“Suffer long, but suffer in the right way”

I’m so tired, and still so hurt.

We have made some really good progress, but I think it just truly hit me how far we still have to go. And I’m already exhausted. I just want this to be over, I want us to be better. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I think I actually do believe that we will get through this, but I know how much effort and strength this is going to take, and it’s daunting.

I want to have Robby wrap his arms around me and be my shelter from this storm, but I don’t know how to turn to him when the storm is between us. I know he would gladly hold me and tell me things will be okay, but I don’t know if I’m ready to open myself up that much to him. I don’t want to feel so alone and so burdened. I want to open up to him, to lean on him, but I am so scared. I don’t know how to take that step when I’m still so scared that he is going to hurt me. When I’m still half-expecting him to hurt me.

I’m trying so hard to balance being my own person, independent of being who I had been, with being a partner in this relationship. I can’t figure out how to be fully committed to fixing us when I am still so wary. I want to fix us. I want us to be happy. But I am so scared. I am absolutely terrified. I know that I have issues I need to work on too, that it’s not just him who needs ‘fixed’, but I’m just not ready to let him back in. I think it’s just going to take time.

For so long he’s been my safe place. He’s been the one who I share everything with, but it has been so one-sided. I have shared so much of myself with him but I feel like he has repeatedly shut me out. I know he is trying to fix that pattern, to become invested in our relationship again, but it’s just too soon for me. And that makes me feel so alone. Being home is like a constant reminder of everything we are going through, of all the work we still have to do, and–worst of all–a reminder of all the times I have been disappointed, hurt, and rejected. And it’s so overwhelming. But I think I’ve been trying to deny that truth. Because it is overwhelming. It is hard and painful. I just don’t want it to be.

I’ve been reading Boundaries in Marriage and it has been so helpful. They have put words to things that I have been feeling but never able to articulate. I think the most poignant phrase that I have found in the book is this: “Suffer long, but suffer in the right way”. This journey definitely falls under the heading of “suffering”, but it is suffering for the right reasons. If I had ended our marriage I would still be suffering, but in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. I know in my hear that gritting my teeth and wading through this pain is the right thing in the long run. That suffering to rebuild our relationship is definitely suffering in the right way.

That doesn’t make it easy or even okay, but it does give me peace.


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