Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Not About Words


I'm a word nerd, an English nerd, the one walking around getting ticked when apostrophes are in the wrong place.

So I'm a little taken aback at the realization that I had this weekend... I called my back-up sponsor (I need two.  I'm a special case) and said out loud, "Honesty isn't about words at all.  Words have nothing to do with it."

I always knew when my husband was lying, even if I didn't admit it to myself.  How did I know?  His behavior.  My gut said, "He is LYING, Alicia.  LY-ING!"  But I didn't want to accuse him, and I wanted to think the best of him... so I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a few months and then broke down in tears when the truth came out.
Was I mad at him because he was lying and I couldn't trust him?
Or was I mad because I knew and didn't trust myself?

Last weekend was hard.  My husband was home and I got to hang out with both sides of him. 
The weekend was spent with his family, all bunked up in different rooms at a motel.  The men hunted while the women took the children to the park.  We went out to the forest as a family and took camo-optional pictures.  We came home exhausted, and I went out to buy dinner for everyone because Hot n' Ready has improved my quality of life by 100%.
My husband came home from hunting to find his entire family eating up a meal I'd paid for and was touched.
As we walked pizza boxes out to the dumpster together (awww, I know...) I felt his heavy coat around my shoulders.
"You looked cold," he said.
Yes!  I WAS cold, but I didn't notice it until I was warmed up under his coat.
His gesture wasn't forced -it wasn't a "let me show off how awesome I am to impress my wife" kind of a thing.  It was simply that he could tell I was cold, he loved me, and he could protect me.  So he did.
At that moment, I felt it.  I FELT the care, the love, the concern.
Tears brimmed my tired eyes and I couldn't believe I was so moved by such a seemingly small incident.  He didn't use words.  He didn't SAY "I am aware of you and you are safe with me"... he lived it instead.

Hours later, my husband was using words .  He was apologizing.  He was sorry for the Jekyll that had come out unexpectedly.
And that time, I felt nothing.

As we spoke on the phone during the week, he said things to me I've been DREAMING of hearing for years.
"I truly see you."
"I am blown away by the person you are."
"I'm in awe, in total awe. I can't believe I get to come home to YOU."
And I feel... nothing.

I've been so worried about whether or not I'm keeping myself safe during this very strange period in our marriage where I'm not exactly married but have a husband.

This weekend let me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am just the right amount of unattached.  And it all happened naturally.  I LONG to feel truth in his words.  I long to feel the sincerity of apology. I long to feel the butterflies, the tingles, the Cloud-9ness of his wonderful words.
But I DON'T.
Because they're words.

And words have nothing to do with honesty.

If the words he's saying are actually true, he will live them.  And then, like a warm, wool coat over my shivering shoulder... I will FEEL them.


  1. True. And beautiful as always:)

  2. Love this. You're absolutely right. And, I'm asking forgiveness for my many, many, many, grammatical mistakes, past, present and future! I don't want to cause you any more stress ;)

    1. Oh, I'm the queen of typos. I don't usually get irritated with posts -but when it comes to billboards and professional flyers, I start getting the Red Pen itch haha

  3. "during this very strange period in our marriage where I'm not exactly married but have a husband." I hear you. I'm there, too. I love the whole message of this post, that it's about feeling the truth, not just hearing it. I think my betrayal trauma may still be preventing me from feeling some truth, but it is also protecting me from some lies, so I can deal with that. I hate feelings of trauma, but I'm convinced that they exist to protect us, as long as they are managed well.

    1. YES! Such a great point! I don't always feel the behaviors as well for the same reason. I used to think I was somehow jaded or dead, but I'm just hurt... but healing!

  4. So true, and beautiful. I can relate. Kind of like on Tuesday when Ben said he was sincerely sorry, I told him I appreciated the words, but that they didn't make anything right. I have to see change and know and feel that we are in the right place in our marriage. You put this to words so beautifully :)

  5. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. Thanks you for saying that :) Sometimes my vulnerability leaves me feeling uncomfy and words like yours assure me.