One of my biggest pet peeves is the idea that “time heals all wounds,” especially as it relates to injuries in relationships.
These four words have caused so many couples so much damage, it’s about time we debunked this myth of time being the cure all for every problem.
FORGIVENESS heals wounds, not time.
Time can actually make wounds worse if they were not properly dealt with in the first place.
The human body is a miraculous thing and can naturally heal itself – so in that sense – yes, time can heal wounds.
Certainly not all wounds. You don’t hear ER docs turning gunshot wound patients away saying, “just give it some time.”
Such is the case with severe wounds in love.
Let’s take infidelity, the gunshot wound of relationships.
Unless an affair is properly dealt with, forgiven and healed from (I go into more details about how to right your wrong after an affair in this post here), it may be a source of pain and disconnection for the entirety of your relationship.
You may think you are healed from it, but you may well not be.
You may tell yourself, “I should just get over this, it’s been so long,” but the actual process of healing can be downright difficult and one few dare to undergo.
Instead of wishing things were different or fooling yourself that they are, as usual, my advice is to get real honest with yourself.
Ask yourself if you really forgive your partner.
Do you really trust your partner?
Do you really feel close and connected with your partner or is there some wall up still?
Do you sometimes suspect your partner is cheating?
If an affair from decades ago is still coming between you and your partner having a truly connected and solid relationship, please know:
There’s nothing wrong with you.
This is pretty common.
And you can get through this.
Don’t buy into the jargon that time heals all wounds, because it doesn’t.
And it’s not going to without some active effort on your part AND on your partner’s.
The person who cheated has to not only feel remorse, but has to understand the pain they caused their partner.
That requires presence, courage, an ability to tolerate a certain amount of shame, which can be especially difficult.
It requires true emotional vulnerability and connection.
And faith that it will all be okay. That your love can weather the storm together.
As Robert Frost said:
“The only way out is through.”
This is true of what it takes to heal all wounds.
You would not try to dress a gunshot wound yourself.
Or if you had a bullet buried within you, suddenly try to fish it out decades later.
Save yourself some distress and get some help for your relationship.
Highly skilled, qualified and trained couples therapists exist to walk you both down roads you’d rather avoid, but ones that will undoubtedly take you to greener pastures in love.
The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy has a listing of couples therapists internationally.
Life is better when you’re stronger in love.
If you think you can use some assistance navigating the terrain, you can.
Time won’t heal all wounds, but your commitment, presence, and someone who knows the way most certainly can.
Your relationship is one of your best assets.
When happy in love, your health, finances and mood are all better off.
Time may not heal your wounds, but that doesn’t mean they can’t heal.
Take care of yourself and your relationship.
And enjoy truly getting this behind you and moving on together, stronger in love.
P.S. Let’s share some inspiration – if you’ve been helped by a couples therapist in the past, feel free to let us know below! You may give someone the nudge they need to get some help.