John Y’s Musings from the Middle: A Wife’s Apology?

jyb_musingsIt looked like it was about to really happen. That rare and unnatural act that violates the most deeply entrenched parts of our genetic code: A wife apologizing to her husband.

There we were. Standing in my home office. Rebecca had initiated the conversation to bring resolution to the issue of who was most to blame for us going to bed sulking last night that led to 5 consecutive hours this morning of short matter-of-fact sentences, no ‘love’ or even ‘L’ at the end of text messages, pained pouting and the inability to smile at one another –although admittedly Rebecca had tried breaking the tension with a smile at around 10am but I stopped her “c’mon, let’s get over this silly thing smile” with a stern look that said,”Not this time. An example needs to be made. That was my favorite show last night you kept me from watching. And this cannot stand.”

Rebecca read me loud and clear and dropped all pretense of believing a casual reconciliation for last night’s transgressions were within reach.

There we stood. At that quiet and serious marital face-off. Who would blink first? More often than not, it is me (that is to say about 99.7% of the time). But not today. And Rebecca knew it. She could tell we were standing in the middle of one of those rarified historic moments like when Cicadas return or Haley’s Comet passes. There was a cosmic tinge in the air that made one feel like the universe was about to crack.

Rebecca slowly opened her mouth and sighed, “I…” She faltered momentarily as she struggled to form the sound of a soft “a” that begins the word “apoligize.” But she got it out. Then seemed to recover as she finished the entire sentence, “I….apologize….that you got angry with me last night.”

Rebecca exhaled. Relieved it was finally over. Or so she thought.

“What?” I blurted. “You…you are sorry for my bad reaction? That’s not an apology. That doesn’t count,” I reasoned. “You can’t, technically, apologize for someone else’s bad reaction to something you do. I mean…You can only apologize for you say or do” I paused for effect. “You see what I am saying?”

Rebecca knew she had missed the mark…and was willing to try tried again. Digging deeper into her guilty conscience than maybe ever before from an argument involving watching television together, the apology began tumbling out . “I apologize…for making you angry” I vigorously started shaking my head “no” but Rebecca rebounded with “and my part in causing that.”

Oh my Gosh. O!M!G! I ….I was completely overwhelmed! And touched! And touched deeply enough that at that exact moment everything seemed right in the world again. And it seemed crystal clear to me that God not only was real…but was standing somewhere behind me in my home office –where he was mouthing the words for Rebecca to repeat so that my over-sized hurt from my super-sized overly-sensitive feelings could be suaved over –finally. Like a mommy who realizes her 5 year old crying son just skinned his knee and almost broke the skin and that she has to pretend like it might require a trip to the emergency room to pacify the son and make him feel loved. Except instead of the son being 5 he is 51.

And God worked His magic. His grace. All was right again. I was able to forgive Rebecca even though she feel asleep during my favorite show last night and was snippy when I kept asking her if she was still awake (even though I already knew she wasn’t because I held my hand in front of her face for over 30 second and she never said anything).

She doesn’t know it yet. But at the end of my next text message to Rebecca, I plan on ending it with a capital ‘L.’ For love.

Heck I may just spell out the whole entire word ‘Love.’ I feel like after Rebecca’s soul-searching apology for last night’s TV debacle, it is the least I can do. And that, all things considered, I am a pretty darned lucky guy.


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