When he was battling depression, "she brought a lot of love, you know, so those were very healing things over a long period of time," he said.
Each and every single time they went up on stage, they created electricity and excitement together, blowing away the audience with the chemistry they had as performers. But for Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, they didn't really need to "perform". They just gave in to the sparks they felt with each other and that's what created all the magic between them. Even though they felt the strong connection, especially while performing on stage, they couldn't really give in to their feelings so easily.
The two of them grew up just 20 miles apart and met at a bar in New Jersey where local musicians perform, much before Springsteen became a breakout success, as reported by the Daily Mail. They remained great friends and would often bump into each other during their local performances, long before they found fame and glory.
“It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship... I would go down every Sunday and sing, and sometimes he would be there," Patti Scialfa recalled, according to New Jersey Monthly. "He knew I lived in New York and that I didn’t have a car, so he would offer to drop me off at my mom’s [in Deal]. Sometimes we would go out to the Ink Well in West End and have a hamburger and the chocolate milk with the whipped cream on top.”
Bruce Springsteen had once even tried to discourage her from getting into a life on the road while she was in high school. “I even spoke on the phone to a high school-age Patti Scialfa,” he wrote in his autobiography, Born to Run, according to Simplemost. “Dispensing the fatherly advice that this was a traveling gig and it’d be best for a young lady to stay in school.”
However, fate had something else in store for them and when she auditioned to be a backup singer for his Born In the U.S.A tour, she became the E Street Band's only female band member in 1984, according to Country Living. While their fans never missed their connection on-stage, they still weren't in a relationship.
The rockstar was never the "commitment" type of guy. Most of his relationships didn't lasts for more than two or three years, and after his marriage to Julianne Phillips, he would often experience anxiety attacks, according to The Vintage News. "It was tough. I didn’t really know how to be a husband," he told Rolling Stone about his first marriage. "She was a terrific person, but I just didn’t know how to do it."
As he moved closer to the end of his first marriage, Springsteen also couldn't help giving in to the heat he felt with Patti Scialfa. Their performances "had grown so steamy it seemed like their portrayal of romantic heat was, perhaps, something a bit too realistic to be limited to the stage," wrote Peter Ames Carlin in Bruce, according to Daily News.
Soon after he separated from his first wife, he moved in with Patti Scialfa, and together they began a new chapter in their lives that still hasn't ended after almost three decades. They got married in 1991 and started a family together.
It was Patti Scialfa who was able to bring out the best in him and Bruce Springsteen fell in love with fatherhood as well. “Bruce has really grown up,” a friend previously said, as reported by People.
While he may have once felt like he didn't know how to be a husband, he saw that it was always in him but he needed the right spouse by his side. “With Julianne... it wasn’t real. The truth is he and Julianne had nothing in common," the friend added. "Patti and Bruce, on the other hand, have everything in common.”
“He’s a family man now, and he’s happy. He’s an incredibly good father... Bruce spends a lot of time with the baby and even takes pride in changing diapers." Since then, they've raised three children together and never looked back.
What makes their relationship work so well is how they understand each other deeply. "...She had a lot of understanding of where I was coming from and some of the choices I make and a little bit about the twisted parts of my personality that she knew how to handle and live with better than some of my other relationships," he told BBC Radio 4′s Desert Island Discs, according to BreakingNews.ie. “It was a lovely beginning to what’s been a very beautiful relationship.”
They've stuck by each other through the best and worst. When he struggled with depression, he was only able to return to his normal life because of his wife. "She was stable enough and strong enough and she brought a lot of love, you know, so those were very healing things over a long period of time," he said.
A friend of the couple once said, “Patti and Bruce were meant for each other.” And nobody doubts that after they've been married for 28 years and counting!