Band-Aid Over a Bullet Hole When I was around 9 years old I had to have my Appendix removed. It had not burst but it was very close. I remember well the extreme pain before the surgery. Debilitating, double-you-over pain. After the surgery I remember I was still in quite a bit of pain. I did not want to cough because the coughing stretched the surgery site. Over the next days, weeks and years the wound healed. I no longer have pain but occasionally if I stretch just the wrong way I can feel twinges at the site of the scar. The experience is now part of my past. I can’t change it or pretend it didn’t happen. It’s just another piece in the puzzle of my life. As I have been involved over the past few years with Harboring Hope and EMS programs, one common thing I see is couples or individuals trying to sweep the affair under the rug. I call it the “band-aid over the bullet hole” approach to recovery. The individuals or couples feel that if they ignore the pain it will go away eventually. They believe that if they forgive quickly than the tragedy will just fade away to nothing. Unfortunately this is a very unhealthy and not very useful way to recover and heal. The band-aid may stop the bleeding for a short time but inside the wound is becoming infected and excruciatingly painful. If ignored, the infection can spread and destroy healthy parts of the body. In most cases the untreated wound will eventually kill you. Affairs are the same. If ignored the wound will grow and fester until the time it cannot be ignored anymore. A lot of times it’s too late to recover and heal. I have seen too many couples or individuals desperate for help 5 or 10 years after the affair occurred. They have been living with a festering bullet wound hoping it will heal on its own. I urge everyone who has been affected by affairs to get the surgery done right away. Go in and clean out the infection and repair the internal injuries. The surgery will be painful at first, the recovery will take time, there will be scars but it will allow true healing and recovery later. Don’t live with the band-aid over the bullet hole any longer. In later years this can become just another puzzle piece in the masterpiece that is your life and marriage.