Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Best Friend

My 4 year old daughter is doing this super cute thing right now where she asks me "Daddy? Will you be my best friend?"

Like I said, it's super cute, but it hits on something that is a pet peeve of mine, which is:

You are not your child's friend. You are their parent. Stop trying to be their friend!

So I generally answer as such:

"I'm already your Daddy, sweetheart,  and that's so much better than even a best friend."

I know, I could just say yes, but I'm of the opinion that these things matter.

They matter enough that I hate it when someone refers to their significant other as "their best friend."

Mrs. Goober is not my friend. She's my wife. Making her my "friend" would not only be a significant downgrade in out relationship,  it would assume things between us that do not exist.

I have friends. I drink with them, hunt and fish with them, am crude around them, tell dirty jokes and lies...

Things you don't do with a wife that you respect.

6 comments:

  1. On the other hand...

    I was a bartender for many years. I saw and dealt with the miserable wretches who came into the bar to see their "friends" and seek company elsewhere than their families because they didn't have a spouse/significant other that they even liked, let alone loved.

    I totally understand what you are saying about a wife being much more than a best friend, but I also see what someone is saying when they say that they are married to their best friend. Their spouse is the person they like the most, they want to go drink with, they want to hang out with, they would rather spend time with than anyone else. This person is someone they've committed their life to, but they also like to do things with this person. It isn't merely because of formality or social convention. They truly enjoy being with this person, like someone enjoys hanging out with their friends. There's more to the relationship than that, but on a human-connection level, they are friends as well.

    Honestly, I view that as a healthier relationship model than most I've seen amongst my generation. I've seen too many marriages where the husband and wife hate each other, or viscerally dislike each other, hate each other's family and are generally miserable. And they seem to think everyone else should be too.

    I love my wife. I even love my in-laws. I would rather hang out with my wife than do most things. We enjoy movies together, shooting, window shopping, taking walks and lots of other things. I know married couples that couldn't spend five minutes together before they're arguing about something and it turns nasty. They not only don't love each other, they aren't friendly towards each other.

    All in all, I think of the line of friend/best friend blurring into loved one/spouse is not just a matter of how much you enjoy their company, but how much you respect them. If you respect them enough, they are more than just your best friend, they become your spouse--they become family.


    Also, I couldn't agree more about the parent-child relationship. You are there to be the father, not the best friend or any other kind of friend. Trust me when I say that in the end, it'll be so much better for you and them when they finally see that. I was in my mid twenties when I figured it out, and I made a point of thanking my dad for being my dad, not my friend.

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  2. It is really important to highlight what you have shared here - thank you for bringing this to my attention and all the best for the future. Too many of us confuse friendship and family roles - they ARE different.

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