Sharing my pain and looking for empathy – the challenge is real.
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
For those of you interested in a workshop to help work through the pain of betrayal – I would LOVE to see you at Restore in Orange County, CA next month! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about the workshop – otherwise you can get most all the details here.
I’ve been reading some great books lately – I just finished Visioneering and before that Essentialism and loved them both. Highly recommend as books that might help give you a fresh perspective on your vision and goals for 2018.
I’ve moved on to another one that’s been sitting in my queue for quite some time – Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud. Apparently this is the book that was the inspiration for the oh-so-popular Boundaries books by Cloud and Townsend.
This morning, I came across this while I was reading:
Since we often do what we know is wrong, rules rarely keep us in line. Love does a much better job of keeping us moral. We think of how we might hurt the one we love, more often than we think of some code we must keep. p.58 “Changes that Heal”
And it got me thinking…(I know, this could be dangerous). Reminds me of a couple of things –
First – it immediately reminds me of what Paul says in Romans 7 – “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) This verse has always confused me but I think I’m starting to get it. The default setting is broken and in our sin nature – we will always veer toward that which we don’t want to do versus that which we want to do. It is SO much harder to do the right thing and SO much easier to do the wrong thing.
Second – it reminds me of our husbands. Very rarely is a husband able to just stop looking at porn or just stop having affairs (or anything in between for that matter). Even when they know it’s NOT the way they want to live – that’s not enough of an incentive to “stop just because it is wrong”. (And this is pretty depressing for us wives, to say the least.)
For starters, they have to get some tools to replace the poor choices with better choices. There is also the rewiring of their brains. And let’s not forget there is the insight and knowledge that must be discovered as to why they do the things they do in order to turn around and do things differently.
With that said – there is another key area that can help deter our husbands from making these choices. And that’s where what I read above in Changes that Heal comes in.
Jason has always said that him seeing my pain and experiencing it first hand in the days, weeks, months and years (yes, I said years) after betrayal has been a key motivator to not go back to his old ways.
To be clear, I don’t believe that this is his only motivation or even his primary motivation. Jason came to the end of himself and first, for God and second, for himself, he knew it wasn’t the way he wanted to live. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the one woman on the planet that he wanted to guard and protect in this world – that would be me people – he failed to do. And with that said, I became the face of his poor choices. I was, at least for a while, the constant reminder that he fell short.
And that, my dear friends, leads me to a couple of questions:
What does it look like to be fully known with your husband and express your pain? Especially if he isn’t in a place where he can or will receive it? It takes a LOT of vulnerability and transparency to share our pain and when we are feeling raw and vulnerable from the pain of betrayal – it often feels like too much of a risk to express it to the one that caused it.
Second question :
How do our husbands get to a place where they can receive our pain? (Rather than our pain spiraling him into shame.) Because for most if not all husbands – they have no stinkin’ idea how to give empathy much less receive empathy! But there is hope! There is no age limit on learning to be empathetic and Jason as well as countless other men have learned to do this. It’s one of those character changes that is integral for men that are working toward living a life of sexual integrity.
So this is what we are going to tackle in the next couple of blog posts – how do we express our pain and how do our husbands work toward receiving our pain.
In the meantime, what is this stirring up in you? Would love for you to share your thoughts! Let’s make this an amazing year.
xo – Shelley