It’s Tuesday, which means therapy day all the way around. Blue Eyes has his individual therapy in the morning and we have couple’s therapy in the afternoon. Last night was another rough one, but we got past it.
In today’s therapy, Blue Eyes did good. He changed things up on Ms. Second Chance. He let me share first. What a novelty. It worked great. She stayed focused on us as a couple and didn’t get all mired down by Blue Eyes’ sex addiction woes. I talked about my painting workshop and she seemed genuinely happy that I had done something just for myself. Guess what people, I may talk a lot about Blue Eyes, but I do a lot of shit for myself. If I could get away with it, I would go to the spa every day, then go shopping, and then paint for a while, read a book, go to a movie, maybe eat a slice of chocolate cake–I mean exercise for an hour… but I’m not some frickin’ movie star. I have a job (sort of, I have been a real slacker lately), I have a blog, ha, just kidding. I have been cleaning and decluttering the house (something I have diligently avoided since dday) as we will have it appraised later this week for a refinance that is part of a financing package for our new beach house. Oh yeah, they are supposed to start building our beach house next month. Yippee! I know! A dream is going to come true and next week it will only be ONE WHOLE YEAR since we purchased the property. In nine days we will have owned a piece of beach front property for a year and there is absolutely nothing on it but some overgrown grass. Who knew building a beach house would take SO LONG.
Life is not all bad, despite what some might think. I do not just sit around lamenting the fact that my marriage turned to shit and my husband is a lying, cheating addict. Anyway, I talked in therapy today about my one bad episode on our road trip where we passed through the town where Blue Eyes fucked Ashley in “our” bed. I almost laughed when the therapist cringed. She hates it when I laugh. Mainly I tried to stay on topic, which for me was the fact that Blue Eyes has been unable to “be with me” during these times of trauma. When he can see that I am going to a dark place, he turns into a robot. A robot that holds my hand and says such things as, “I love you so much.” Yeah, doesn’t help, at all. She asked me what I wanted him to do and I told her I wanted him to be able to talk about his addiction, how it felt to make the choices he did. If he wasn’t thinking about us, what was he thinking about. What drove him to such insanity. Sure I’ve read all about sex addiction in books, but I want to hear it straight from Blue Eyes’ mouth. Ms. Second Chance asked Blue Eyes if he would be able to answer those kinds of questions for me, while I was in trauma. He said it has been really really difficult for him to do this, but he thought he definitely should be able to. She had him turn to me and do what I wanted him to do, just talk openly and honestly about what he had done, and why. And if he couldn’t come up with a why, then what was he thinking, or even what does he think now about what he did then. And guess what, Blue Eyes did it. Just like a puppy going for the treat. He talked and talked about how he didn’t want to feed his addiction, but he couldn’t control it. That he knew he was doing things that were so very wrong, but there was a force inside him, an angry resentful immature voice that felt entitled to not only nurture a relationship with a needy woman, but take advantage of her, especially her body, sexually. He felt entitled to the sex. He hated himself. He hated what he had done. He didn’t know why he did it. He felt utter shame and remorse afterwards, and he swore to himself he would never ever ever do such a thing again. His voice broke, he rubbed his eyes, he was in deep pain. But, addiction is an insidious monster that feeds on the weaknesses of it’s victims. Okay, he didn’t say that last part, but it is how I felt about his illness once he opened up and told me how he felt. Ms. Second Chance asked if that was what I was looking for in terms of a response, a connection, from Blue Eyes. I said yes, that was perfect. I knew that if he spoke honestly and openly with me and made himself vulnerable, it would snap me out of my pit of despair. It would help me metabolize the insanity of it. He probably didn’t even have to go that far with it. Even if he talked about something he had read in his recovery books or a buddhist passage or a mindfulness piece that spoke to him, and why it spoke to him, I know I would be able to get out of the conjured memory loop and back into reality. The only thing that sends me into the trauma, is thoughts of Blue Eyes’ betrayal. I think the only thing that can quickly and effectively bring me back to our current reality, is him having an open, honest dialogue with me, even if it appears I am not listening. Talk me out of it anyway. I have asked him for this for 15 months. He has never done it, until today.
