Give Him the Benefit of the Doubt

All day long we had been looking forward to being intimate that evening. We’re tired parents of young children, and we wanted to enjoy our time together. We decided that to give each other our best, we couldn’t postpone sex to later in the night. My husband assured me he’d head home as soon as the clock struck nine.

My eyes kept glancing at the clock as I waited at home for him.

9:18 p.m.

9:25 p.m.

9:37 p.m.

Finally, at 9:43 p.m. the car’s lights shone into the living room as he pulled the car into the driveway.

But by the time my husband walked in that night all desire and anticipation had left me. I felt hurt by his late arrival and assumed he had dawdled, got swept away by the conversation with his buddies and forgot about me.

He immediately apologized for being late, but he could tell I was upset. He started to explain that he did begin to leave at nine, but his friend’s wife stopped him to ask some important questions about another mutual friend who was ill.

Still, I argued that it didn’t need to take as long as it did. I explained that I had been so looking forward to being intimate together, but his actions made me think that he didn’t want to be with me, too.

He assured me that wasn’t the case, but it didn’t matter. I was hurt and frustrated and so I just went to bed, no longer in the mood.

As we continued the conversation in bed, my husband told me over and over again that he had done his best to get home to me. Not only did someone need to talk, but when he got to his car it strangely refused to start for fifteen minutes.

My heart sank as he explained what happened, and I felt like an idiot. Here I was, angry at him for things that were out of his control. Instead of assuming the best of him and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he did, indeed, do everything in his power to get home as soon as he could, I jumped to my own conclusions.

I realized my feelings had stemmed from my own insecurities connected to my past—worries about whether my husband truly loves me, whether or not he’s happy that he chose me, and whether or not I’m memorable to him. Time and time again he’s dispelled my fears, but I still struggle to overcome those thoughts.

However, the next morning we both apologized again—he for being late and me for not assuming the best of him—and then we laughed, realizing that this was another lesson in love. And we did find the time to make love before the kids woke up. We may have failed the night before, but it was a new day with new opportunities.


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