Are Friends The New Husbands?

We recently learned that women are outliving not only their husbands, but their bank accounts as well. As you climb the aging beanpole, longstanding friends can make a major difference in your life, perhaps even more so than your ol' husband. And, as it turns out, some friendships get better with age.

USA Today's Mary Brophy Marcus reports about a group of eight women who met in Burbank in the 1970s as NBC pages and remain fast friends. She also talks to Dr. Gail Saltz, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, who says:

"Humans are hard-wired to attach in a non-romantic way.… There are many women in this second half of life who don't necessarily have a partner, or who have a partner who isn't their everything. And you could even question if it's good for a partner to be their everything anyway."

The older I get, the more I thank the almighty goddess Philotes for my homies. Friends have gotten me through many a tragic circumstance, be it booze, blood, sweat or tears. So many rough times. But I am glad for all the good times. For generations of girls raised to believe a marriage equals a happy ending (seriously, every movie I saw for years ended with a kiss at a wedding), it's a good time to readjust expectations, and to remember that while husbands may come and go, friends stick around. Or maybe you already knew that, because you watched The Golden Girls.

For Women, Friendship Really Can Get Better With Age [USA Today]

Earlier: If You Think Things Suck Now, Just Wait ‘Til You're Old & Poor