Epiphany

Having ended Day 2 with Dr Ruth in a decidedly crap place, it was difficult to at least not be unsettled going into Day 3.
It was plain all three of us were aware of that.

So Day 3, our last day, needed to be about putting things in place for moving forward. If there was much to be put together.
With hindsight there was obviously an assumption that We would be moving forward, and doing so together, though there must surely have been doubt even at that stage.

Anyway, we returned to finishing an unfinished exercise from Day 2 – words on a white-board. We were to distil future intentions from what had gone before. A formula, if you like.

Somewhere along the line, yesterday, my Wife had said something that was difficult not to interpret as She could be more “something” if only I was more “something else”. I forget quite what it was. I had railed at the suggestion, as it felt to Me that it was I who was being obliged to change. It was transactional. Obviously that may be true, and throughout the process I have been deliberately trying to look at what I need to do, as well as what I needed Her to do. But a similar implication was made today. Again it was easy to be pissed off by that. But, somewhere in the words, a bell rang …

Over the three days, there have been various moments when I have needed to leave the building. To get some space. To escape from both my Wife, and the experience. On a couple of occasions I needed to leave the building to regain an hold on myself.
I needed to leave the building and go for a walk now. But this was different. I needed a moment alone to process.

We were supposed to be working towards a Our shared values. Our goals. As I walked, it struck me that the words We were coming up with were not all right for Me.

Accept
Listen
Trust

Sure, Trust was definitely something I needed to feel, but it wasn’t quite right for what I need to do. I discarded it, and in the process realised something else.
Increasingly over the years, a word I have used in relation to joint decisions – holiday destinations, a new dishwasher, which school, restaurants … you name it! – has been acquiesced. I have become a doormat.
As this light bulb went on, one simple word came to mind.

Accept
Listen
Assert

As I walked back to my Wife and Dr Ruth, the world felt different. I felt different.
I had been listened to. And I had realised that I just [Ed: Well, maybe not just, but that’s a start.] need to be more assertive. I need to say No, or I want …
It was an epiphanic moment.

On returning, I likened it to the rape victim’s passivity (an example Dr Ruth had cited previously) or the need to stand up to a bully. (Dr Ruth noted Our’s had become an emotionally abusive relationship.) I have allowed myself to be bullied. I have become the passive victim. And I need to stand up for myself. I need to stand up for what I want.

Assert

It is decidedly uncomfortable to realise you have allowed yourself to become weak. A vital piece of the jigsaw is that I need to assert. When I disagree, I need to say No. When my Wife starts to strong-arm a situation, I need to call it. If I’m not getting what I want, She needs to be told.
I do need to listen to what my Wife is saying: I need to be aware of when She is doing things for Me, or at least thinks She is doing them for Me and I need to accept who She is, how She is and to give Her the benefit of the doubt. But I also need to stop acquiescing.
Dr Ruth almost bristled with satisfaction as I related my epiphany.

When my Wife’s actions or words irk me – if She unnecessarily reminds me about the dentist appointment after school, I need to consider if it’s because She feels vulnerable or uninvolved in parenting – if She rejects me going down on Her during sex, I need to ask Why before feeling rejected.

In return, amongst other things (it’s not my job to remember Her entire list) She will stop trying to micro manage, to give more, to trust My judgement and to resort to Imago, making Herself listen, when conflict threatens to arise.

In my 10 minutes away from Dr Ruth and my Wife, another thing had occurred to me. Turning to my Wife, I asked if She was familiar with the concept of a Safe Word. (Although I wasn’t angling at Sex as a topic, it was a deliberate cue for Dr Ruth (I am familiar with the language of BDSM, whilst I don’t even know if my Wife is.) There was a moment’s pause before She answered – Yes? I proposed that when one of Us felt We were slipping back into old habbits, be that with respect to listeneing, trusting, controling, or whatever, We should say “Dr Ruth”. Something that wouldn’t be said otherwise, would stop us, and would bring us back to the mindset of Dr Ruth’s consulting rooms.

Now we were into our last hour, did we have anything else We wanted to say?
I did.
Sex has never been talked about. We’ve been through two previous bouts of couples counselling and it has never been discussed. I’ve tried to bring it up and no one, not even the counsellors have picke up on it.

Dealing with that now was going to be complicated. Dealing with sex is always complicated and we didn’t have enough time. But … Dr Ruth rattled off areas that would need examiining – sexual history (if there was any), masturbatory history (if there was any), arousal patterns, arousal awareness, ease of discussing the subject, shame, cultural pressures, physical and medical considerations … she was obviously only just warming up, and there was no way We were going to be able to do any more that acknowledge the subject now, and not even start to scratch the surface. But again, there was at least an agreement that the subject needs addressing. And for the first time ever, it actually felt like it could be talked about. Not now. We simply didn’t have time. But the elephant had been acknowledged as being in the room.

So what next?
Dr Ruth will be leaving us alone for a few days. Thank fuck!!! But She will follow up with an email some time in the next week or two. And we will sit down and look at how we want to progress, whether that’s another half day, or Skype sessions or something else.

Driving home, I felt horny.
You might think that unsurprising coming from me, or because, as Dr Ruth observed, stress hormones suppress the desire to eat, sleep and fuck, but it was unusual because it felt different. I didn’t want to fuck my Wife – She and I are on a similar page at the moment, in that until we get on a better footing generally, sex (at least with each other) is not on the cards. But I wanted to wank. And I wanted to be kinky. And I just wanted sex. It was a surprisingly familiar sort of horny that I had somewhat forgotten It felt like the old me. It’s a long time since horny felt good.

15 Responses to “Epiphany”

  1. I have the BIGGEST smile on my face. Not because everything seems all better, but because the mending has begun. If that mending is for your marriage or yourself, who knows yet, but I read hope and strength in your words. Continuing to send positive thoughts and much love.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Your epiphane shone a light on some of my own stuff. I have been a doormat for a long time in many areas of my life. Asserting yourself gives you back your power… which I have learned is something many of us give away rather than have it taken from us.

    Your positivity is commendable. Better things happen with a brighter mindset. I am sure your horniness made you feel very alive in that moment. Good feels πŸ˜€πŸ‘

  3. Excellent progress, AM. Congrats x

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