Client Share: Time Heals All Wounds – Really?

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Client Share: Time Heals All Wounds – Really?

By SCC Client April 3, 2024 04.03.2024 Share:
Anger Conflict Counseling Couples Family Infidelity Marriage Reflection Relationships Therapy

In this series called ‘Client Share’, we make room for our clients who want to use their experiences with relationships, mental health, and their therapy journey to help others who might benefit from this client’s experiences. Names and identifying information have been changed or removed to protect the client’s identity.

We’ve all heard the adage “time heals all wounds.” Honestly, I knew the phrase but never had reason to apply it to anything or anyone in my life.  If you read my last post, you would have learned I went into counseling for the infidelity of my spouse and subsequent divorce.  The concept of time was constantly on my mind and a question for my counselor, “When will I feel better”, “What about everyone else”, “How long did it take for them to get over the betrayal and grief?”

Timeline of Healing

I wanted a measurement.  I wanted a date where the anguish, pain, doubt, and everything that follows a betrayal and affair would be over. The answer always was “It’s different for everyone.”  Not a response I wanted to hear.  I was a planner. Someone whose life was scheduled according to a timeline I learned from the world around me. School calendar; vacations; retirement planning; college planning, you get the idea. Trying to plan how long I would feel the pain of an affair was not something all the advisors in my life had an answer to.

The Game of Hide and Seek

Those close to you want you to wrap it up quickly.  I am not sure whether those loved ones and friends want your pain to end or want you to stop bringing up the topic that is seemingly always at the top of your mind.  Regardless of whether they know or not, whether you wear the mask of happiness or the mask of sadness,  you may still be in pain. What transpires is a game of hide and seek.  You hide the truth of your pain from those around you, and seek over and over and ongoing that new happiness.

Life Continues Amid Betrayal

My timeline was not typical, at least based on my readings from others in a similar situation.  I’ve had it described as “uncommon.”  In my situation, my ex-spouse chose to leave the children and the marriage and continue the affair in another state.  The unknown of the relationship lasted seven years.  Those seven years were not idle.  Life continues as everyone says: school, jobs, graduation, new jobs, and moves to new places and cities.  All those things that make up life continue.  But, have the wounds been healed?

The Magical Timeline

What is the magical timeline?  Seven years was way too long. Lots of mitigating events slowed that down: a supposedly remorseful spouse hoping to string the pain along; financial reasons; sheer self-blinders wanting the issue to go away if I just don’t address it. Whatever the reason, the lesson learned, by me, that I parlay to others, is two years.  That’s right.  I said two years. That’s not a number some experts passed to me. It’s the timeline I feel called to tell others who may be stuck in the unknown of a stagnant relationship, whether because of betrayal or some other relationship disconnect. I have no science to back my response. My response is purely based on hindsight I gained in the delay; constantly asking “When will time heal all wounds?” At two years, the betraying partner will have made their decision whether to end the affair or continue it. If they haven’t ended the affair almost immediately, I think the answer is clear.  Some experts will speak to the idea of limerence. A fancy word that simply means, at least to me, that you are still not the one.

Gauging the Heart

I’ve encountered so many stories of betrayed spouses who have lingered into the abyss with the betraying spouse half in and half out still engaging with the affair partner.  For the betrayed, you need to gauge your heart.  Not the heart that is so heavily weighted to not believing the reality that the relationship is over.  But the heart that looks at the person; that former lover;  that former partner, and gives an honest assessment of whether the individual you thought you married was still there.


So, back to the original question, does time heal all wounds? Unfortunately, my answer is “it depends.”  For me, the wounds have not healed.  The shame, pain and every other type of emotional condition experienced has not entirely healed.  Therapy is still needed for my mind, heart, and soul. I am less worried about the timeline and have accepted the answer I usually get, “it depends.” For me, unfortunately, I have not been a fast healer. Acceptance of that fact, by me, has eased the anxiety and anguish that the wound is still there.  I have put aside much of the advice, from books, online resources, and by persons in my life, that I should be back on that road to a full life.  So for those still trying to determine the “real” part of the question, Time Heals All Wounds-take heart.  You are not alone.  There is at least one, me, who is still trying to work out that answer.


Schedule your appointment with one of our counseling and therapy experts today.

Older Post: Staying Mindful in a World Full of Distractions