This is gonna hurt

Excuse me if any of this doesn’t make perfect sense. It’s largely a brain dump late at night and I’ve not really proofed it. But here goes …
Two mornings after She had emailed me the edited highlights of Her suggested reading, I came downstairs.
Me: I’ve re-read the articles you emailed me. If you want to talk about them …?
(Re-read, because with one exception I had read them twice preciously, and two mornings after as I didn’t want to underline how much time She had taken to get this far.)
Her: That’s why I sent them to you.
A fair point, bluntly made.

Later that evening, as we settled down on the sofa, She broached the subject.
Was there anything I wanted to discuss in particular?
I shrugged. It was She who had sent the two and a half articles. Where did She want to start.

It started out civil, but vague.
I had to be quite determined to get Her to actually be anything but vague. She had these articles, and had said She thought there were things worth discussing, so where did She think it was worth starting.
She was vague.
We touched on a couple of topics, but Her arguments held less water than a bucket peppered with evasion and excuses.
For me, the articles largely dealt with symptoms rather than causes.
She wanted to just find solutions.
But how could we find solutions without acknowledging what the problems were?
She wanted to focus on positives, and solutions.
Solutions to what?

There are things I was going to struggle … things that I thought We were going to struggle to discuss without apportioning blame.
Did I think I could discuss them with Her if a counsellor was present?
No.
How about if She and I had separate discussions with a counsellor first?
Maybe.

But before we called a halt to it, I reminded Her there were things She though we could talk about first?What were they?
She was vague?
I pushed.
We tried a different starting point. Eventually.
She mentioned communication.
I mentioned trust and what I see as the relentless struggle for hierarchy in our relationship.
She didn’t see it that way and thought it was down to communication.
Then there was something else, but that too came back to my point about hierarchy. And trust. Her lack of trust in me.
She cited some trivial an example of trust – who gets to pay the bill in a restaurant. And something even less relevant – how She was frustrated when letters were addressed to me rather than to Her – but that was an issue with society.
I dare not say it, but this latter point was quite telling – it is I that has something approximating to the traditional role of a wife, and She the husband and, for me again, this pointed to a struggle for hierarchy. And trust.
And She maintained She didn’t not trust me. Could I give an example?
I did. but She maintained the problem was communication – She could see how I might feel She didn’t trust me, but that was just communication.
And again, Her argument just wasn’t going to withstand scrutiny. This was just denial.

A couple of times I had to call a time out to point out that we were, as I had feared, veering towards apportioning blame.
And ultimately I had to call the discussion to a halt. There was no way we were getting anywhere like this. She wouldn’t acknowledge anything that I said was right – again a trust issue – and for me, this is so big, so blatantly obvious, so all-encompassing and so frustrating, that I can’t even be objective about my own opinions any more.

She conceded that maybe we needed someone else’s help.
I reminded Her that She knows pretty much everything I have in my diary. (Her’s is the complex schedule full of meetings and committees and business trips and …)
She said She’d see what She could find out about making an initial appointment.
And the discussion was dead.

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