Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Best Friends Forever: The Implications and the Impact

Riva Pomerantz

Way back in kindergarten, we first discovered the concept of a best friend. As we grew, the definition shifted and changed, but the craving for companionship never diminished. How do married women define “best friend”? Does friendship harm or enhance their marriage? What’s the potential? What are the pitfalls? A fascinating exploration of friendship and its interplay with marriage.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Friendship is everywhere we look, an aromatic perfume that permeates every crevice of life with richness and meaning. There is friendship on that street corner, where two girls, heads together, whisper secrets. There is friendship in that playground where a group shares snacks and chats about an upcoming test. The women on the park bench are enveloped in the robust cloak of friendship as they compare babies’ feeding schedules and Shabbos menus. In the bungalow colony, at the supermarket, and in the retirement home, laughter rings out and sober confidences are acknowledged. No doubt about it: Friendship is irrevocably knitted into the very fabric of existence.

In early elementary school, friendship is pretty straightforward: we play, we fight, we make up, we save each other seats on the bus. As high school beckons, identities develop, homework and tests pile up, and fragile emotions become more brittle, friendship escalates to a different realm, becoming at once confusing and all-important. But even the challenging teenage years are no match for the new dimensions that marriage and child-raising bring to friendship. Now, even the best of friends are faced with a fresh interloper — a husband and, G-d willing, a family, potentially throwing the whole equation off balance.

How do busy wives and mothers manage close friendships? Do they invest time and energy into rearranging their schedules to accommodate friends, or do they opt, instead, to shelve deep friendships for a later date, when the nest is emptier? What are the payoffs at either end of the spectrum? In this journey to the center of female friendship, facilitated by women across the globe, the responses and approaches vary, but the consensus does not. Women of all ages and stages constantly ponder friendship, whether it’s a struggle or a salvation. And often the same friendship provides both. Simultaneously!


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you