The pain of infidelity is one of the greatest I have ever known. But through that pain I have gained strength which has allowed me to feel happiness that I had never felt before. It was a choice I had to make, but it was a choice that the very act of brought peace and healing. A choice with only benefits. An excerpt from my experience as I recorded it at the time:
Me: “Have you cheated on me?”
And then the feeling of gut wrenching, puking, pain, over took me. I feeling I will never have words for. Deep pain so thorough that it felt like it effected every cell in my body. It caused me to literally, physically, curl in a ball and clutch at my stomach, as if by clutching I could rip out the uncontrollable pain.
“When?” I whispered.
“Two weeks ago, at work, it was an accident, please forgive me?”
“Bastard,” I whispered. And I hung up the phone. I cried. Silently, painfully, numbly. A few minutes later I dragged the phone, which I had dropped close to my face (which was planted in the floor), and dialed a family member.
“He cheated on me.” I whispered when the phone connected.
My world stopped with those words. I remember wondering how everyone outside kept going, why wasn’t their world stopping too. I heard at this time and throughout my own experience that this, “happens all the time”. I think in this day and age there is sometimes a misconception that because of how common this situation has become in our society, we should hurt less. But the increasing numbers doesn’t make it okay, and the multitude of men and women who can now empathize, doesn’t make it hurt less. So how do we ease that pain? My story, that first afternoon, goes on:
“I fell off the chair I had sat on to sit at the computer, and laid on the floor. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t move. After, I don’t know how long, I felt guilty for ignoring the children downstairs watching cartoons. I assumed they were hungry, I went downstairs and grabbed enough crackers to appease them until someone could get there. I went back up to my room after giving them a quick hug, smile, and word of confidence. I laid on my floor. The phone calls began. I searched for someone whom could understand my pain, someone whom could do something for me; I searched in vain, that isn’t possible. Further confessions came in from my spouse via email. Every time he wrote my heart sunk, not because of the further confession’s, but rather because if he was sending an email it meant he wasn’t on his way to me. This couldn’t be over. In the shortest window of time the future I had trusted and clung to, couldn’t be so suddenly shattered. I didn’t cry for a period of time, and I then realized I had no idea what to do. Wether due to repetition, or because I had previously come to gain my own understanding of the importance of prayer, and desperate for help, I drug myself to my knees and began to pray:
“Father,” I began, “I don’t know what to do.” I cried silently, and then continued, “I know though that Thou does. With Thee Father, I can do this; please help me.” Tears poured down my cheeks as I prayed. I fell into a ball on the floor and allowed myself to sob while and rocking back in forth.
This prayer did not take away the pain. Not yet, but as I came back to my knees and back again, and learned to do only those things that brought me peace, the pain was lifted and I began to heal.
There is not a pill to take to make it better. There is not a bandaid to put on the pain. And no one can kiss will make it okay. You have to feel it, you have to recognize it, and you have to trust that it’s going to be okay. Soon you will not only want the pain taken, but you will be willing to take the steps necessary to do that. But…why do you have to do the work to find healing if this pain isn’t a consequence of your choices? How unfair does that feel amidst what has already been heaped on you? This pain you are feeling now is no different than any physical injury. Just as you would find a way to the hospital, you would listen to a doctor, and you would accept their prescription or other methods of healing, accident or not – at fault or not – only you are in control of finding the help that you need, and following that plan for healing. This choice gives you the power, it does not take it away. It is you who will gain strength and perspective, not whomever put you in that position. It is you who will be stronger as the healing begins.
There is no pill, no band-aid, no kiss to take away the pain; but there is all the magic this world has to offer. The very definition of magic is the power to influence the course of events. That is your faith. Faith that you’re being heard, faith that you will be guided to find healing, and the faith to take the steps you feel guided toward. The efforts of that first prayer after my experience began were simple, but they allowed me to go on:
The tears were comforting this time, for the first time I didn’t feel alone, for the first time, there was peace somewhere. I knew in that moment that my Father in Heaven had a plan for me and my little family. I knew, I absolutely know, that it is only through Him I could have received some peace at such a moment. Though this knowledge did not at this time ease the pain, I felt humbled and grateful for the peace.
It won’t always hurt. There will be many tomorrow’s that wipe away the memory of today. But you don’t have to make it to tomorrow to find out you’re going to be okay, on your knees, you can find and feel that knowledge – today. I did, and I promise you my sweet friend, I am not unique, I am not special, I am just like you – you too can find this relief. I am cheering for you, I am kneeling for you, I am praying for you. As hard as this moment seems, and hard doesn’t ever begin to describe it (I know), you got this my dear, dear, kindred soul.