Can a Cheetah Change his Spots?

I swear, you all are going to be sick of me and either want to slap me or wash your hands of me.

I check my email after church to find one from MrJJ  That in itself is rather surprising as he doesn’t usually initiate emails.  It read: it’s late Sunday and I’m thinking of you.  I don’t want our family to be torn apart. Just wanted u to know. love, MrJJ.

C- I know you will say this is further manipulation and control.  Maybe it is.  But then as I was writing to him my response to our chapter of Living a Purpose Driven Life (he asked that we read it together- the first sentence of the first chapter is: It’s not all about you.) he logged on and stated a chat session (even if it’s not ‘recorded’ I C&P the past two and mail them to myself).

He said he didn’t understand my response to his email.  Basically I said I was confused between his words and actions and had been praying for guidance.  My first thought upon waking up this morning was the scripture a friend used to quote: a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife and they shall be as one.  To me that was saying that an “ok” marriage isn’t going to be enough, even for the kids.  I need one where if you cut me, you bleed too (um, figuratively speaking 🙂 ).  It’s the only way I can trust that my heart will be protected.  But I am confused as to whether I can get that from him or are the kids his main motivation.  That would be a good start, but again, not enough when it comes down to it.

He said that he agreed his motivation could be stronger, but just thinking about leaving us makes his heart hurt.  To me, when he mentions the kids each time, it makes me think that I am still not enough.  His reply was if he stayed, it wouldn’t be just for the kids.  He apologized for the path he took and the mistakes he made and said that he was going to work his way back to us.  I said I have my own path to walk, for the family, but also for me because I need someone who will be one with me;  he said he hoped it would be with him.

I told him that when I hurt he always ignored it, turning it into his hurt or accused me.  He apologized for that and said he was starting to understand me more.

Then he asked how certain was I that I wanted out, and I told him I couldn’t say, because while the experts tell me that the odds are against us based on his actions to this date- well, I still feel like the teenager dating the bad boy and defiantly telling everyone, “You don’t know him like I do!  I have hope for him- faith he will change!”  He said he knew if he didn’t change, the alternative was worse for the kids.

Then he brought in being jealous.  How he couldn’t stand the thought of me with another man (for those of you that don’t know, he was my first kiss).  I told him, “Well, you have told at least three other women since we got married that you love them.  Do you have any idea how that tears me up and tears me down?”  His response was he was sorry, but it was how he thought he felt.  I replied, well, according to the Bible you will always have a connection with Harlot because of the sex.  He said: I’ve always had a connection with Harlot.  We were good friends.  I’m sorry it went as far as it did.

This is the first time he’s owned up to being in the wrong and apologized for anything besides the fact that I was hurt by his actions.  And he used the past tense when talking about Harlot (I believe for the first time, I’ll have to check the other chat and see).

The upshot is, I am glad I broke our agreement not to talk about ‘where we are’.  He wanted me to just pretend the elephant wasn’t in the room while he was gone so he could ‘think’.  But once I told him: you may being going at your pace, but I am going at my own and when I get to where I am going there might not be room for you…suddenly he started thinking instead of just saying he was.  Now if I can tell if this is all lip service or is he going to put actions to words.  He’s got 2.5mos to make progress.  I wonder…our dating anniversary is the 24th and our 13th wedding anniversary is a week from now…

So, go ahead with the virtual slaps, we all know what a prick he’s been for 15yrs and yet somehow I let these tiny things override my usual analytical mind.


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