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Long Line of Pain
Written By: Mark Smith


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As mid-life approaches the wheels come off most marriages with predictability and near ruthlessness. Our neediness, confusion, emptiness, restlessness, depression and darkness had been rumbling around in us for decades. We just weren't old enough, strong enough or sick of ourselves enough to face it. But now that the marriage has gone to shit we are forced to do some work on ourselves pronto or the whole ship will come down. Life is hard. Staying truly connected and intimate in marriage for 50 years is virtually impossible for almost all of us. We aren't healthy enough to pull that off. Marital pain is the universe's can opener. It cuts deep enough to pierce the armor. Whatever is inside is going to come out. It takes a great deal of courage to face off with our childhood wounds, our insecurities, our addictions, the walls in our marriages, our denial, our flaws, our shame, our fear of abandonment, in short, the truth about us.

I recently heard the powerful song 'Long Line Of Pain' by Amos Lee for the first time. Listen to it on U-Tube but come right back. Amos Lee 'Long Line of Pain' The truth is that we all come from a long line of pain. Mine was a weak and hapless father born to a 14 year old Pennsylvania hillbilly mother and a father who denied his existence and an angry, controlling mother who was dumped in an orphanage for several years after her young mother was impregnated by the married man of the family she babysat for. Then these two lost souls had 7 kids!

Your story may not be as pathetic as that but there are some ugly twists and turns in your family history as well, admit it. Amos Lee pours a lot of heart and depth into his song...

I come from a long line of pain
My family suffered greatly for my gain
And I think a lot about
How my daddy died
So I would not live without

And his heart lives in my song
Where the melody comes
And just as quickly the melody is gone
I'm back alone, far from home

Now my mamma's on her own
I try to call her and see her when I'm home
And after all that she's been through
All the doctors say: "There ain't nothing we can do"

And her heart lives in my song
Where the melody comes
And just as quickly the melody is gone
I'm back alone, far from home

There's a bird outside my window
Takes the song where he goes
And he leaves it there
Like a dead man's rocking chair

And tonight I'm feeling lost and
Headin' down the highway out to Boston
I get the sense I might lose it
I thank God tonight for the light I got in music

'Cause my heart lives in this song
Where the melody comes
And just as quickly, the melody is gone
I'm back alone, far from home

So what if you don't have that one thing like Lee's music to give you light? The long line of pain will someday come at you looking for pay day, a day of psychological reckoning. The pain is too great and the price is too high for some deeply wounded souls. They have lost all light and all hope. They damaged their marriage beyond repair and they don't have another passion to serve as a life preserver through the dark storm of divorce and aloneness.

I met such a man recently. 'Long Line of Pain' was the last song played on his Ipod just before he took his own life. He was a man long acquainted with pain, loneliness, secrets and hopelessness. The song is his message to you from the other side. It is beckoning you to have the courage, the urgency, the humility, the flexibility and the survival drive to attack the process of breaking the long line of pain soon enough to save your marriage, to save large chunks of your potential and perhaps even to save your life.

Learn from your pain. Exhume the corpse of your dead marriage and then 'CSI' all the evidence available to help solve the mystery of you. Pain is at times brutal but it is all good if you understand who you are, where you came from and why you married who you did.

If your marriage is still drawing breath then get in to see a dynamic therapist and fix it by fixing the two broken, wounded participants in it. Marital pain is not a bad thing. It is an opportunity to heal yourself from the core of your being. Almost all of you are strong enough and open enough to do the work. Your marital pain is not about your spouse. They are actually part of the cure. Your marital pain is about the dysfunction of those who taught you how to love and be loved. It is about your long line of pain. The quickest way through your pain is right through it. Don't let your long line of pain steal your life or your marriage or your spirit from you. Fight the dreaded three D's of divorce, depression and death with hope and fire in your belly. Life is an adventure and it is so worth living, in spite of the pain. Marriages can be resurrected from the dead. It is worth facing all the pain and doing all the hard work. It is a wonderful miracle when that happens.

Indianapolis Marriage Counseling Information






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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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