Can Your Wife Be Your Best Friend?

GC:  Athol you said “I’ve long thought of Jennifer as my best friend …. she is certainly the person I am closest to and we are friends, but I also sense in myself a slight pulling away from her as well…”

This is very discouraging to me. I want more sex/better sex to bring my husband and me and all married couples closer, but you’re saying that by following the MMSL principles you are pulling away from Jennifer, not drawing closer. I don’t see how that can be a good thing. I know that men and women are different and that wives in general want their husbands to be strong, but wives who are in it for the long haul also want to be close to their husbands in all ways, even if that means he’s vulnerable some of the time (vulnerable adult male, not whiny toddler – which wears badly on both sexes!) I know that the biological mechanisms of attraction are important, but we’re not just animals – we can make choices that favor our marriages, even when one spouse is going through a time that makes him or her less “attractive.”

Jennifer:  I reacted negatively to the phrase “slight pulling away”.

Athol: Well I also went on to say…

“I’m the Captain, thus I’m always a little more on duty than she is… or at least more on duty than I was before staring MMSL.   So I don’t think it’s the case that you can’t ever be friends. But it is the case that you can’t ever not be the Captain. Not forgetting that you can order her to take command of the ship while you’re either not available or are having some R&R. I’m pretty sure that on commercial aviation flights, the First Officer doesn’t nap the whole way while the Captain does everything. Balance people, balance.”

You have to remember that I’m a born and bred Care Bear. For the longest time it would have be unthinkable for me to try and do anything without being joined at the hip with Jennifer. Some of that came naturally in that we both like a lot of the same stuff, we both are introverts and we both like each other.

But once you say to yourself, “Okay I’m going to be the leader in this relationship. I’m going to be the one who is the most responsible for how it all plays out.” It starts becoming a little less buddy-buddy. Once you become the one that makes the final call on big decisions… knowing that she may or may not like them… that if you consistently screw up enough it eventually all ends in tears and drama… that takes some of the fluffy thinking away.

I think if you go too soft and cuddly, you end up killing some of the attraction. It all comes back to the thing where a woman is far more likely to fall in love with her boss at work, than with a co-worker… and there’s minimal chance she’ll fall for someone below her status at work. While you can be a considerate and good boss, you also have to hold your people to standards or they sorry start despising you, so ultimately you can’t be their BFF.

You also have to remember that men are constantly told to throw themselves into emotional bonding activity and expressions of devotion to their wives. The whole Blue Pill edifice that for the Low Alpha High Beta guys is the problem not the solution. If that all worked, there would be no need for MMSL at all. Guys have tried that until they have passed out from exhaustion of devotion while struggling with a never-ending hard-on.

A little distancing though, seems to do the trick. Don’t get me wrong though either, I do love Jennifer, more than just a little. If I lost her for whatever reason I would be devastated. We spend a lot of time together hanging out and talking. We do things for each other. When she’s not around for an extended time, I miss her… but I’m still the Captain. It’s just a balance thing.

Or coming at it from another angle, if you asked me who I thought Jennifer’s best friend was, I’d say it was her college roomate.

 Jennifer: Okay, my first instinct at that last sentence was to be insulted and upset that Athol doesn’t think he’s my best friend.  Then I thought about it for a moment and realized that he’s more than my “best friend”…I’m not sure there’s a word for it. 

Athol:  I think the word is “husband”.

The great concern I have is the sheer number of husbands who only come to relationship consciousness when it’s all finally too late to fix. After she’s already cheated. After she’s already checked out on him completely. After she’s visited the divorce lawyer. Beyond a few sociopathic women, wives don’t just walk away.

In the editing round, Jennifer and I had a back and forth about this for 15-20 minutes. The crossed wiring being her hearing “pulling away” as “not caring”. Me explaining that it’s in fact the opposite. It’s like how Jennifer is always somewhat “on duty” when our girls are around. She’s always got 10% of her processing power set to “Mommy”. Likewise I always have 10% of my processing power set to “Husband”. I’m always mindful of her and of our relationship.

You have to be emotionally engaged with her, but you cannot be emotionally enmeshed in her.

 

 

Comments

  1. Well said. And now for a little shameless blog whoring.

  2. I like the back and forth in this one.

    You guys should do it more often. It’s educational. (Insert pun here)

  3. The concept of friendship between genders is so simple yet seems so
    complex. In reality there are only a handful of options for intergender
    relationships. Women look at men in one of two ways. Either you are
    fodder for the bedroom or you are a friend. i.e. either you have, are or
    will be banging her or your just another friend of the non girl variety.

    If you are really and truly friends with your SO it won’t take long for your
    SO to start viewing you as just another “girl”friend who isn’t a girl. Once
    that starts happening the tingles start dying and the eyes start wandering
    towards more studly pastures.

    This means you can be friendly to your GF/wife, you just can’t be her friend.
    In order to keep “hand” in the relationship, to keep her looking up to you as
    a person worthy of giving herself to you have to maintain at least some alloofness.
    You have to keep some areas of personality separate so you are in at least some
    ways mysterious. As long as she thinks she doesn’t have you figured out 100%
    you interest her. As soon as she thinks she has you figured out 100% the interest
    starts to die. That is how they are wired.

