It happens to every guy in the recovery process. There comes a point where motivation wanes. It happens when it seems like things are not going to change. Questions start to arise:
- Is it worth it?
- Is she worth it?
- Can I actually do this?
- Will our relationship ever be good/happy/fulfilling again? Or perhaps even for the first time?
- Will she ever change?
- Would she be better off without me?
It happened to me about 8 months after disclosure. Our relationship was rocky and it was touch-and-go. There were still nights with Shelley screaming, name calling, and shame overtaking me. I remember zoning out during one episode of her expressing her pain and asking myself all those questions. It just felt like there was no hope. And I wondered how, if we were still having this much difficulty after 8 months (which seemed like a lifetime), could we ever arrive at years of fulfilling marriage. It seemed impossible. I told my accountability partners that I was thinking about hitting the eject button at that point. They said some things that made a difference. Maybe it can make a difference for someone else too. Here’s what they said:
You owe it to yourself to see this through. You need to persevere and see what the final result is, and 8 months is too early to tell. A couple years is too early to tell. The character you develop in this process, if you’re willing, will give you influence in peoples’ lives later and allow you to be used by God to His glory. You owe it to her to restore her heart and self-dignity. You stole it with your unfaithfulness. Now, criticizing her and bailing on the healing process will only serve to inflict more pain and damage. You owe it to God. He is doing the healing work, you’re just being asked to be faithful to the process. To be forgivable. To allow Him to change you. To take on more than is yours, as Christ did. It’s unfair. Deal with it. Finally, you owe it to your legacy. Generations to come are pivoting on the axis of your life change. Kids, grand-kids and great-grand-kids will be passed the baton of your choices. You owe it to them to leave a legacy of change, perseverance and faithfulness.