I've been married for over twenty years. In that span of time I've been in a lot of different roles with my husband. I've been his lover, his teammate, the mother of his children, his sugar mama, his house cleaner, his cook, his disciplinarian, his confidant, his benefactor, his dumping ground, and his research partner.
I'm the one who's chosen each one of those roles—he didn't force them on me.
But the role I want to play the most is his best friend. I want to be the person he can trust the most, to be my most authentic, vulnerable, loving self, the most interesting to connect with. I don't want to absorb all of his messes—because I can't without becoming bitter. But I can walk beside him as he deals with his own injuries and consequences.
Being his best friend won't mean I will like him all the time. But it does mean I will always try again. I will believe the best and hope for the best. I will be honest with him and give him space (and responsibility) when he needs it. I will do my work so I can keep doing this work with him.
photo cred: me