My friend *Camile cried to me over the phone this past weekend. She suspects that her new husband is cheating on her. If her fears are correct, this would be her second marriage strained, if not destroyed, by infidelity.
Fact: Camile husband keeps an extra cell phone for his work as a doctor.
Fact: Camile is not allowed to know the number or have access to this additional phone.
Fact: The two haven’t been intimate since COVID began…
Flash back to three years ago when Camile discovered her first husband (now an ex) sexting with his nurse. Once Camile caught him red-handed, her ex said he “wanted out anyway.”
It’s worth noting that for month’s prior to Camile’s sexting find, she’d wanted to confront her then husband. But each time, the mere idea of broaching the topic made her queasy with discomfort.
Within months of Camile’s split from her ex, before the divorce was even finalized, she started dating the man who is now her current husband.
Tonight, as Camile broke down to me, I could hear the familiar tinkle of a glass that had accompanied our talks back in 2017.
“What are you drinking?”
It was a rhetorical question. My dear friend’s imbibing companion was always the same: Riesling. While she isn’t much of a drinker, she does become a fan of the white grape wine whenever heartache arises.
Camile chooses wine in lieu of facing her pain. I tend to go for the chips and ice cream. Some of us choose inedible comfort food when a challenge of the heart grows imminent: gambling, smoking pot, retail therapy.
The last time I heard Camile drinking her beloved Riesling was during her divorce proceedings. Once her current husband entered the picture, I can’t recall her enjoying the beverage.
To avoid pain and suffering is human nature, but sometimes, the very thing we are trying not to experience actually prolongs if not worsens it. Camile never truly mourned the end of her marriage, never honored her feelings of anger and betrayal. Tonight, those lessons are knocking on her door again.
What lessons are knocking on your door? What pain and heartache do you run from and subsequently continue to experience?
There is a gift in acknowledging everything from discomfort to heartache. If we don’t pause long enough to accept the gift, we run the risk of repeating pain in merely a new guise.
While it sounds counter-intuitive, when we allow ourselves to experience pain, true healing and growth begins.