    And the same can be said of your interactions with women who are not your GF/Wife.
    You CANNOT have a female friend who is “just a friend” unless she is gay, buttass dog ugly
    or has some other massive disqualifier that will make it obvious that sexual intentions simply
    are not possible. You can have female acquaintances, female associates, female co workers
    that you interact with regularly in a friendly fashion….but they ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS.

    That’s life because that’s how we are wired as two different genders.

  4. Friendship between sexes and the general idea about turning every relationship into friendship is some postmodern degrading form of thought. All the ideas that sound somewhat like: husband and wife should be best friends, parents should be like friends to children, you should be friends before becoming lovers, teachers should be friends to pupils et cetera are terrible, wrong and misguided.

    Friends are friends, but husbands are husbands, wifes are wifes, parents are parents, children are children, lovers are lovers and none of them are friends.

    Friendship by definition is positive relationship with a person who is not related by blood or by intercourse and who is around the same social status as you. if there are differences is social status, sex or if you are sleeping with this person or you are relatives, then you are not friends but something else.

    People who mix friendship into everything lose insight into what is friendship as well as insight into what is other types of relationship. They become confused, frustrated people. Pain and loss awaits them.

  5. “Beyond a few sociopathic women, wives don’t just walk away.”

    This. I sometimes think that a lot of Manosphere guys don’t get it. They’re fine with saying it about men to women. But they seem blind about it when it comes to their own relationships. It’s like dealing with feminists.

    As to the friendship thing, I don’t like the idea of being best friends with my husband. He has his best friend (my older brother, incidentally). I have mine. It’s like Jen says, it seems like a petty, asexual way to decsribe my relationship with the love of my life.

  6. @Solomon: Well said sir.

  7. I have one close female co-worker ‘friend’ right now. She is very attractive – one of the most attractive women I’ve known – but I don’t let that get in the way. I CAN decide not to think of her that way. There are a million roadblocks in the way to pursuing her that way: 1) we work together, 2) I’m married, 3) she’s in a very committed relationship, and 4) I can tell she wouldn’t think of me that way. This barriers make it easier to be work friends though. I just simply don’t go there in my mind. I don’t talk about troubles in my marriage, I don’t disparage her boyfriend, I don’t compliment her or bring up sexual topics, etc… Basically, I’m very conscious not to become THAT guy. That creepy married guy with ulterior motives. The red pill has helped me stop being that nice guy with ulterior motives and as a result this really does feel like a genuine friendship.

    However, everybody is right, it’s not like a real friendship. There are a lot of limits on what we can do. Sure, we can hang out at work a lot and talk about frivolous topics, but we can’t get into too much detail on our relationships. My relationship has issues obviously and so does hers I’m sure, but we don’t really go there unless it’s positive. To start talking about the areas we are unhappy would cross an emotional boundary that neither of us will. We also don’t hang out outside of work hours. That would just be awkward and again cross some boundary. That would be disrespectful to both my wife and her boyfriend, even though we don’t have intentions to be unfaithful. We don’t communicate at all outside of work actually unless it has to do with work. So, it’s a working relationship and I enjoy her company very much, but there are so many boundaries up that it can’t be a real friendship. We’ll never share anything deep or be there for each other. This is the closest I’ll ever really have to a friendship with a woman and you can see that it isn’t really that close.

  8. This is really depressing to me right now. I guess it hits a nerve.

    I understand it, but… I guess I’m having the same hang up as Jennifer with the wording. And I kind of feel pulled-away from a little, and didn’t realize that’s what it was before seeing it here. He seems sort of detached in a way. Ugh. I don’t know if I like this as a new normal. I guess this is my Cypher moment.

  9. Here is the main issue with being friends of the opposite gender. Assume for a moment I’m single and I know a single woman, and maybe I’m attracted to her, but there just isn’t anything there in terms of romance. She’s not interested in me, but I decide it’s worth it to be friends because we really get along well. I decide to put away those thoughts of pursuing her and make a real effort to simply be friends. Without the barriers we are free to actually be friends and hang out and have deeper conversations. I could actually see that happening and would be fine in that type of friendship. It wouldn’t be the same as a friendship with a guy, but I could be friends with a woman that way. That’s all well and good, but even that only works really as long as we are both single. As soon as one of us gets in a relationship, the barriers go back up and now we really are no longer friends. Hanging out too much is now awkward and disrespectful to the boyfriend/girflriend and so our friendship would become more of an acquaintance. So, even if a real friendship can happen theoretically, it would never last very long.

  10. If doesn’t pull away a little, he can’t move back in closer later on.

    Just like in dancing, the continuous changing of distance brings about tension and excitement, and plus you are constantly seeing each other from new angles.

  11. I think this is a hard thing to hear for women because we’re all about building networks and loyalties and closeness… to hear that the one who is closest to us isn’t our “BFF” is a little weird. But that’s because we’ve lost the notion that our husbands are our closest family members, and that friendship does not supercede family. So, being that we eat a lot of blue pill nonsense, we absorb the idea that one’s BFF is more loyal than one’s husband. Look at it straight on and it’s shown as a mirage, let it exist in the mists of good intention and it will bite you in the rear.

