Consider Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption. Andy lived in prison for nearly 20 years for murders he didn't commit. He lived in a situation that would seemingly never end. That’s how dealing with an affair felt to me. I wasn’t sure how I would ever get through the crap to live happily with Ann again.
Eventually, Andy used a small geologist's hammer to tunnel out of the limestone prison. His friend, Red, said, "I remember thinking it would take a man 600 years to tunnel out of the wall with it. Andy did it in less than 20." Red continued, "Andy loved geology...geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really. Pressure and time."
Like Andy we have a choice. We can play it safe and go back to our prison cell or we can risk crawling through a pipe of crap that goes on longer than we ever imagined we can endure to emerge in freedom. Pressure and time are part of affair recovery.
Keep going. Be willing to keep going, even if it hurts so bad you want to stop, even if the crap stinks so bad you want to vomit. When almost every ounce in you wants to turn around, keep going. As long as you keep moving, if both spouses are moving, even if at different paces, there is hope.
Don’t give up.
We’ve seen this process of redemption in our lives. When other couples seek our guidance, trapped in pain following an affair, we help them experience the rescue and deliverance to freedom that filled our souls.
You really can do this even if you don't see the way out of the prison cell right now. Know that God sees you. He sees ahead beyond the pain that obstructs your vision of the future.
For Ann and me it was worth going through all the crap to find freedom in our relationship with God and in our marriage. At times all we can do is raise our hands in worship to the mystery of a God who redeems the mess of our greatest wounds and our greatest sins.
Keep moving forward.