This week’s Falling in Love on Fridays comes from one of my very best friends in the whole world (and the world wide web). Nikki started as my bubbly intern at the campus newspaper and quickly grew to become a treasured soul in my life: always reminding me to be positive, always giving me a dose of reality and always remaining one of the most thoughtful, generous people I’ve ever known. Though we haven’t lived in the same place in a long time, we stay connected each day via Gchat (I call her my Gchat BFF!). Her story is one that’s unique and so sweet — just like her. Check out her awesome blog, Mrs. Healthy Ever After for more great insight into her married life. It’s hard not to fall in love with this girl, I promise. (And if you want to submit your own falling in love story, read this!)
Loving on a Prayer
I remember thinking I was in love and when it all changed. I had been in a long relationship with my high school sweetheart who was a couple of years older than me. Everyone thought we were the one’s for each other and we were that “it” couple at church. On the outside, it seemed like I was living the dream. He even wanted to marry me. But when he said I had to marry him by my 19th birthday and on top of his porn addiction that led to me having the worst self esteem ever, I knew enough was enough.
It’s weird thinking how “first loves” or failed relationships truly play into your happy ever after. But they do. And no matter how bad the hurt is from one relationship, there really is hope for that knock-you-off-your-feet love story you’ve always wanted.
I was still dating my porn-addicted ex long distance when I met Addison. He had been out of school due to back surgery the first semester I started college and all his friends took me under their wing at the place where we both worked. Every chance they got, it seemed like they were saying that I had to meet Addison because we were so much alike. By alike, they meant super-sheltered, goody-two shoes Christian kid, so I didn’t think much of it. Until he finally walked into the game room I was working in, that is. Someone was making fun of me for being a virgin, as usual, and he just waltzed up and said, “Don’t feel bad. They make fun of me for that too.”
One night while we were watching MASH in his room, I turned to look at him during a funny moment and he just planted a kiss on me, completely catching me off guard. It was the most magnificent kiss that has ever happened to me. I asked him what that meant, because it really came out of no where and he said he just wanted to date casually. That was fine with me because I had just gotten out of a longterm relationship and figured it was time to do the “college thing” and date around. But we were inseparable and dating casually didn’t last long. What was really funny was that while I was still dating my ex, I had prayed to God to send me a man– any man– even if it was a “Joe-Schmo who couldn’t remember my birthday” as long as he wasn’t addicted to porn. Imagine my surprise when my first birthday together, he actually forgot to give me a birthday present. At first I was hurt and mad, but then I just had to laugh. Sometimes God has a sense of humor.
But the real defining moment when I first realized that I loved him and knew he was the one was something that still shocks most of my girlfriends when I tell them this story. I’m not proud of this, but dating a porn addicted really really messed with me on multiple fronts. Early on in our relationship, I took the opportunity to search through Addison’s computer for EVERYTHING. I wasn’t as fast as I thought because when he walked into the room, I just froze. First, it was the expected “What are you doing?” but then to my shock, he replied, “Here are my passwords to emails and Facebook. I have nothing to hide, so if it makes you feel better, go for it.”
I was blown away. After being in a relationship full of lies, and let-downs and entire feelings of inadequacies, I found a guy who was upfront with me about everything. And now, almost five years later, I am married to him and he still says its okay to go through his computer if I ever feel the need to snoop around.
Since then, we’ve been through a lot: long distance, death, failed plans and more. But you know, it always did turn out alright. It just goes to show you that even damaged goods like me, who was overly suspicious of computers after years of hurt, could still find the one who could be what she truly needed all along.