When The Pain Seems Too Great


Today, my heart is reminded of the pain that once was, the pain that so many of you find yourselves in today. For me, it is a distant, tender scar. It is healing, but if I stare at it long enough or touch it in just the right ways, the pain can all come rushing back.

If you are in the middle of this kind of suffering, you are likely desperate for relief of any kind. Violently painful memories have carved your heart into pieces, and maybe you can't even remember what life looked like before this whirlwind of torment took over your life.

Suffering takes on different forms for different people, but it is important to remember that both the repentant Unfaithful and forgiving Betrayed will experience torment. Though it might be tempting to keep score or claim that the Unfaithful has forfeited their right to feel badly, it does no one any good to go down that road. It isn't fair. It just is.

To say that an unfaithful spouse doesn't experience pain is a bit like saying the same of a drunk driver who caused a crash, killing an innocent bystander. Pain and suffering are natural consequences.

For the betrayed spouse, the analogy still holds. You might not have been behind the wheel, and you may have never seen this coming, but here you are: a casualty left in the rubble.

Today, in the midst of whatever degree of pain you are feeling, I offer you this:

God is near. He is, perhaps, closer than He has ever been. He hovers over you like a blanket, and He sees you. He does not waste pain. He didn't create it, but He will use it. I often don't comprehend why certain things have to die before new life begins, but I know and have seen that God does His best work in the desert.

If you don't have a religious faith, then I invite you to look to peace or love or the universe instead--or whatever you can believe in today. Just believe in something.

I know you're tired. You are so ready for this all to be over.

But God sees your aches, and He hears your cries. He sees the stains on your pillows from your tears. What does it look like to lean in closer to that tenderness? Perhaps go and bury yourself in His word. If that's not your thing, maybe try to focus on someone else's suffering for a while. Sometimes, nothing helps us with our own pain as much as serving others. Either way, we can refuse to let pain be a place where we camp out forever.

As Viktor Frankl reminds us:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

What is to give light must endure burning.

I choose light.

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Great Pain

Thank you Elizabeth. This is beautiful. I Hope someday I can choose light too.

Hang in there. It does get

Hang in there. It does get better.

Once again, Elizabeth, you

Once again, Elizabeth, you nailed it! Thanks for sharing as it's been awhile since we heard from you and I have missed reading your nuggets of wisdom.

Thank you Voly, for your

Thank you Voly, for your encouragement. Haven't gone away, just allowed life to be fuller than I sometimes like! Thanks for the nudge to keep pouring into our community here.

Getting out of STUCK

Thank you for sharing what it is that continues to help you go forward through this unbelievably difficult journey. I find myself isolating myself because I am tired. I am struggling with my own inner demons trying to go forward. Getting out of myself and sharing a bit of time with others that can gain from my own talents is rewarding for me. It’s giving myself the kick in the butt that I must continue to do to help myself move forward.

Thanks for your honesty. I

Thanks for your honesty. I will admit that there are days I am tired and I wonder if I should lead another group for AR or sit down to feel and process and come up with a blog post. I wonder if it matters, but then, like you, I know it is the path forward. And it is the only way I know to fight my own inner demons, and the isolation that comes with it. Thanks for the reminder to all of us that it is worth it.

Thank you!

That is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for your insight.
I choose light.

Thanks for commenting. Best

Thanks for commenting. Best to you in your recovery.

Thank you as always

What a gift you possess to be able to turn the torment into words that accurately depict what a lot of us are feeling. I can barely muster any kind of rational grasp on it some days.

Tired of it all, I am.

The giant math equation is still calculating in my marriage. Maybe someday we'll have the whole truth and the final answer. Or maybe we never will.

For now all I can do is treat others kindly and gather every ounce of grace I can scrounge for my wife, because lord knows He has done a million times that for me.

I am so sorry for your pain.

I am so sorry for your pain. I really hope that you are able to hang in there and that one day you will get the whole truth. You are certainly worthy and deserving of that. I'm sorry sometimes our junk and our pain don't let us (unfaithful) always see that at first. Hope you get at least some glimpses of rest in this storm.

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-D, Texas