Aftermath #4

On my way home after Session #4, I picked up a bottle of gin to soothe my wounds.
By the time my Wife got home from work that evening I’d sunk most of it.
After supper We talked.

Unfortunately I was sufficiently pissed that I can’t remember much of what was said. But with inhibitions well soaked, I spelt out some of what I felt needed addressing.

• I feel that She is failing to recognise that She has some responsibility for our failing relationship. It’s not all Her fault, far from it, some of it is certainly mine, but I needed Her to recognise that it’s not just me.
She conceded this was valid.

• When I express an opinion that, in essence, necessarily questions Her behaviour or attitudes, She gets very defensive.
Again, She conceded this was probably true.

• There is a huge imbalance in terms of sex, and not just in terms of degrees of need. There have been at least two occasions I can think of, possibly a few more, when I didn’t want sex, She did, and She really wouldn’t take no for an answer. Conversely, I gave up initiating sex precisely because She invariably says no.
She didn’t remember either occasion, and recognised that She may need to be more aware of how I am reacting to Her.

• Back in the summer, the morning after a particularly difficult day for both of us, She woke me up by jerking me off.
Her defence was justified – that I have previously said that She is welcome to wake me up with sex.
True (albeit almost certainly long before our sex life fell apart) but if I did that I have no doubt She would be apoplectic. And considering my sexual advances towards Her have been almost universally rejected … well, frankly that’s just not fair!

• The three Buts.
The but that follows sorry and which says I’m not taking responsibility for this, it’s all about your reaction.
The but that follows Thank you which replaces gratitude with ingratitude.
And the but that follows Yes which turns it into No.
Unfortunately I don’t remember Her reaction to this. But… come the morning … [see below]

• A couple of times during this conversation there were things I wanted to say, but which I had to stop myself once I’d started, and inform Her that, as I really don’t want this whole situation to be me just criticising Her, I was not going to say them. [These two things are really quite significant, and I intend to write about them in the next few days.]

• Off the back of something Sue had said earlier at our therapy session, there was mention of whether or not I feel valued. A lot of times I don’t. She assured me that this perception is not something She shares and my contribution to (to over simplify things) Us is definitely valued.
[More accurately I don’t feel that my opinion and needs are valued, but I didn’t think to say this at the time.]

• She asked if I thought we were getting anywhere with therapy. I said that the fact that She had, eventually and reluctantly conceded some of what I was feeling was not unfounded, it had felt we were starting to make some progress. There was some discussion about whether Sue is the right person to help us turn things around. Sue does not fill me with confidence – she seems to have little in her arsenal other than How do you feel about that? which doesn’t really help. If We call her a counsellor, I don’t see that She’s doing much counselling, and if we call her a therapist, there doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of therapy. There has been little guidance, advice or evidence of expertise. Did I think We should continue with her? I figured we might as well, but I’m not sure if that was really resolved one way or the other.

The whole conversation was painful for me. I dare say it was for Her too. Beyond the above points, there was a lot more said, and although I don’t remember it, I’m certain it was less positive.
As we ground to a halt, I was fighting back tears, with my head in my hands. She moved to sit next to me, I suspect with the intention of giving me a hug. I all but spat a Don’t! at Her and She sat back down. As far as I’m concerned, right now She doesn’t get to be the one who kisses it all better.

Come the morning, at breakfast I could best be described as withdrawn. I didn’t really want to join my Wife at the kitchen table, and waited for the kettle at its side, rather than sitting down. She finished her meal and busied Herself. As She walked past me She put a hand on my arm, and just said Sorry. Nothing more. No suffixing conjunction. My response was I almost as simple – Me too.

9 Responses to “Aftermath #4”

  1. Now THAT’s progress. Who said progress needed to happen DURING the therapy sessions?
    Often, therapy triggers a chain of thoughts that leads to one of these hard but important discussions.
    Good for you too, because it feels you were heard this time.

  2. I know there’s progress there, but this still makes me sad. It’s an uncomfortable/unpleasant situation to be in.

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