Long post… sorry.
Now this dare has been the most difficult so far. It took me two days to complete the actual dare, but it’s taken me weeks to be ready to do so. I had to be prepared, in my heart, to ask forgiveness. It’s not that I ever denied anything that I had done, but I felt so guilty about letting go of the shame that I couldn’t ask forgiveness. I’ve been reading books on forgiveness, and talking to my mentor about it. I just felt that I didn’t deserve the peace that I knew would go along with finally letting it go. My husband could never forgive if I didn’t turn it over to Christ.
This dare was the first time, since beginning the love dare, that I have told my husband that I’m taking a stand for our marriage. I had told him prior to this, but not in the last 26 days. We’ve avoided all discussion of “us”, where we’re going, and where we’re at. The only other thing I have done over this time is leave him a card that told him that I love him without expectations, and that was a week ago. I had to put every bit of faith in God that He would be with my husband through this dare. I was not confident in my husband’s reaction, but I can’t hold onto this shame any longer. It does not define who I am as a person.
My husband is very uncomfortable with talking, so I did choose to email a letter to him. I did not mention too much about where I was in regards to our marriage, but laid out the things that I was asking his forgiveness for. I think that I probably still did add too much information about how I had hope for our marriage, and I was standing for our marriage. I wrote that I had chosen to lead my heart, and that I wasn’t in control of this journey. I talked about my struggle at the beginning to give up control, and that doing it my way all this time has gotten me to the lowest point I’ve ever been. The bulk of the letter, however, was admitting my sins. I admitted to not being a supportive wife – I didn’t listen to him in the way that he needed me to. I always had something else that needed to be done. I didn’t show the affection that he needed. When we were first married, my husband craved affection, but we had our daughter 3 months after we were married. We’d only been together 7 months when we got married – my hormones were a wreck, and I never regained control of myself after our daughter was born. All of my attention went to her, and that’s where it remained. I asked forgiveness for the emotional affair that I had – I didn’t know until last month how much he was still hurting from it. I failed to understand, when first confronted about it, what he needed from me to help him through the pain. I asked forgiveness for not letting him know how much I appreciate the provider that he is for our family. He works all of the time and sacrifices things for himself so that my daughter and I can have the things that we think we need.
I have mixed feelings about the result of this dare. I feel as if a weight is lifted off of me. I know that I will not revisit the heart wrenching shame that these sins had created in me. I have asked the Lord’s forgiveness, and I know that I have been forgiven. I can’t do anything more than ask my husband’s forgiveness as well. At this point, it is up to him. I can only continue to show him through my actions that I meant everything that I had said.
I don’t know when during the day he got the email. I sent it in the morning, but sometimes when he’s busy at work, he won’t check his personal email until evening. Sometimes, he checks it periodically throughout the day. We sent messages back and forth a few times during the work day, and talked for a few minutes during our commutes home. We usually play a game against one another on our phones, but there was none of that yesterday evening or this morning. After our daughter went to bed last night, he completely tuned me out. He listened to a voicemail on his phone while I was talking (he never gets calls from anyone… and when he does, he always tells me who it was). I took it to prayer, but my flesh was already pretty weak and trying to figure out what he was thinking.
Becky. I replied to your post in the journal already.