There are a few reasons I am feeling much happier today. First, Blue Eyes and I had a long discussion this afternoon regarding taking a break from couple’s counseling. At first he thought we should continue because I seemed to be in a better mood when we left counseling each Tuesday afternoon. After I explained to him that I am tense and unhappy before couple’s counseling, frustrated and sometimes sad during the therapy sessions, and ecstatic after therapy because I am so relieved it is over and I don’t have to think about attending again for another week, he agreed we should stop for now. I could have just put my foot down and refused to go, but I wanted him to agree that it wasn’t helping me or our coupleship. I admit I am a stubborn person, and I am not going to take responsibility for the agony that is couple’s therapy. The truth is, I want Blue Eyes to not be a sex addict and to not have betrayed me and lied to me for decades in order to protect his secret sex life. Since, for obvious reasons, I cannot have that, I want Blue Eyes to be recovered already. Well, I can’t have that either because recovery from addiction is a long process and Blue Eyes still has months if not years of therapy and step meetings (I am guessing) before he will feel comfortable in his own skin and will be able to get through a day without feeling shame, guilt, anger, resentment, and most of all, fear. In the meantime, I want him to focus on doing just that. On getting better for himself and therefore, better for me and our marriage. I know there will be difficult days as I bounce off of his negative emotions. I acknowledge and accept that. I will do my best to stay as grounded as possible. The fact that I am so thrilled that we will not be attending couple’s counseling anymore (something I actually orchestrated because I thought it would help) says something about how little the therapy is helping and how much it is making me miserable. The deal with therapists who have been counseling sex addicts for many years is, at one time, the only recourse for the spouse of a sex addict was to basically be diagnosed as a co-addict and then handled as if we exhibited our own addictive symptoms (we were theoretically addicted to the addict and to his behavior?) that needed to be managed through a 12 step group in order for us to “get better.” A lot of people still associate with this model and a lot of spouses attend S-Anon. All of the other women in Ms. Second Chance’s wives of sex addicts support group attend S-Anon. It made me the odd wife out that I did not associate with that model. Co-dependency and S-Anon fit squarely into the old model that obviously (from our couple’s therapy sessions) Ms. Second Chance still embraces. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I never associated as a co-addict and early on I received trauma therapy. I am grateful for that therapy and for the fact that there are people out there providing such treatment. I decided that rather than look for another couple’s therapist at this time, if I felt I needed help, I would call my Los Angeles trauma therapist and get her advice. I do not feel like I need to do that at this point. I will, however, back away from Blue Eyes and his recovery as he needs to be able to heal on his own. Watching him make progress on his own will be as good as couple’s therapy in my mind. I am lucky that Blue Eyes does take responsibility for all his actions, he does not blame me for any of his acting out, he immediately wanted to get help for himself and has done that, and he continues to attend both therapy and 12 step group every week. He still struggles with depending on me in a childlike way for security and comfort, and he does live in fear of me leaving him. Those are two things he needs to work on for our marriage to continue, along with all the other emotions and feelings associated with his addiction that he is working through. He has a lot of healing to do.
In the meantime, I feel so much better!!!
While watching my favorite tennis player, Roger Federer, in his second round match at Wimbledon this afternoon on TV (taped of course) I finished two paintings. I feel compelled to constantly put disclaimers on my art because I am so new to acrylic paints and I have been trying to break away from my desire to be a realist. All my previous paintings in the past 10 years have been realist style using oil paints. Total novice work, but I was getting comfortable with it. These newer paintings are less real and the acrylics are incredibly bright and I have wanted to embrace that and my workshop in April was amazing. This weekend, however, I do plan to go to the art store and replenish my oils as I honestly feel so much more comfortable with them. I gave the acrylics a try and I am sure I will do more acrylic painting, but I am dying to paint the Japanese Cherry Blossoms and I dream of doing that in oils.
In the meantime, I did finish the succulent painting (excuse the horrible photos and lighting):
I also had been working on turning one of my Sumi-e paintings into an acrylic:
Honestly, because it is so hot here, I have all the blinds closed and the colors on the photos on these paintings is off because I am lazy and using my iPhone, but you get the idea.