Balancing out a dysfunctional marriage

Journal Entry: November 24, 2014

Once we knew therapy was ending with Chatty Kathy, both my husband and I talked about the fact that we NEEDED to find a new couple’s counselor, right away. I no longer go to individual therapy, and my husband is still very much trying to tackle the recovery process. When Blue Eyes mentioned to the shrink a couple months ago that I was ready to begin couple’s counseling, The Shrink actually recommended we go to my old therapist, the one with the wive’s support group. Obviously Blue Eyes had his doubts about Chatty Kathy from the beginning if he was asking for references before we even began therapy. Anyway, this “old” therapist is the one that really seemed to be “in tune” with my husband’s needs, we’ll call her Ms. Second Chance. I decided I had no problem giving her a second chance,. Call me lazy, but I really, really did not want to have to start over. Ms. Second Chance knows me and our situation. I honestly don’t think I gave her much of a first chance, really. I have come a long way. I figured, why the hell not. Let’s give her another chance. She is a specialist, and she is the opposite of Chatty Kathy. She is the kind of shrink that you see in the movies. Respectful, patient, a good listener. Did she piss me off way back when. Yeah, but now we have a different dynamic in our marriage, and this is couple’s therapy, and she will be able to understand my crazy sex addict husband (hopefully), and I have like six or seven months of dealing with my husband and my own trauma under my belt. I’m practically an expert at knowing exactly what is going to trigger me and exactly how my husband will behave. I am not as easily intimidated, ha.

So I call Ms. Second Chance and lo and behold, she remembered me. She was happy to schedule us in, but it was going to take a couple weeks. Fine with me, we’re not going anywhere. Well, we do travel a lot, but our marriage wasn’t going anywhere, for the moment. The first session with Ms. Second Chance is always 90 minutes. We blew through that first 90 minutes updating her on my journey since I stopped seeing her in April, and then also doing a full history on Blue Eyes.

By the second session she was just beginning to see the dynamic between me and Blue Eyes. I’m sure the frustration coming from both of us was obvious. We talked about how many sleepless nights we suffer. About how little work is getting done. About how we are neglecting our business. About how Blue Eyes procrastinates and then brings up work items at something like 1:00am and we go on and on so that we cannot possibly get up at a normal hour and function like normal people. This has always been a problem, not just since dday. We talked about how I am triggered at all times of the day and night now, which prompts long and painful discussions about past acting out behaviors or my trauma journey. We talked about how raw everything has become for Blue Eyes now that he doesn’t have his drug to fall back on. He has not acted out for nearly a year and he has not been with his last affair partner for 16 months. We talked about Blue Eyes’ family and how we are not on speaking terms. We talked about the people in our life “that know.” Ms. Second Chance gave us some rules about setting parameters around our communication. Setting aside time for talking about business, or talking about recovery. She wanted us to get on a schedule and plan our week out in advance. Schedule in time apart. Well, hallelujah, I live for organization, and order, and schedules, and time apart. Good luck getting my husband to conform to that. He has never been organized or able to think or plan ahead. Except, of course, when he was in his addictive cycle.

By our third session, this morning, our real issues were beginning to surface. We had had a bad night, and a bad morning. Blue Eyes was all up inside his head, ignoring me and my needs, having an all out pity party. We walked into Ms. Second Chance’s office pissed off. We sat at opposite ends of the sofa. Usually we hold hands during the entire session. We don’t really plan it, it just happens naturally. Being near enough to touch each other comforts both of us. Ironically, me not wanting to touch him was one of the lies he told his AP, but that doesn’t mean I am going to change who I am. I have always touched him. When he is “in” his addiction, he is a fucking liar. Anyway, this morning Ms. Second Chance could see that something was up. It was a great segue into our therapy session as the dysfunction was present and fresh in our minds. As we did our check in, Blue Eyes was sort of naturally working through his frustrations. I honestly cannot even remember what they were, because he doesn’t really talk about them when they are happening, and then after the fact he cannot always remember what prompted the anger or resentment, he just usually focuses on the resulting emotions and how ungrounded he feels. Withdrawal, it sucks! Within five minutes, we were holding hands. We didn’t even notice. Ms. Second Chance pointed it out to us. She said obviously, even though we were struggling, we still wanted to be close, and connected. Well, HELLO, this is what I have been saying all along. We are a couple and we love each other. We have been together for 30 years and I did not know anything was wrong, because, we do hold hands, we are intimate, we do get along, we do like similar things, and I always thought we respected each other. I respected him, but he only respected me when he wasn’t in an addictive cycle. I am struggling with figuring out what I am supposed to do here. I have loved him for 30 years. Am I supposed to stop loving him because he made some really shitty mistakes by not acknowledging a secret sex life. That he was medicating himself and had become a consummate con artist. I guess if he is not going to change, I will definitely have to leave, but he is changing. He is changing so much that at one point I sobbed that I missed the old Blue Eyes. The addicted Blue Eyes. I did not know he was fucking other women. I just knew he seemed in control, and he wasn’t home all the time, needy and defeated, and he wasn’t wallowing in his own sorrow. Yeah, he was being a bad, bad boy, but I didn’t know anything about it. I actually fell in love with a sex addict and now I am having to learn to love a recovering sex addict. It is confusing, and stressful, and painful, and exhausting.

We worked out a lot of shit at the therapist’s office this morning. We have yet to come up with a schedule and keep it, but hey, we held hands, and it felt good!

5 thoughts on “Balancing out a dysfunctional marriage

  1. Dear Kat, I have spent this snowday (and rare Saturday without my family) reading your blog. I am so moved by your story. Your honest words, I’m sure, serve so many who are struggling through the terrible grips of sex addiction. I am so sorry for the pain you must endure. There is so much to learn. Thank you for sharing your experience so that others too, may grow from your experience. May you and your husband continue to grow stronger from the broken places. May love prevail.

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    • I am honored that you are spending your precious alone time reading my blog. Even a year later, I still cannot believe it is my story. Thank you for your kind words, they mean the world to me. I really appreciate this blogging community as a lot of bloggers and commenters give me something to think about, and generally help me feel stronger. Enjoy your winter snow day. Fresh snow is so beautiful!

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  2. CK, that is awesome! I’m so glad you had a therapist you could fall back on – starting your story, your history etc with a new therapist is exhausting in itself! Good stuff. Sounds like you and hubby are making progress, whether it really feels like that right now or not. Really happy for you. Sending you good vibes for contributed progress : ) SWxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Still playing catch up from Japan and the jet lag is a bear. Thanks so much for your kind comment. We ARE making progress although my next post is not going to represent that. I have been procrastinating on posting it because it is painful, but I gotta do it so I can move on. ❤

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