A Scar on the Heart
A new client came in yesterday, hurting , unbelieving, because he had caught his wife in an affair after 8 years of what he considered a good marriage, and 12 years of being together as best friends. She had already moved out several months ago, saying only that she needed space, that their marriage wasn’t working. They have two young children and my client did not want to hurt them by divorcing, nor did he want to stop loving his wife. He wanted to reconcile and wanted my help on how best to go about this. How could he forgive and forget? How could he learn to trust his wife again? She had stopped the affair and wanted to reconcile as well.
Unlike many men in similar situations, he did not seem angry or vindictive, just hurt to the core of his being. “Will I ever get over this?” he asked at the end of the session. It was then that I noticed the tiny little scar next to his left eyebrow.
“How did you get that?” I asked.
“Oh, I hardly remember it’s there,” he replied. “I got it long ago when I was a teen-ager playing hockey.”
“And I bet it bled and hurt like the dickens at the time,” I said, “ but now you don’t even notice it when you look in the mirror and no-one else remarks on it, do they?”
“You’re right,” he said, “I had completely forgotten about it.”
“Then you can think of this affair as a scar on the heart,” I explained. “Right now it is a giant gaping cut which needs to be bandaged and looked after, but with time, it will heal, it will close up. Yes, it will leave scar tissue, but just like the hockey wound, the scar will fade and become lighter and lighter as time goes on. If you stick with your marriage for fifty years, this affair will be just a little blip on an otherwise happy union of two people who found each other and knew they were meant to be together.”
This seemed to give him a small modicum of hope, and he left feeling more encouraged that he could survive this affair and overcome his pain.