I heard a man say something very wise and courageous today. He was relaying a way in which he had neglected his wife in the past that he is working hard to change. He said that he often hears from her that his words mean nothing and she will wait for actions. He said his reaction to this is to own that he created that response; his past actions have given her good cause to say what she says, and rather than getting upset he owns it and goes on.
I remember my deep frustration on several occasions when I had finally “gotten it” over something I was or was not doing that was hurting my bride. When I really got it, I determined I would change, and I did. Thing is, there is no way I could prove to her I had changed other than the long and slow process of living that change out for the weeks or months it took for her to be able to believe the change was real and permanent. Yes, I created the problem, but I wanted her to believe me when I said I had changed. I would even get a bit upset that she did not believe me!
Of course I had thought I understood these things one or more times before I really did, and thought I did what was necessary to fix it. So from her perspective I was promising yet again that I got it and would change. Given past failures, how could she know I had really changed “this time”.
If you have given her any reason to doubt you, own it and go on. If you live it out, it’s all good, and if you don’t live it out she was right.
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