Approximately 20 years later, I get a letter from Keith, saying he wanted forgiveness for hurting me. In retrospect, that was the kind of response that I felt I should give, but it was certainly not how I felt. In the years since, I only feel more anger about this. They could have done any number of things to ease the separation (cover a song, invite me to be a guest on an album, etc.), but they didn't. Their value has greatly appreciated over the years.
I want to be generous, but I do not know if I am that noble -- or forgiving -- after all that has happened.
When "Keith" wrote to you after 20 years asking for forgiveness, he was basically telling you that this episode was a big deal in HIS life and that he carried 20 years' worth of regret about it.
"It's no big deal" is really you denying your own feelings -- and his.
Dear Worried: I respect the groundbreaking research of John Gottman, who has studied married couples for decades.
Destructive habits can be physically and emotionally driven.
Is there some kind of payoff that seems to make you feel better for a time?
In his book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" (2015, Harmony), he and co-author Nan Silver outline practices that successfully married people undertake to keep their marriages strong.
Your fondness and respect for your husband gets you part-way there.