Marriage Counselling session 4

It’s been over 5 months since the betrayal. The 25th had come and gone and the significance of the date never crossed my mind. Am I healing? Possibly.

We started our counselling session by following up on our sex plan. Things are going well but I’m still quite frustrated and defeated by my inability to achieve an erection with her. We talked about my plans on trying to remedy that. Right now, I’m trying a few more things before resorting to the blue pill. It may be the way to go in the end, using it a couple times to get my confidence back. We talked about keeping things interesting in marriage by trying new things. I’ve hinted to Carol that I’ve ordered something for her to wear. I spoke of how, in the meantime, I hope Carol is patient with me. Carol said she is being patient and isn’t so frustrated over it now. Still, I spoke of my fears about her losing patience and the marriage ending because of it.

“Carol, what do think? Would you leave him over this?”

“Only if he gave up,” Carol replied. “Keep trying new things. Don’t give up.”

We spoke about how at work, I tend to keep a ‘secret identity’. I behave quite differently there than in the other areas of my life. My boss and co-workers don’t even know I have tattoos as I only wear long sleeves at work. I want to look professional for my clients so I keep them hidden. After so many years, although the subject of tattoos has come up, it became too awkward to think of ‘revealing’ this fact about me to them. Thinking about it now, I have in fact opened up about a number of aspects of my life to my boss and co-workers over time so it’s not too bad.

We talked of Carol’s sociability at work and the contrast with that at home. She doesn’t want to go out and be social when outside of work but she admits she has a good time when she gets out. We agreed that I will push her to go out to social gatherings.

We talked about my questions about the affair. We told the counsellor that a question period came up but I’m still not satisfied that I have all the information. The counsellor suggested that Carol may have held back on some details to protect me. She said if I’m not satisfied, to ask more questions.

“But getting your questions answered isn’t going to help,” Carol said.

“Do you think it’s helped you?” The counsellor asked me.

“Yes, it has. I no longer obsess over certain details. I am bothered by new things, but it’s not as strong. There are questions that she hesitated on too long, so I don’t believe they are the full truth.”

“You’re never going to believe the answers because you’ll never understand why I did what I did. I don’t even understand it,” Carol said.

“I can both not understand how you could do such a thing and believe your answers about the details. Some of these details are important to me, like the sexual ones. I need to know that there are still things that are special between us.”

The counsellor said we have to keep having discussions about it until I’m satisfied. That it’s going to be hard work. I told her it is exhausting and as much as I hate what Carol did, I also don’t like to see her suffer so I keep my anger and frustration inside sometimes.

The counsellor asked Carol how she deals with her guilt.

“I cry. A lot,” she responded.

“More than what I’ve seen?” I asked.

“Yes. A lot more,” Carol said.

“How does that make you feel, to know that?” The counsellor asked.

“It shows me that she really does feel guilty. That she cares. That’s one of the reasons why I believe this can work. If she didn’t feel guilty or sat there telling me it’s my fault, that would be the end of this.”

Talking about sexual performance, confidence and burying feelings brought up the subject of ‘male ego’.

“Do you understand male ego?” The counsellor asked Carol.

“Yes, I understand it.”

“But do you really understand it?” I asked. “It’s a monster.”

I was asked what it would take for me to trust Carol.

“Just time. I need time to keep moving further away from what happened, and to see that these changes are real, not temporary.”

The counsellor mentioned working on a forgiveness exercise at our next session.

“I don’t expect you to forgive me anytime soon,” Carol said to me. “Not for years.”

Afterward, we stood outside at our cars for a moment. Carol gave me a hug and kiss and tried to wipe away her tears.

“I’m not going to hate you for your answers,” I said.

“I know, I just hate to relive it. I feel so stupid about it. I should’ve known better. It shouldn’t have happened. I hate that he’s still around. I wish we could move to another city and start over.”

“You can’t be afraid of him. You know how he works now. You’ve got your guard up. What you did is in the past, we can’t change that. But we can make a better future.”

I could still hate her for what she did, especially if there are major details yet to come out. I could also accept that it was all part of a dark past that I will let go of in favour of a brighter present and future.

No need for a new chronological list this month. Everything I’ve posted since the September Chronology of Jack’s Broken Heart has been in order.

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