I Didn’t Marry My Best Friend.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Yesterday, my wife Kristin and I, celebrated 14 years of marriage. Lots of people gave us "Happy Anniversary" wishes and left comments on our Facebook pages. Between the 2 of us I think we even amassed nearly 200 likes on each of our status updates combined.

But yesterday wasn’t a very good day. We were both busy. I was helping out at a week of Jr. High camp and she was busy tending to our children. We were both a little stressed too. I had budget stuff to complete and she had phone calls to return. We even got a little irritated with one another and snapped at each other a few times throughout the course of the day. We collapsed into bed around midnight last night (or this morning, depending on how you see it) and, within minutes, were both sound asleep. So much for a blissful, romantic number 14, eh?

Today, as I spent some time thinking about yesterday, and how crazy it is that 14 years have gone by that fast, I had the thought- I didn’t marry my best friend 14 years ago. And, we weren’t deeply, blissfully in love on that special day either.

Wow! That may have caught you by surprise.

How about another one? Okay, here goes- I’m not a believer in love at first sight. And I don’t get too warm and fuzzy when I see Facebook statuses on people’s anniversaries that say something to the effect of, “So and so many years ago I married my best friend, the love of my life, the rock on which I stand, the wind beneath my wings (this is sounding like a Bette Midler song) and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!”


I’m not being cynical, I’m being honest with you- 14 years ago, I did not marry my best friend and when we first met it was NOT love at first sight. Not even close.

Today, 14 years (actually 15 years, if you count dating) later, I AM married to my best friend. Back then, I wasn’t. Today, I DO have a deep love and respect for this woman I’ve spent all these years with. Back then, I did not. Why? you ask: Because I didn’t really know her 14 years ago. On our wedding day, we had only known each other for a total of 16 months. That’s not very long…at all!

We didn’t experience love at first sight. Because it doesn’t exist. Now, we experienced infatuation at first sight, but not love. That does exist. We checked each other out when we first met. We circled one another like cobras ready to strike. We gave the classic look up and down of one another to survey the goods. Doesn’t every red-blooded human being when they first meet and there’s attraction?

Here’s why I say all of this (because some of you are ready to unsubscribe from this blog due to my lunacy!):

I say this because love is a process. It’s a journey. It’s something that grows over time and through many trials and commitment. Friendship is the same. It’s not instantaneous, nor does it reach its full depth in just a few months or even after a year. Love is not a destination to be reached, it’s a journey to go on and give yourself fully to, through good times or bad. After 14 years, many many fights, lots of mountain-top experiences, some extremely tough and gut-wrenching trials, and blissful moments, I can say, I love my wife more than I ever have before. And I can honestly say that she’s become my very best friend.

Not because we’re both all jacked up on hormones or attraction for one another. Not because she looks drop-dead sexy in a summer dress. Not because she whispers sweet-nothings in my ear (what does that even mean? Why would anyone want someone to whisper nothing in their ear? Seems like a waste of whispers to me. If you’re going to whisper something in my ear, make sure it’s something awesome like, “I just won the lottery and I’m giving you 90% of my winnings,” Or, “Bono wants you to lay down a sweet riff on the guitar for their next album!”)

Sorry, I digress. (I can assure you, though, all of the above mentioned does happen) :-).

Here’s the thing: I love her more than anything because she has stood by me through some very tough times. She’s my best friend today, because we’ve spent a lifetime with each other. And, because we can both get crazy-mad at each other, throw things across the room, say things under our breath, storm off and vent, but return to the house we own, forgive one another, and stay married. We have sacrificed for one another, we have cried and prayed for one another, and we have believed in one another through thick and thin.

Love grows over time. Friendship builds through years of doing life together. Neither can reach their full depth if void of strong commitment and devotion. And, neither happens in a few months or even a few years time.

How do you define love and friendship in the context of marriage? What has been your personal experience?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.