The title of this article is my favorite quote: Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner. I thought that if I used that as my favorite quote that somehow I would start to believe it, start to live it. But some sins are so huge that it is hard to Love the Sinner, especially when the sinner is someone you trust and love, someone you’ve given your life to.
This article has gone through so many changes, but I think I finally got it. He’s been working basically twenty-hour days, seven days a week; no one can survive that. Even if you survive it physically, mentally you’ll break down. The past year and half have been very, very trying. Somewhere along the way, we lost ourselves and each other.
The first time he said he was leaving, I can’t describe the shock and hurt I felt. For the next few months, I tried to get him to make up for it. I wanted him to do something to take it away, even though I knew it wasn’t possible to take it away. We hardly spent anytime together, so trying to reconnect was not possible. I had my own demons, the sound of his voice saying the things he said to me when he said it was over, the sound of my voice in my head begging him to give us a chance, not to let go of the eight years we had together. Every time I heard myself do that, it took away a little part of me, till now I am no more.
I didn’t think that the months following that incident were gonna be so hard. I really thought that I would be able to forget it and move on. But something in me wouldn’t let it go. I needed him to fix it somehow. I needed to know that he wanted to be with me, because I didn’t know. Nothing that came out of his mouth sounded like truth to me. I first started telling him that he had to keep apologizing to me, that that would make it better, but that didn’t work. The worthless feeling inside didn’t go away with “I’m Sorry.” I was afraid to say too much to him because I was afraid that he would want to leave again. So I held all the anger and hatred and sadness, the hopelessness, and the unworthiness inside.
This continued for about a year, with me pretending everything was ok. Spending most of the time alone and wondering if he was telling the truth about anything, including having to work late everyday. I was in a mental prison spending all my time alone, with thoughts that made me question everything about my own life and his, and our life together. Can you imagine living with someone you thought you knew and one day all the trust and happiness and security you felt over an eight-year period just snatched away with no explanation as to why it was snatched away?
I’m avoiding the point here. This year has been different; I didn’t seem to care so much whether he left or not, all I knew is that I had all this anger inside that felt like it was eating me up and I had to do something to find me again. I tried to leave him, and he begged me to stay. The exact thing I did, he was now doing. He was begging me to stay. And that changed everything, looking at him, looking pathetic as he begged me to stay with him. I realized that he wanted to be with me, he wanted to get back what we had. But the anger didn’t go away.
I am afraid that I haven’t been a very supportive wife, I was so consumed by my anger and need for revenge that I couldn’t see what he was going through. All I could see is what he did to me and I was focused on making him pay, making him feel the hurt I felt, making him feel insecure and unworthy.
He played a song for me today—Coldplay’s Fix You—and it is such a sad song, but what is worse is that it is relevant to our lives. His twenty-hour days that can’t seem to end, our constant fights, our constant cries for help that fall on deaf ears … or so it seems. If you listen to that song you’ll get it.
I understand now what he’s feeling, even though he couldn’t say it, even though he pretends to be strong and pretends to handle it, he really is hurting and I couldn’t see it. I was too busy trying to make him pay for hurting me. The hurt and pain he caused consumed me, the anger consumed me, and I couldn’t see beyond what he did. I couldn’t hear him crying out for help.
How could I not hear, how could I not see what he is going through. It doesn’t take a genius to see that he is trying to hold onto the job because he can’t find another, and we have no other way of supporting ourselves because I can’t find a job either. It doesn’t take a genius to see that working twenty hours seven days a week for more than a year now would break anyone’s spirit. He tries so hard to stay positive, but I am not sure if that is just a show for me, to help me from feeling hopeless and depressed.
Maybe I didn’t want to see; maybe I am afraid to accept that he can’t handle it and then it means that neither one of us can help the other. Maybe if I realize he is not strong that I would feel even more hopeless. Maybe accepting the truth —that things are not changing, no matter how hard we try—is too much truth to handle. How could I not see, see him, walking in at 4 a.m. after working twenty hours: the look on his face, the broken spirit. Can I really be so consumed by me that I couldn’t get past it and just be there for him? He is doing this for us. If I wasn’t in the picture, it probably wouldn’t matter to him whether he had this job or not. He is taking this kind of pressure for us. And what am I doing?
Trying to make him pay, trying to make him hurt; well, he is hurting. I get it now, I have to let go, let go of the mistake he made. Let go of the hurt and accept the truth; it was a mistake, but the fact that he is still here is proof enough that he wants this to work. I have to stop being so consumed by my own insecurities and help him. Help him to continue to help us, to keep our heads above water. Get over the anger, be in the now, accept the truth, help each other, and, more importantly, help him to survive this.
I don’t know when this will end. I am afraid because I don’t know how much more of this he can take. It scares me to the think of the options: no job, no money, no way to survive, or him getting sick from overwork and stress and frustration. I don’t know how to make it stop. It was easier to be angry at him; I knew how to do that. Somehow the anger made it easier because I didn’t have to see the truth. The anger made me not have to hurt for him, not have to feel my heart breaking every time he dragged himself in at all hours of the morning, to not feel the hurt, looking at him trying to grab some sleep before having to go back again.
I couldn’t see all the things he was trying to do to make it up to me because I needed the words, but he was using actions to show his regret instead. I get it, I finally got it. This may make the days harder; now, instead of being consumed by anger, I’ll probably be consumed by sadness—sadness at our lives, sadness when I look at him, being tortured at work. But at least the anger is gone. Maybe fighting this together will make it easier, not fighting each other and focusing on trying to move forward. Maybe …
What will happen next? I guess I wait and see.