Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is HE Worth Suffering For?

In a great blog post about betrayal and suffering, Kelly Diels repeats Bob Marley's infamous line: Truth is everyone is going to hurt you; the trick is to find the ones worth suffering for.
Which got me to thinking. How do we know who's worth suffering for? Especially before we've actually suffered, which is ideally when we'd like to have that information. And does the fact that someone has betrayed us automatically render them ineligible to be worth suffering for? To hear the world tell it...hell yes! Once a cheater, always a cheater. He's shown you you can't trust him. And so on.
But what exactly is the point of suffering? Is it to escort us to the door where we bid betrayers an angry adieu and walk out into a world of people worth suffering for, but whom will never actually make us suffer? Or is it to shake us into a new way of seeing?
It's like the chicken and egg conundrum. Before I learned of my husband's...ummm...extracurriculars, I thought he was (almost!) the perfect man. Sure he worked too hard and helped around the house too little. Sure his mother was a dragon. But those weren't him, I was sure. He was wonderful. It was life that complicated things.
And then, well, it turned out it was actually HE who complicated things.
But now that I know all about him – those deep, dirty secrets that made him feel ashamed and disgusting and worthless, if he allowed himself to feel anything at all, well now I actually love him more deeply. Not as purely, perhaps. Definitely not as blindly. But more deeply. We've seen each others scars, even –especially – the ones we caused. And we don't turn away from their ugliness. Dare I say it, I've learned he's worth suffering for. The old him would have never cheated on me, or so I thought. The new him, I'm all too aware, is capable of cheating on me. He's done it, for gawd's sake. But this new him is also far more likely to talk to me about his feelings rather than deny them. He's far more likely to seek help when he's feeling like he might be going down the wrong path. And he's definitely more aware of the damage his choices can cause me. So though I know he's capable of cheating, strangely I feel...safer. It took me four LONG years to get to this point. But now that I'm here, I like the view. It's a view that sees all of him, not just the pretty parts. And it's a view that allows me choices based on knowledge, not on projection.
And, it's a view that sees him as worth suffering for. After all, what is suffering for but to make us rage and slay the demons that stand in our way.


  1. I'm only halfway down the road you're on, and's hard. Glad you are ahead to light the way. Be gone, demons - Liz

  2. Yeah, it IS hard. Really hard. But what's amazing to me is that I know, in my head, that it was hard. My heart doesn't feel it anymore. Kinda like childbirth. I KNOW it hurt like hell...but I don't really remember the pain. Just what followed.
    That said, I know I can still be triggered and feel that familiar heart-shattering. But the triggers are much farther apart...and I can talk myself back into rational thought a whole lot easier.

  3. Even though going through this betrayal has been the worst time of my life, I can honestly say I would never go back to my old marriage when my husband was still secretly addicted to porn. I thought I knew what true closeness was in a marriage, but I realize I had no clue. I will always miss my innocence and blind trust in him, but the trade-off has been intimacy like we have never had in our entire relationship.




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