My husband and I have many things in common, but certainly not everything.*
It’s the same way with most of my friends, and yes, he’s one of them – en fait, he’s my best friend. We believe that being each other’s best friend is not only possible, for us it’s pretty much imperative. Despite our “Mars/Venus” natures, we talk to each other, listen to each other and do things together.
And – we laugh with each other. Just like friends do.
Being each other’s best friend doesn’t mean we each don’t have other close friends. It also doesn’t mean we always communicate well, or that we always treat each other the way
friends we should.
But we do keep trying.
Way back before we knew what we were getting into, we became friends (I kept telling him, “We’re just friends,” but luckily he didn’t take me seriously.) It was the 1970s, and a popular song was “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by the group WAR. We’ve sung the chorus to each other many times since then:Why can’t WE be friends? Why can’t WE be friends? Why can’t WE be friends? Why can’t WE – EE be friends?
And we laugh when we do.
We became more than friends, but friendship is still a solid basis for our relationship. We like to hang out with each other. We encourage each other’s interests, whether we share them or not. Yes, we sometimes take each other for granted, criticize and even hurt one another – but we always forgive. We count on each other, and together we’ve faced more than one crisis.
What about other friends? And other family? Friends are people I met, got to know, and with whom I somehow connected – we accepted each other as friends. We talk, we listen, we do things, and we laugh. We don’t criticize, we don’t boss each other around, and we don’t (normally) offer unsolicited advice.
Family members (besides mon mari) can be, well, not exactly like friends. Yes, we met and got to know each other, but we may not have connected as friends. Because we’re related, we’re sometimes together. Hopefully, we accept each other, talk and listen to each other, and maybe we share some laughs. We probably interrupt each other more than friends do, though. Ideally, we don’t criticize or tell each other what to do.
But when things aren’t exactly ideal, I often wonder why we can’t be friends. Why we can’t just treat each other the way friends do.
The answer is, we could if we wanted to – it would be much more fun than WAR.
* Another one of our oft-repeated song lines is from Bob Dylan: “We like the same things. We wear the same clothes.” Well, we don’t anymore…