The Pain of Remaining the Same

One of my favorite quotes is from Anais Nin.  It’s about pain and the beauty held within it.  

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

You might be saying to yourself, “What? Beauty in pain? Have you lost your marbles, Laura?”

I don’t blame you for thinking this way. I would have thought like this too ~ until I lived this quote.

You see, I was in an unhappy marriage. If I’m honest, I had been unhappy for years. In fact, for the majority of years.

However, I wouldn’t let that in too much. It hurt. In fact, just the thought of that pain seemed overwhelming.

So I did what any good wife does and just fake-smiled and busied my way through life.

Something happened, though, that made that even more difficult. I found out about a four-years-long affair that my husband had been having.

Ouch is an understatement. Wow. That was REALLY painful.  It almost felt like every cell of my body was experiencing emotional pain ~ if that makes sense.

The months following that were some of the darkest of my life. It seemed that the rug had been pulled out from underneath me.

He wanted to “work it out.”

I was frightened of the prospect of being alone ~ my daughter without her family unit intact ~ being labeled twice divorced ~ not having someone to spend national holidays with ~ you get my drift.

So we “worked on it.” I soon found out that working on it meant me understanding his need to go to nightclubs on the weekends and never bringing up my feelings again.

Sounds ideal, right?

So there I was. Back to square one. Trying to manage my feelings ~ alone. Trying to shield my young daughter from the sadness and hurt I was feeling inside.

This little scenario played out for two whole years. Yuck. Seriously…ish! It was the least fun I’ve had in a long time ~ let me tell you.

I actually prayed to God for a sign that I should leave. I didn’t know what it was but knowing myself, I knew that I could tolerate pain for much longer than I should. It wasn’t a badge of honor. Just the way I was.

However, a glorious day arrived!

At 5:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in June, I could hear the garage door open. I was accustomed to him getting home at 2 or 3 a.m. but 5:15 was way beyond my comfort level. (Really?  Looking back, why was 2 or 3 a.m. okay?)

Anyhoo, I tore down the steps and asked for an explanation. No. I DEMANDED an explanation. I also asked where his wedding ring was as I noticed it was not on his finger.

What followed was one lame excuse too many.

After he passed out, I quietly looked at his email. Not violating his privacy in this fashion was one way I was “working on” building trust. However, all bets were off.

As I began reading the email exchanges between him and his latest lady love, I understood the quote from Anais Nin.

Despite the terror, pain and intense sadness I felt in that moment, I woke him up and asked for a divorce right then and there.

And then I realized…I was finally ready to blossom.

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1 comment

  1. Laura,

    The most intelligent thing a psychologist once told me was that “everyone has their very own and individual breaking point” and will know when and if the time is right to leave. During financial consultation, I often get asked the question. So many people live ‘tight in a bud’ for a very long time but the peace that blossoming brings is priceless. Thanks for your entry!

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