It Happened to Me
Thank you so very much for writing the Alice series and broaching such a diverse array of complicated situations. I’ve read of theories in Crucial Conversations that people generally want to do the right thing and sometimes lack in clarity over what that is (such as what to say to a person cutting in line) but will act in healthy ways if they have seen a demonstrated “script” of how to handle these sticky situations. I’m sure you are well aware of these theories and I’ve found your series to be a wealth of these “scripts” where Alice and other characters demonstrate an effective way to move forward through these situations, complete with the honest ugly feelings that sometimes go with it.
I read “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” as soon as you released it a couple years ago after following the series since I was 9 (I’m 35 now). Recently after a major life transition I found myself in the beginnings of an emotional affair. When I read about Alice and Patrick’s difficulties I remember judging Patrick very harshly, and thinking that would never happen to us. I wondered why Patrick was coming clean to Alice when he hadn’t technically done anything wrong, and didn’t that just make it worse? I firmly believe that it is thanks to your stories that I was able to admit to myself the pattern in my own behavior much earlier than I otherwise would have, and was able to realize at an early stage what it was I had to do, and really even how to do it and possibly what to expect. I reread Patrick’s confession as I came to my own resolutions, and while we are not fully out of the woods yet, I firmly believe that your book (which my husband bought for me) has thus far played a significant role in preserving our marriage. Like Patrick, I decided to be candid and honest and accept full responsibility for the situation, and prayed that my husband would be as patient and forgiving as Alice, and he was above and beyond. I’d swear, he seems to love me more since I told him …. He’s a much better human being than I could ever dream of becoming … I’ve learned to appreciate my family much more through this experience as I confronted the possibility of losing them if I continued down that path. Seeing how hurt Alice was as she cried at the copier showed me how much I could be hurting my husband in ways he may not know or be telling me.
Thank you again so very much for all you have done for myself and my family, and so many in the world who may or may not know their lives have been touched by Alice.
Thank you so much for your email. I was very moved by it, and am happy for you and your husband that the experience drew you closer. Sometimes life works that way. We skirt the edge of danger and get a sense of all we would lose, and it makes the life we have all that more precious.