So that left a nagging question in my mind and I had to voice it. I asked Blue Eyes why he thought he was able to open up at the therapist’s office when he had not, to this point, been able to do that with me, no matter how many times I asked, in private. Even when I wasn’t in trauma, but merely when he was sharing about an important passage he had read, or something that had been discussed in therapy or a step meeting. He has such a difficult time relating it to himself in words, but I know it must mean something to him inside, otherwise why share that particular moment or material. I told him I felt like he had put me in a box with his parents, his family. That I was part of the system that he resented and that he was angry at and that is why he didn’t want to communicate with me. That to me it felt like, from his perspective, I represented a part of his life that was out of his control or that I would judge him when he opened up and made himself vulnerable, like he knew his parents would. I thought I was really getting somewhere. I felt good about how this session was progressing. He told me he did not resent me and that he did not lump me with his parents. But I looked him in the eye and asked him why, then, did he have such a hard time opening up and being truly intimate and vulnerable with me. He said he thought maybe it was because the therapist’s office is a “safe” place… and a smile crept across my face. It wasn’t an evil smile, or a condescending smile, it was a knowing smile. He immediately started to back peddle and he said to me… “well, our home is a safe place too…”
I thought we were doing really well, and then Ms. Second Chance had to stick her nose in and ruin it. She said “we” needed to figure out why there was a communication break down between “us” and why our home wasn’t “safe” for Blue Eyes. Whoa, WTF? I said, wait, where is this “we” coming from? I can communicate anywhere. I can communicate the hell of a situation (haven’t you seen my 4,000 word blog posts??? ha, just kidding). I could walk out into the street, gather a crowd of people, and open up my soul to Blue Eyes right there in public. Blue Eyes needs to figure out why HE has trouble communicating almost EVERYWHERE. She looked me dead in the eye and she said, “Kat, I sincerely want you to take this in the helpful way it is intended, but you need to realize that you have harmed yourself in your home and perhaps that is why it is not a safe place for Blue Eyes to open up to you.” BOOM! There it is. This is all my fault, of course it is. Thank you so much, Ms. $120 an hour for your kind, gracious, thoughtful, sensitive insight. I told her I respectfully disagreed with her analysis of the situation. That Blue Eyes was this way before dday. That Blue Eyes was this way before I ever harmed myself. That I actually harmed myself for the first time in HAWAII, not in our home. That mostly I did not harm myself in our home and that I hadn’t harmed myself for many many months. Then Blue Eyes spoke up and said he didn’t think that my harming myself had anything to do with it. That he had trouble communicating everywhere and that it was more about him not being able to open up and be vulnerable, about his not working hard enough at going into the deep and difficult place where he feels so weak, and where his addiction resides. That he still has the instinct to protect himself and hide, hide behind excuses. Thank you, Blue Eyes. I said that I hoped that Blue Eyes would find this topic of conversation important enough to bring up with his individual therapist because regardless of what the cause, it is his issue to deal with. We cannot have a viable partnership if he cannot open up and be vulnerable with me outside of a therapist’s office. That no matter the cause (even if it is me) that it is still HIS issue because he is the one not communicating. And then, our time was up.
As always, we walked out of the therapist’s office, ironically, feeling more connected than ever. It was a nice warm, sunny afternoon and I needed to go to an art supply store to get a canvas. I am painting something for my mother for Mother’s Day. We talked, we laughed. After we left the art store, we strolled a half block to a little coffee shop and shared a cantaloupe bubble tea. I feel like we made progress today. I feel good.
5 thoughts on “More couple’s therapy”
I honestly think men open up in counseling because there is a third person of “authority”. My husband had a hard time at first but, by the second session, he did. He felt “safe”, too. It infuriated me because no matter how much I begged him to open up to me privately, he held back. I suppose they feel that the therapist will mediate the discussion more effectively. Whatever. It still pisses me off.
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Yes, men are certainly a unique breed. Unfortunately, in order to be in a marriage, they need to be able to open up outside the therapist’s office too. At least my husband needs to work towards that for me. What really pissed me off was the therapist trying to dump shit back on me again. Whatever. I know I am far from perfect, but geez, haven’t I endured enough torture? If my husband cannot rise to the occasion, meet me at least half way, I don’t see any point. I think he wants to and he is working on it, and that is all I ask right now.
I completely agree, Kat, regarding your therapist, as well as that men should communicate better.
Communication is truly the thing that can make/break a relationship.
Keep up what you are doing. You are doing all you can! Hope the same for BE – that he improves his communication with you 🙂
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A holiday home on the beach…sounds divine! I hope you’ll be able to enjoy it. SWxo
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Me too, SW, me too! At least it will be new and not somewhere my husband has ever been with another woman, unlike the town we live in, our house, our office, many of the cities we frequent on business trips, etc… I am hoping it will always be a place of refuge. A girl can dream…
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