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An Open Letter to the Man Marrying My Best Friend

She and I have been through so much together. We grew up together… I mean, shoot, we’re still growing up together. But now it’s time for a whole bunch of us to let her go – family, friends, ex-boyfriends, pining boys who never got a shot. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t still be around to have her back when she needs us (maybe not those troublesome boys), but from now on you’ll be the one she goes to first. You’ll be the one she calls in tears when she’s had a bad day. You’ll be the one she talks about the future with. You’ll be the one she looks to for adventures when she’s feeling stir crazy. You’ll be the one she depends on for comfort and support. And, from here on out, you’ll be the one she calls her best friend. And as emotional as it makes me to think about these things, I know that you’ll do right by my best friend. But please keep a few things in mind while you go through life lucky enough to be married to the most loyal, kind-hearted, hilarious (weird) and adventurous best friend I’ve ever known.

Never forget that she looked for you for a long time. She’s been through boyfriends – some serious and some not. She’s been through dating, fights and tears over forgotten kisses, and then some not so forgettable kisses. She’s been through shattered promises and broken hearts, hope lost and found again. And after all that, she picked you. She said yes to you. So, please know that she has a past – a past that, while full of young, beautiful, starry-eyed love and pain, was a time she spent preparing to love you, and to commit to you. And you are so lucky that she went through so much before finding you because all of the heartache and hopefulness she’s gone through are just more reasons for me to feel confident that she means it when she points to you and says, “Yeah, you’re the one I’ve been waiting for. You’re the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.” So, treat her right, and never stop wanting her to be yours.

Take care of her. She’s the most selfless person I know. She’d do anything for her family, and she’d do anything for her friends. So it goes without saying that she’d do more than anything for you. Remember that when she’s having a hard time with something because there will be times when she needs you. And for whatever reason, it may be hard sometimes to be there for her – maybe work seems more important, or you two were just in a fight – but she wouldn’t put anything before you and your well-being, so please do the same for her, even when it’s hard to see past your own feelings and priorities in the moment.

There’s more to her than making you happy, so don’t let her lose her identity. She’s marrying you young. She’s, as people say, giving up some of her “prime single years” to be your devoted wife. And that’s amazing. You two will grow to be closer than so many other couples that marry later on. But please don’t let her forget that she’s more than your wife. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of marriage and its everlasting bond. But she’s still her own person, and she’s still a young woman. She still has room to dream like every other twenty-year-old, and I’d hate to see that limited. I know you had those same dreams years ago – maybe not quite the same, but dreams nonetheless. You might need to satisfy an itch here and there. You might need to make time to backpack through Europe, or put up with her changing majors a million times to figure out where her passions lie. Being your wife will always be a major part of who she is. But don’t let her lose herself in marriage. Don’t let her become complacent and give up on her dreams that go beyond loving you.

Support her no matter what, even if you have to sacrifice things, because I know that’s what she’d do for you. You might want to invest in a house before she thinks the two of you should. Consider waiting. You might want kids before she feels she’s ready. Don’t pressure her. Be patient and understand that fulfilling some of those dreams she has might entail putting off some of yours and compromising here and there.  

Oh, and I almost forgot: spoil her! She deserves it.

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