“Pierced with Deep Wounds” continued (part 2)

“…if I could set aside my hurt and anger, I could be a true “help meet” to my husband (Abraham 5:14). We also knew it was not good for him to go through this alone (see Abraham 5:14). This could be an opportunity for me to help bear his burdens (see Mosiah 18:8).” (Written by unnamed in the June 2010, Ensign.)
After reading this article, one of my clients emailed me and asked, “This woman talks about how she stayed with her man, stood by him, supported him and loved him through everything. This seems to contradict what I’ve learned in counseling with you. If our men misbehave we’re supposed to send them on their way? What if we’re (wives) the only thing keeping them clean? If our men are losing battles, but are repentant what are we supposed to do?”
As a clinician, I have seen a wide range of “wounds” come into my “emergency room”. (Sometimes it helps to compare these unfortunate life experiences to physical injuries) In essence, the woman I meet tells me in a pool of tears, “My husband just hit me with a truck!” And then I meet the husband, and with all sincerity he says, “I wasn’t in my right mind when I hit her with that truck. It was an accident. I feel terrible about it.” It is my job to assess the damage both have experienced, and make recommendations for healing.
I have been able to narrow his behavior down to 2 explanations. Either he hurt his wife on purpose (I rarely see this one). Or he lost control of the use of his own mind and plowed over a loved one. If the second is true, his mind will have its own trauma to deal with. I imagine accidentally backing my truck over my wife or child in a mindless state. I would be a wreck for a long time.
So, I find that I have two people in hospital beds next to each other. The severity of her injuries depends on a few factors. How big was the truck? How fast was it going when it hit her? How strong was her body at the time of the injury?
I agree with the author of “Pierced…”, it is a great blessing to rise above hurt and anger to be of service to someone else in a hospital bed, but there are times when a woman is in the intensive care unit, and really cannot be there for anybody else. She needs to spend her energy tapping into the power of God and other medical resources to help her body to heal from the experience(s).
I agree with the quote, “It is not good for man to be alone” as well. He does need help, but let us be discerning depending on the situation. If an individual is sitting next to your hospital bed, trying as sincerely as possible to be remorseful and kind, and then says, “I really don’t know when I am going to hit you with a truck again. Because I am not sure when and where I am going to lose control of my mind again, I guess it is possible that I could hit you with a truck again while you are laying here in the hospital bed.” If someone said that to me, in an effort to be completely honest with me, I would have a very hard time relaxing and letting my body heal. If he accidently hit me with a truck again while I was laying in the hospital bed, no matter how much I love him and cared about his welfare, I would need some distance, for my own protection.
If I were him, I hope I would take responsibility for the damage I was causing and keep myself at a safe distance until I was confident I could keep her safe. There are enough professionals out there that specialize in helping with these issues that he should be able to make significant progress before she comes out of the ICU.
I had mixed feelings when I read this part of the “Pierced…” article. I know that women want deeply to be of service to others. I also know that they are quick to feel guilt when they aren’t able to live up to the descriptions of ‘ideal behavior’. Based on her description of events in her article, this woman was hit by a smaller truck at a slower speed than most of my clients. It is my goal to help each woman heal to the point where she can be there for her man, and to help each man heal to the point where he can be there for his woman, so they can “bare one another’s burdens” without accidentally hurting each other.
Finally, to answer the question, “What if we’re (wives) the only thing keeping them clean?” Every year of my life I grow in my understanding of the value of women. Notwithstanding this value, the wife can never be the only thing keeping a man clean if he is going to recover for a lifetime. In order to succeed, he must sink his roots deep in his relationship with his God. He must not rely too much on the arm of flesh (his wife). Notwithstanding your great strength, ladies, you are still too mortal for another individual to expect you to be a God for them. Almost every man I work with, both young and old, are highly dedicated to overcoming this addiction and regaining control of their minds whether you are a part of their lives or not. It is humiliating and disabling to have such struggles. This alone is enough for many of them to build a fire of motivation to learn to win. It doesn’t hurt to add your stick to the fire, it will flame hirer! But he should be able to succeed with our without you.
More on this article later. Please ask questions for clarification.

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.