    My husband is really Alpha, and we’re very different people… so folks are constantly looking at us and wondering how we have enough common interests to be married at all. I do like him (in addition to loving him) but the element of sexuality and the ultimate nature of our relationship never goes away. I don’t think he has to think about that. I don’t have to think about that. It is what it is.

    Dunno. But I do think that women fear a loss of loyalty and we do have a high need for trust – and we’ve been told that those things come from friends, so that may be where the “meep” reactions are coming from.

  12. Hearthrose – “But that’s because we’ve lost the notion that our husbands are our closest family members, and that friendship does not supercede family. ”

    Thank you! This was the missing piece I couldn’t find myself thanks to a lifetime of Blue Pill thinking. My concern was IF my wife is not my friend, what exactly IS she other than my wife? Yes, I know “wife” is a VERY important role, but because of my old ways of thinking “wife” was simply a title applied to the woman I was friends with that I married. I can clearly see why this thinking is flawed, but it left me wonder exactly what a “wife” is then. And you have provided that answer – she is my family.

    Such a simple concept completely lost to me for most of my life. Truly, thank you.

  13. This is one reason why the red pill is so bitter. I’ve lost a close friend, in a sense. I do care bear very well, too. I feel very lonely at times because of this. However, I’d rather an intact marriage with my wife than a broken marriage with a friend, if those are my only options. Like all compromise, it doesn’t feel very good going down.

  14. 2manypasswords says:

    I think it’s partly a generational thing. If I’d asked my late grandmother whether Grandpa was her best friend, she would have looked at me like I was from Mars. Sure, they loved each other, but their generation just didn’t view the opposite sex that way. I don’t believe the spouse = best friend notion got any traction until Generation X reached adulthood. As for me, I did view my wife as my best friend at one time, but not anymore. Friends don’t consult with divorce attorneys to end friendships.

  15. Thanks for the additional explanation. I have to admit that I was just a tiny bit happy to see that Jennifer reacted negatively to the phrase “slight pulling away” – lol. Your explanation makes sense to me, especially in the context of talking to husbands who have been Beta to a fault throughout their marriages.

  16. “Best Friend” is a downgrade from “husband/wife”. Each label comes with certain roles, responsibilities, limitations and benefits, but in general, friendship does not come with anywhere near the same level of intimacy. So ladies, when your husband says he doesn’t want to be your best friend don’t take offense. He values your relationship so much more than that.

  17. Reminds me a little of “Ender’s Game.” There was a part where Ender became a commander and he realized, that no matter how much he liked the people in his squad and no matter how much he wanted to be friends with them, the friendship itself made him a less effective leader. Being a more effective leader was more important than his loneliness. Being an effective husband and dad can be like this too; and that’s probably why being a man can be a lonely proposition at times.

  18. Having grown up in a military/federal agent family, this makes perfect sense to me. The trade off for a man creating that necessary bit of distance is the admiration and respect he gets in return. Girls, this is why the 007 spy tough guy is so hot. That aura of not knowing exactly what he’s capable of, or every little thing he is thinking and feeling, or why he is doing a thing, keeps your interest. Just like Athol said the other day about a girl’s physical issues. A guy doesn’t want to know everything about what she does in there with the door shut. She has girlfriends to discuss razor burn with. He just wants to see the sexy thing that walks out of that bathroom an hour later.

    And I agree with Jen–”friend” is too easy a position to fill. My husband is more than that to me, and I like the mystery.

  19. I won’t go into all the evolutionary reasons why men and women are the way they are today, but in modern times things have been flipped around and it actually confuses the situation. Women keep trying to get their man to be a girlfriend with a penis and men want a buddy with breasts! It’s a simple as that and trying to be your spouses “best” friend is a recipe for long term disaster… We are hardwired for men to lead in the relationship, Sure you are going to be a friend with your wife, but not the type of friend that she can be with her girlfriends. Men also need guy friends to talk to about things they wouldn’t even share with their wives. Take it from me! My wife really pushed me to make more guy friends and when I didn’t it caused problems, but now that I hang out more with my guy friends whenever I get a chance, it really turns her on!

  20. But once you say to yourself, “Okay I’m going to be the leader in this relationship. I’m going to be the one who is the most responsible for how it all plays out.” It starts becoming a little less buddy-buddy. Once you become the one that makes the final call on big decisions… that takes some of the fluffy thinking away.”

    For all the men who have independent/strong willed/ alpha type/decision making women in their lives really hear what Athol said and know that it applies to you and your relationship. The distance is necessary to lead properly regardless of the gender of the leader. If she takes the majority of decisions and leadership then it’s there. And I don’t mean to speak for every woman/relationship, but it’s certainly true in mine and I know I’m not the only one.

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  2. [...] at MMSL blog there was a recent post called “Can your wife be your best friend?”. I’ll answer that question simply… No you should not make your wife your best friend. [...]

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