Four years ago I told an old friend of mine that if he ever developed feelings for me beyond friendship, he should just keep them to himself. I was determined to not be responsible for another broken heart. I needed a companion – someone to vent to that had meaningful feedback to offer. As much as I loved my girlfriends, they were all pretty busy being married and having babies and not having a clue about what it must be like to be divorced and childless in your mid-twenties. They had mommy brain. I needed a philosophical, logical, intelligent brain to keep me together.
It didn’t hurt that he could write. Actually, I’m fairly certain his verbal abilities were one of the first things that laid a foundation of legitimacy in our relationship. It was a subtle confirmation that he valued his education and paid attention in school; at the very least, it meant that he was well-read enough to pick up on things. “We could be pen-pals,” I smiled to myself. “At least I won’t feel like I need to grade his paper every time he writes me an email.”
Then the entourage came out of the woodwork. I was newly single and my status hit the market before I was prepared to handle it. I was brutal. [See above command to keep all feelings at bay.] And I was fragile. I was still processing the layers of my grief-laden divorce, and I could never quite predict when something might trigger a ragged insecurity, or a love-filled memory. I remember going to my old, faithful friend during times that I couldn’t make any sense out of my emotions or my actions. Somehow he would weave an explanation of logic around them, and I would feel a little less like I was losing my mind.
Our conversations became more frequent, and I started informally dating a few of the guys I met. One of them proposed, ring-in-hand, six days after our first date. In a fog on unbelief, I said yes. I was still a mess. Over the course of several months, I tried and failed to fit my fiance and I together. I moved out, and all the while my old friend was still emailing and messaging me while I tried to figure everything out.
A few months later my old friend recorded a song – a cover – he was working on, and he emailed it to me. My heart skipped a beat, and I wondered at that. His voice was ragged, but it soothed a longing I didn’t know was there. Music. It’s so much a part of me, and I’ve pushed it away so much as a result of circumstance and manipulation and hurtfulness; I didn’t know how much I needed it, but He did.
Within two months, I found myself walking through the airport with my hand in his, smiling like a fool. How could I have written him off? When I realized my respect for him rivaled any I held for another human being, I knew I had found my match. My respect blossomed into a deeply-rooted love, which gave way to a mutual affection unlike any I’ve ever known; passion stole it’s way into my heart. Six months later we were married on the beach where he proposed.
And that is how my best friend wifed me. He didn’t push. With an easy confidence, he strolled into my life and was everything I needed, even more than what I wanted, and exactly what was meant to be. Three years later now, I love him better than ever.