The other day I found a card laying by my bathroom sink. My husband is not very big on cards, so when he actually purchases one, and, more importantly, makes the effort to write something heartfelt and sincere, it touches me. He might pick out a cared that is for a completely different occasion than what he is giving it to me for, but he makes his choices for a reason. I think it’s sweet.
So I opened the card…it was lengthy, even for him – he is usually good for a few brief sentences and then he’s out of words. But in this particular card he had written a few paragraphs. It was very emotional, intense, apologetic gut-wrenching and heart-tugging…I was completely moved. All I could think was, he GETS it. Even after all this time…over 2 years since the affair, 8 months since he admitted the entire truth of what had happened…he actually GETS it. He feels this pain intensely, he still fears the damage is unforgivable…it’s not that I want him to suffer. OK, that’s not entirely true, in some ways I DO want him to suffer! But I just want to know that he fully and completely comprehends the horror that this mess has been, and that he is regrets his selfishness and is sorry for the pain he has caused.
I had been a little upset with him that day, not over anything in particular, it was just one of those days where the triggers were constant and abundant. But this card, even though the day was almost over – it made my day. So when I woke him up so he could get ready for work, I thanked him. I let him know how much I appreciated it, how much his words meant to me.
He said, ” Oh, that was an old card from a few months ago. I guess you never read it. “
UGH. I told him leaving it for me to find, like he has done with other cards, felt like a misrepresentation. He told me it wasn’t his intention, otherwise why would he have told me? He had left it for me a few months ago and said I had tossed it aside because I was angry. It fell behind the laundry hamper and he had just found it. He said he had meant everything he wrote. And I believe he did. I guess I was just disappointed. Maybe that sounds really stupid. It’s just that I thought he had just written those words to me, that these were thoughts heavy on his heart. I’m glad he felt that way when he originally wrote it…but I want to know that he still feels that way NOW. He says he does…but it’s not the same thing to point to something and say, yeah, that’s how I feel, as opposed to directly expressing those feelings. I know guys are generally not that great at expressing feelings and emotions. But you know what? That’s what I need. I need reassurance. I need apologies. I need heartfelt remorse. I need huge, elaborate, grandiose expressions of love. I need to know he is IN this, for the long haul…for life. I need to know that he will never do something like this again. I don’t expect perfection. I know he’ll hurt me, and I’ll hurt him. It’s inevitable. But I need him to be faithful, with his body, mind, and heart. For me, it’s nonnegotiable.