Speak no evil

For as long as I can remember, I’ve rehearsed conversations in my head. In almost every case, conversations I’ve never had.
For as long as We have entertained the thought of seeing a counsellor (it’s nearly 6yrs since the first time) I have rehearsed answers in my head to questions they might never ask.

Those questions have been: how I feel about Our marriage, where I think Our marriage started to have difficulties, what part I have had in that, what responsibilities might lie with my Wife, what I think might be remedies. And of course, questions about sex.

Fortunately, the questions about sex were no more likely to need answering than my rehearsed conversations were to take place. But now, maybe they are. Now we are talking about seeing a sex therapist. And that changes things.

What does it say that I can tell you, Dear Reader, just about everything, have envisaged answering just about anything a counsellor could ask, but that I’m not sure how easily I can discuss sex in front of my Wife? Actually, Dear Reader, if you’re even thinking about trying to fucking answer that question you can just shut the fuck up! [Ed: Please accept the editorial team’s apology on behalf of AM. We’re sure he didn’t mean to come over as a defensive arse.]

The sex therapy clinic‘s website mentioned that couples’ counselling is almost always conducted with both partners present. Probably prudent. But I don’t want to have to be honest about how I perceive my Wife’s attitude to sex in front of Her. I don’t want Her to hear what I think the underlying problems are. Sure, there are Our juxtaposed sex-drives, but those come from … somewhere, and I don’t want to have to discuss our respective sexual histories, nor Our sexual past. I don’t want to talk about my relationship with masturbation or porn, nor be open about my kinks, fetishes and the contents of my little wooden chest of naughty secrets. Not in front of my Wife!

Why?
For one BIG reason:
It is difficult to see how I can talk about my sexuality in front of my Wife without underlining the contrast with Hers. Without it feeling like I’m saying Her interest in sex is inferior to mine (whatever that might mean) … or at least for it to feel competitive. I’m not suggesting I have run out of bedpost on which to carve notches, nor that I am the kinkiest pervert ever to walk out of a sex shop with an unbranded bag tucked tightly under their arm, but when my Wife has never fucked anyone else, has never used a sex toy, has never been in a sex shop, nor deliberately seen porn … and the list goes on … (I’m guessing about some of these, but with a significant degree of confidence.) Emphasising differences is not going to help find common ground.

And even if that weren’t reason enough, it’s all very well to talk to a counsellor, in a safe space, to be listened to by a non judgemental professional, and for there to be no consequences. But when your partner is part of the conversation, it is not guaranteed to be a safe space, it is likely you will be judged, and there most certainly will be consequences.

13 Responses to “Speak no evil”

  1. Ha! Ever since you started writing about seeing a therapist, I wondered about this.
    It’s going to be a tough one. Maybe you can as for a few sessions one on one with the counselor.
    But my experience with counseling is that it is little help if you’re not honest with yourself and your therapist. And in the case of couple’s therapy… with your spouse. There are ways to speak from your truth that are non threatening for the other. As I said, maybe ask the counselor.
    Good luck!

    • I’ve considered speaking to a therapist separately, if they don’t think tats a bad idea. Assuming we get that far.

      • Good. If it means you find the best way to come clean to everyone, most importantly your wife, then it is probably a good idea. Even if you don’t ge that far, it may be worth considering…

        • Ah, but how much should be shared with my Wife? Everything? Or enough?

        • To me, there is little point living with someone you can’t be yourself with. So I’d go with everything. Though maybe not all at once.
          But a therapist could help you with making that decision 😊

        • We may have to agree to disagree on that. 🙂

        • On what? The fact that discussing it with a therapist may help you decide how much or how little hou want to share?

        • On whether it is indeed beneficial to confess everything, or whether it is possible to sustain a healthy functional relationship whilst having undisclosed and unsatiated desires.

        • I didn’t say it wasn’t possible to have a functional relationship whilst having undisclosed and unsatiated desires. I said that I wouldn’t want that kind of relationship any more. I think that having secrets only leads to more and more lies, and thus wondering what you can or cannot say, and being guarded, which is in my opinion not conducive to sharing one another’s life. But others may make it work.

          As for you… again, discussing it with a (your) therapist may help you decide how much or how little you want to share 🙂

        • My bad.
          I just don’t see what is to be gained for Us by telling Her everything if we can’t get from almost nothing to atleast something.

        • I hear you. As I said before… lots of patience (yes, still more!), and introspection on both counts, as well as (therapist-led) communication… hopefully it brings something 🙂

  2. Not inferior….different. No one way is right, no one way is wrong.

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