really, be friends.
It took a decade of highs and lows for Edwards to learn that the friendships he had before he was married didn’t even touch on what friendship could really be. He wrote:
I had a best friend before marriage, but no friendship has compared to the one I share with my wife. In fact, I didn’t understand what REAL friendship was until I’d been married for 10 years.
Now married for about 14 years, Edwards knows how fulfilling it can be when your spouse is your best friend:
I can’t think of anyone I’d rather chat with about anything. I can’t think of anyone who better has my back, who I trust more, who listens better, who loves me more, than Mel.
It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.
Which left him trying to explain to his wife why he wanted to know if he was her best friend, too. Because even though he knew she would say, “yes,” he didn’t know how to explain why it was so important to him:
I didn’t know how to tell her all the above, so when she asked me “why,” I just shrugged and said, “I don’t know. You are my best friend, and I wanted to see if you felt the same. It’s silly.”
She leaned in and kissed me. “No. It’s not,” she said.
And then, like best friends do, they jointly agreed to watch TV together — even though Edwards doesn’t care for “The Great British Baking Show” and his wife doesn’t want to watch “Stranger Things.”
Because that’s the kind of thing that best friends do for one another … and the kind of compromise that defines a working marriage. Of course, there are limits, even for best friends. As Edwards concluded:
“We should get friendship bracelets,” I said.
Mel gave me a look that seemed to say, “Don’t push it.”