Take the pain was my mantra, my way of thinking, my life.
It was 1987, I was 22 years old working as a college intern doing civil engineering work. The work was in a mid-west city and I was living with a roommate in a much smaller city nearby. We went to see the movie Platoon with some friends of my roommate.
Little did I know that a scene in that movie would haunt me for decades.
Platoon is the kind of movie you go away from and will not really talk for a long time afterwards. Instead of going out for a snack, or coffee or for drinks after, most people left kind of shell shocked. You did not feel like joking around after. It is hard to laugh when you see the evil and twisted sickness of war. Of the atrocities committed by soldiers on all sides. When you see people put into impossible situations and expected to be heroes instead of hired killers.
You come out of a movie like that changed. I changed for the better and for the worse. I realized in those moments that my decision years before to not join a college ROTC program or get involved in the military in any way was one of the best decisions of my life. The financial incentive to join was enormous, but I put all that aside to struggle through without Uncle Sam's help.
I know it was just a movie, but you do not have to be in a war to know the unspeakable horror that goes on.
The scene in the movie that changed me for the worse was the troop was in a night fire fight and one of the guys gets all shot up and he starts to scream in obvious agony. Sergeant Barnes, brilliantly portrayed by Tom Berenger, comes up to him and clamps his hand over the soldiers mouth and hisses to him - "Take the Pain. You are going to get us all killed" or something to that effect.
That scene played out in my life over and over and was my life.
That scene is me taking the pain of the miserable marriage I was in and not crying out and not finding a way to relieve the pain I was under.
It is easier to continue to take the pain you are in already rather than venturing out into something perhaps better.
My pain was to stay married to a verbally abusive women for far too long. I took the pain of her continual complaints, long-winded lectures on all my faults, her off the handle rage attacks and the pain of wondering when the bad would happen whenever she would happen to be nice.
My pain was spending the better part of my life hearing how I was such an awful person and how I had so many faults.
My pain is to endure the abuses I put my body through.
My pain was to go to jobs I barely tolerated to try to make enough money to pay the bills.
I had no trouble tolerating pain.
Obtaining pleasure and happiness is what I find hard.
I took the pain of a miserable marriage. I did not give my position away.
No one knew I was in pain. No one knew what I was going through. No one cared, because no one knew. I confided in nobody.
My awakening was a solitary journey I took step by step. I read about verbal abuse in books at the library and the bookstore. I read more on-line. I made hidden journal entries chronically each verbal abuse episode. I tracked the problems and knew I could never be happy remaining with my wife.
Yet I stayed. I stayed for months and years after I should have left. These months and years are gone and I am way behind on recreating my life.
I took the pain. I learned the lesson from Platoon.
But the lesson is wrong.
You are not here to take the pain. Your life is not some gritty Hollywood movie where you are supposed to suffer your pain in silence with a stoic, tough man attitude. You are not here to suffer so that others might live well on your behalf.
You are alive and you deserve to live.
You are worthy too. You are not here to suffer so that your family and friends and people you hardly know can have a good life.
You can have a good life.
Can't you see that you continuing to take the pain is not helping you and not ultimately helping anyone else?
It was not the soldiers fault he got shot up in Vietnam. It is not him making the decisions to wage pointless wars bent on destruction for who really knows why. Wars are waged for the evil, twisted psychopaths in Washington D.C., not you and not I.
You do not need to take the pain. You need to find relief from the pain however you can. You need to find a way out. You need to relieve it. You need to put it behind you. You need to live now. Not when your kids are grown up. Not when you are on better financial footing. Not when the family situation is more stable. Not when your wife passes away from old age. Now.
You do not need to take the pain to your grave.
You need to cry out. You need to act out. You need to make it plain that you are in pain and you are going to do whatever it takes to get rid of it. You have to find a way to release the pain and live pain-free.
Life is not you taking pain. Life is you finding happiness and pleasure and enjoyment.
You are not here only to serve others. Serving others is merely a means to an end. You serve others to meet your own needs as a way of bettering your own life.
I am not against serving others, I am against you taking the pain as a way of serving others beside yourself.
Your life has just as much worth as someone else, doesn't it?
Waiting for your life to get better without doing something to make it so is no good for you.
There is never a good time to end a marriage. The time will never seem right. That is why you have to forget about finding the right time and concentrate on what is right for you. You will find that doing what is right for you and getting rid of the pain will tell you what you have to do. Waiting to live will create pain in your life.
There is a good time to start your life. Now.
If you feel at all like your marriage is holding you back. If you feel at all like something is wrong. If you feel at all like your pain is from your marriage then you owe it to yourself to at least learn more about my story of how I left my wife.
I was not a strong man when I left my wife. I barely was able to go through with it. If you are reading this you may not be that strong either. Your wife may have taken control of your life and made you a shell of a man. Learn how to gain the strength to leave here -
How to Leave Your Wife