This is not about you, Jack.

I was initially surprised when my wife, Jill, said this to me. She had just shared some of the deep pain she was experiencing as a result of my infidelity. It had been a number of months since “D-Day” and we had been working through rebuilding the marriage that I had torn down through my infidelity.

I understood that the affair was 100% my fault. I was not confused about that. But I was confused by what she had just said. I thought it was about me – about how I had betrayed her, how I had broken our wedding vows, how I had deeply hurt her, how I had ripped her heart in two.

There was silence as she stared at me. And then it came to me.

She was talking about how she was feeling – not what I had done. She was not sharing her hurt so that I could confess my sin. It was and is important that I take responsibility for what I did. That is something she needed to hear clearly from me, and something I needed to say. And something we need to come back to at other times.

But at this moment, she wanted to be seen and heard. She just wanted to tell me what she was feeling. She wanted to know that I valued her and her feelings. She was not talking about me. She was talking about her.

And I got it. By God’s grace I got it (I am way too self-centered, so I know it had be supernatural). I needed to be quiet and listen. I needed to close my mouth and open my ears and eyes and heart. I needed to seek to enter her feelings and her pain.

And as I did, I was able to see even more clearly the beauty and wonder of this amazing woman I was privileged to call my wife.

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