I remember shortly after D-day I was having a meltdown and my husband was trying to comfort me. In the midst of his attempt he said “I’m struggling with this too.”
Looking back I can see he meant it as a “we’re in this together” statement.
But, at the time I remember thinking “maybe you are, but the difference is this is a self-inflicted wound for you. Surely, that isn’t near as painful as being “shot” by the person you trusted most. And by the way, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.”
Now, just to clarify, I don’t believe he has ever expected me to feel sorry for him.
Anyway, for some reason I found myself thinking back on this today. And I found myself wondering – is his self-inflicted wound just as painful for him as my “innocent bystander” wound is for me?
Maybe I have more clarity today…or maybe I’m going crazy today, but I’m actually considering the possibility of his self-inflicted wound being worse (at least to a degree). I’m not trying to make light of our pain as BS’s – please hear me on this. I know we are struggling daily. I know we hurt daily. But, consider for a moment the other side. Consider doing something you KNOW is wrong, but for a season of time do it anyway because now your selfish desires are all that matter. In a sense they have taken over. Then the guilt begins to eat away, the walls to the fantasy life begin to crumble and at the same time the walls to real life begin to crumble. You’re stuck in between two crumbling worlds. And the kicker is you know you did this. You know you’re the reason. What is wrong with you that you can’t make either world function? And yet you also know you could have prevented this mess that is now your life. Yet, your selfish desires were all that mattered. Then the devastation takes hold of your spouse and all you can do is watch – knowing again, you caused this.
I don’t pretend to know the mind of a WS…or even of a former WS, but I can’t help but think that for those who are trying to rebuild their marriages perhaps the self-inflicted wound is just as difficult (if not more so) to heal from. Perhaps they see the many times they could have said “no” replay in their minds. Perhaps the thoughts of “I could have prevented this if only…..” invade their minds as quickly and as often as the triggers invade ours.
Is that their “punishment”? Is that the justice for their sins against us? I don’t know. And again, I’m not making light of our pain because I know we are all struggling deeply, but for some reason I find myself considering the pain of the other side today.