There is one other major way women experience denial on the journey—they get busy and stay that way. You’ve probably heard of people who lose a spouse and never cry; they just pour themselves into their jobs or a cause or something, staying perpetually busy and active. Why do they do that?
Because if they slow down and get quiet long enough, the pain will overwhelm them. And they don’t want to do the pain. Understandable. Right? And we do the same thing. We find out our husband has been sleeping with people every time he goes out of town on business or downloading pornography every time he gets on the computer, and we shut down emotionally. Our life becomes a series of tasks and to-do lists. Somehow we keep going, a shell of a woman, consumed with activity to avoid the pain of our reality. When I talk with women experiencing this kind of denial, I often hear horror stories of what their husbands have done, and yet, the stories are related with very little emotion. No anger, no tears, no sorrow. When I ask why they don’t seem sad about it all, inevitably the reply will be, “I don’t have time to be sad.” Busy-ness. It’s a great way to avoid grieving, and unfortunately healing as well.”
–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One