Is All This Really Worth it?

I know this question reverberates through the minds of many who are trying to heal, and I must say I too asked myself that same question early on in recovery.

To give you an idea of the furnace Samantha and I were stuck in (and I know yours may be worse), we had lost everything but our kids, our cars, and one friend who decided to stick around though it seemed like hundreds left us. We were in a new city, and shortly after moving to the new city, my best friend (and only true friend, yep, the one who stuck around in the previous line) decided to move to another state to plant a church. The only other friends we knew here in Austin were Samantha’s friends, and they hated me and wanted nothing to do with me. I was in a new career in sales, which only flourishes with relationships already in place, and I had none. It seemed each week like Samantha and I blew up and blew apart further and further. To this day I carry a Holiday Inn Express hotel key in my wallet to remind me of the nightmares we lived through and how many times Samantha asked me to leave because she needed space.

Each week someone new would read about my story on the internet, and email my job or call my cell or do all sorts of nonsense which only exacerbated the pain and loneliness and shame I was enveloped in. There just seemed to be no relief or end in sight. The only person I wanted to cry with and talk to and open up to was in more pain than I was and we had no clue how to help each other.

Was it all going to be worth it? Was it going to somehow turn around? Would there be any joy, or any relief in sight at all one day? Were we really gaining any ground or just spinning our wheels, hurting each other more?

The truth is, yes, it would be worth it, but some days just hurt like hell. Nothing made it easier and nothing made it fun, but if I wanted to see my marriage restored, I knew I couldn’t quit. I hit a fork in the road time and time again. Early on, I was doing it for the kids. They were my principle motivation, but after we found Rick and Affair Recovery, we found momentum and we found tools we needed. It would get easier, but it wouldn’t get faster. Though the motivation wasn’t perfect on the front end, it was enough to get us into some expert help to build on what was beneath the surface.

It was worth it. It really was.

I’d do it all again, and if it had to be even harder than it was then, to have what we have now, I’d do it again and again and again (the recovery, not the infidelity, mind you).

The problem is, when we are in the middle of the struggle, stuck in the in-between, we can’t see what lies beyond the present confusion, gridlock and overall agony we are in. To find a vision or hope for what can be when what is sucks amazingly, will just about kill every impatient bone in your body. It’s hard to come home sometimes. It’s even harder to stay home. I know for a fact it’s incredibly harder to even allow us to come home if you’re the betrayed.

The truth is, right now, it seems like it’s not worth it. But we live in a society which expects instant gratification, or instant forgiveness and reconciliation. In recovery like this, it just does not happen. If it does, many times it’s not real, and the pain and the anger and the shame will come back quicker than you expect, and only reinforce just how unhealed you both truly are. The power is in the process and you absolutely must trust the process, when the process is administered by someone who is a professional and has gone through this themselves and seen restoration to their marriage.

I’d like to recommend a few things for those of you who are pondering whether or not it’s worth it:

1.  Find someone who has actually come out on the other side and has seen restoration and ask them questions. Consider me a friend and if you’d like to email me and ask me some questions you can do so at I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

2.  Get into an expert recovery program like you’ll find here on the site. Don’t be naive enough to think you can do it on your own. Please forgive my bluntness, but you can’t do it on your own, and one type of professional help or pastoral counsel does not fit all. You can’t find healing in your own power and understanding. I’ve seen far too many people quit not because of the infidelity or addiction per se, but because of being exhausted of trying to solve a cancer-like problem with a craigslist solution. It’s just the truth from personal experience.

3.  If you’re struggling with anger and hostility, find an outlet. Maybe running, or maybe kickboxing. Maybe journaling. But you’ve got to get it out of you. For me, I would meet with Rick about once a week or every two weeks and vent, and then say “OK Rick, let me have it. Kick my butt, but help me understand this.” I also took up riding Motocross, and it was a wonderful outlet to my anger and frustration. Make sure the person you choose to talk to is safe, of the same sex, objective, and will give you honest truth that is everyone’s best interest not just your own. You know they are safe when they tell you how wrong you are.

4.  Realize if you keep going back to your affair partner or addiction for solace and understanding, you’ll never get healthy and quite frankly, it’s not worth it. It’s NOT worth it if you’ll keep wavering between two people who will both suffer immensely due to your decisions and inability to live a life of honesty, openness, and truth. 

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so thankful

this makes total sense. I'm so glad you wrote it. makes me have some sort of faith to endure the insanity I'm caught up in. thank you for your courage to write this so openly and honestly. also appreciate your bluntness as it cuts through the crap in our lives.

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