Quite dumbfounded, he responded, "For 42 years, I have provided for you, been by your side and have never cheated on you. Is there any doubt?"
Her response, "For 42 years, you have done what you think you should do, must do. For 42 years, you have defined what our love looks like for you. For 42 years...... doubt does not even begin to tell it."
The next Friday came and as usual the husband came home with his paycheck. But instead of handing his wife his paycheck in her hand, he left it on the kitchen table placing a cigarette lighter on top of it.
As his wife approached, "He says with an air of anger and exasperation, "With all that I have done. Maybe I should stop doing so much."
His wife waited for him to finish then said, "And then you will have time to start doing. As for cheating, you may not have cheated on me, but for 42 years you have cheated me and you have cheated us."
For the second time she asked, "Do you love me?"
Many paychecks later, the wife became more and more withdrawn. Her husband too turned completely silent. They spoke only about the shoulds and musts.
One cold winter's night, the husband went to the basement to check the pilot light on the furnace. He did not want the house to get cold and he knew his wife was too afraid to go down to the basement alone. As he re-lit the pilot, suddenly he began to sob uncontrollably.
When he returned upstairs his wife handed him a shoebox and asked him to open it. Inside he found stacks of paycheck stubs each secured with a single rubber band.
For a third time she asked, "Do you love me?"
Her husband turned away. He walked again to the basement and there he blew out the pilot light on the furnace.
Upstairs he went over to his wife and gently turned her face to his. With her face cupped in his broad hands, he warmly spoke, "I love you. I love you. I love you!"
The next Friday evening, the husband came home as usual at 5:25. He called out to his wife but she did not answer. While he was away, she had slipped and fallen. He found her in a coma at the bottom of the basement steps. She had gone there to light the furnace. In her hands, he found his lighter and a note that began, "My husband, I love you more."
Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her