I think you know it when you see it. KWIM?
After Dday I had noticed my husband stopped wearing a cross his grandmother had given him on his confirmation. She passed away the year prior to his A.
I had known him for 22/23 years at the time of the A. He had never gone a day without wearing it.
I asked him why he didn't have it on.
He said "I can't wear it anymore, until I fix everything." I looked at him like Huh? So he said " I am so ashamed of what I have done and I feel like when I wear my cross I am carrying disappointment right around my neck, because I failed at the one thing I was good at….loving you" At the time I kind of was like, "ya, right"
So the necklace sat….for a few months, on his bureau. In the mean time he started to "do". He jumped into projects at home he sent me texts, called me, listened and answered anything I asked. He cried when I would break down …and he sat in his guilt and shame and worked through it. Never asking me to lift a finger to ease his pain.
He carried the load, without question, without anger or defensiveness. He didn't gripe about not having a life, missing friends, ball games, beer nights with the guys. He gave up the car club he loved, his car shows, without being asked…When I asked why he wasn't going to meetings he said because he wanted me to feel safe.
He hurt, because I hurt. I didn't have to ask him what he wanted, if he wanted me. His actions showed me. His words matched his actions. His promises were kept.
It was almost 6 months later and one day after his shower he put his necklace back on…I just smiled.
I took a new job, which gave me an enormous bump in pay. I really wanted it, but I was afraid to take it (at the time we were about 3.5 years out) It meant working nights, weekends and rotating shifts. I was afraid. BUT it was huge...
He eased me through it. Calling, texting, being home and available always. And he still does it to this day. I was heading off to work the other day and my daughter told me she asked him to go out to dinner and for a margarita (she is 22). He said no, I don't want to go and have fun while mom's working, it really isn't fair…..I kind-of laughed and then asked him to take her to dinner. Sometimes he goes a bit over-board, but you have to appreciate the concern and thought that goes with it.
It is who he is now. Thoughtful, caring and at 5 years 10 months out…still remorseful. He really is a wonderful man that took his ship on a misguided detour. But he righted it and found his way back to good.