Best Friend - Married For Over 9 Years
I went through high school in three years, desperate to escape my parents’ abusive household that much faster.
The shock of my first taste of freedom blinded me to a harsh truth, though – you cannot just break the chains around you, you have to break the chains inside you. Assigned a freshman year roommate who turned out to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I’d ended up dating...or at the least, I thought I was - an old friend of hers.
He was emotionally manipulative and a cheater, a flavor of abuse just different enough from the direct psychological abuse that I was used to, that I did not recognize it for what it was, for far too long. It was while crawling away from that experience, stripped of the last of my illusions, that I met my Best Friend.
I had lost 30 pounds (bringing me to a rather unhealthy 80-some pounds, as a college sophomore of average height), gotten ulcers, and aggravated my heart condition enough that I needed daily medication. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I had no particular care for life either. I can say, quite literally, that he saved me.
Our first conversation after the time we met lasted for over ten hours straight. It started off with discussing a book we both liked, and ended with us having no secrets from each other, and falling asleep crying in each others’ arms. That someone would be so honest with me and that someone cared so much about my own truth, meant the world to me.
I found out much later that he had fallen in love with me that night, as we cried for ourselves and for each other. And yet, although I was perfectly primed to have all the love I could believe in turned to him, he did not make a move for over a year.
He wanted to make sure that he helped me regain my sense of my worth and my wants, first, so I could make the best choice for me, not for what he hoped to have with me. He wanted to first have a clean and complete break from the girlfriend he had already had, so that there would be no echoes of the experience I just came out of, during our courtship. He wanted to accompany me "home" on a school break, to prove to himself and to me that he would be undaunted by my parents in the defense of me. He wanted, above and beyond any romantic notions in our relationship, to be the Friend I needed.
We have now been together for over 13 years, married for over 9 of them, and parents for over 5. He is still my Best Friend.