Marriage Counselling 5

We had to take separate cars to counselling so we could go to our separate jobs after.

As I left the house, I said, “So, I guess I’ll see you there.”

“What’s wrong?” Carol asked.

“Something’s been… off with you over the past few days.”

“Because I didn’t join you in the shower?” She asked.

No, the past few days,” I emphasized. “Do you want a hug and kiss?”

She came into my arms. I tried to hug her hard but I just wasn’t feeling it. The thought of ‘something is wrong’ was growing, evolving until it became, ‘something awful will be revealed in counseling.’

We met again in the waiting room where I talked a bit with Carol and said a few things that I knew made her uncomfortable.

Our session started with Carol telling the counselor about our brief discussion this morning.

“So what’s making your senses tingle?” The counsellor asked.

“I don’t know, it starts with the feeling then I’m trying to go back and see if there was something that set it off. Maybe we didn’t talk as much the last few days? I think we haven’t spent as much time together? Maybe it’s just that the hugs and kisses aren’t as enthusiastic and intense? Hmm… she usually is very animated when talking about her job but hasn’t been so much lately…”

“That’s because I’m so done with work,” Carol interjected. I was surprised to see her immediately begin crying. “I’ve had it and I need a vacation. Our trip is coming soon and I need to get out.”

“Sorry,” she said as she wiped her tears.

“You can cry to me when you need to,” I replied.

Carol talked about going in to work on her days off, that the owners are incompetent, that Rick and Jennifer both get paid full salaries for as little as a few hours work per week, that she is doing both her and Rick’s job without proper compensation, that her new benefits don’t cover counseling, and finally, that the business is going to fall apart while she’s off.

The counsellor spent some time with Carol on this, providing suggestions on how to handle the situation and to do some soul searching and see if she really wants to continue in an environment like that.

“Jack, do you understand that?” The counsellor asked.

“Yes… but it confuses me still. She cried about this to me all through the years, cried about him, but still would be best friends with him and decide to destroy her marriage for him?”

“He would be terrible but would then turn around and do something nice,” Carol replied.

I laughed.

“That’s it though. He’d be nice to her but she’d still complain about him the whole time-”

“Not on the days he was nice,” Carol said.

“When she tells me everything is fine too, she did that then as well. Everything was fine but it obviously wasn’t. No, everything’s fine, she just doesn’t have the sex drive anymore. Then she goes out and gets her ‘needs’ met. The ones she told me she doesn’t have. I have a hard time now believing when everything is ‘fine’.”

“That’s understandable,” the counsellor said. “You’re going to feel that way and it’s for good reason.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Carol has been wonderful. She’s been my dream wife lately…”

“Well, I don’t think I’ve ever been called someone’s ‘dream wife’. Carol, that must feel great to hear.”

“She’s been even better than when we were first married,” I continued, “but I don’t know how long it will last. That scares me. How long until things start to die off and she starts thinking her needs aren’t being met? What then?

I still have questions. Sometimes it’s the same questions in a different way, the things I can’t get my head around. Sometimes it’s new questions because of new reminders. You know, like what was she thinking of me then? I also feel like I need to ask the same question again if she hesitated, that maybe it was a half-truth, that I don’t have the full story.”

“Again, there is self preservation involved here. How have your conversations gone?” She asked.

“They go on for hours and I feel like we’ve covered enough but then after, I start to dwell on certain answers or things I missed.”

“How do you feel after the conversations? Are the answers helpful?”

“They are for a while. It feels good to have some weight lifted from the answers. There are things that I stop dwelling on, but new things come up, though not as strongly. I just want to have it all covered, to rip the bandaid right off and get all the details out.”

“Why do you think that will be helpful?”

“I need all the information in order to know exactly what I am to forgive and move on from,” I replied.

“That’s a good answer,” the counsellor said. “What questions do you have now?”

“How long ago did it cross the line to inappropriate in Carol’s mind? Why not get a divorce if she wasn’t happy with me? What happened on that boat ride?” I turned to Carol and elaborated with plenty of bitterness, “You know, that little boat ride you went on after you convinced me that it’s okay, it’s normal, he’s just a friend and of course you wouldn’t do anything out of line?”

“Okay, let’s go through those questions,” the counsellor said.

“So, how long ago did it cross the line?” I asked.

“It’s hard to say… it escalated over a long period…”

“Okay,” I said, irritated that I had to draw it from her, “before we moved?”

“Yes. It was inappropriate flirting. I liked the attention.”

“If you were that miserable, why not divorce? Why instead completely compromise yourself as a person?”

“Divorce would be messy…”

I laughed again, “Messier than having an affair?”

“I know I should have separated. The time away let me understand what I really wanted.”

“Did you ever discuss this before?” The counselor asked.

“Not really, it was only during a fight,” Carol said.

“That’s right, she told me she wanted a divorce then the next day, she snuggled with me and said she needed to calm down,” I said, annoyed.

“It was after that, that it happened,” Carol said.

What happened?” I asked, wanting her to acknowledge it out loud and feel the sting.

“We… slept together,” she said with embarrassment. “Before that it was really just an emotional thing. It wasn’t about being physical for me until he brought it there.”

“Then what? Did you honestly believe that you two would just fizzle out and life would go on as normal?”

“Yes.”

You think a guy you work with day to day is gonna be like, ‘it’s all done with’, and there will be no fallout?”

“He’s an idiot, so…”

“He’d get what he wanted from you and it would just be over? That he wouldn’t come back at any point to get it again or use it against you? How ridiculous. How ridiculous that you even thought that, in the digital age, that you’d get away with an affair.

That’s another thing. You gave him a picture or, judging by your hesitation, pictures. You provided digital evidence.”

“It was only ever above the waist.”

“So it was more than once.”

“Yes, between the two times we did it, we’d Snapchat,” Carol replied.

“The thing with these answers is that at first, she said ‘it just happened’, that she didn’t resist. Later it became, she ‘encouraged’ it,” I said to the counsellor.

“I suggest you read up on predatory men. They use manipulation to get people to care in order to take advantage of them. Again, he was her boss, a position of power which he could use to manipulate,” said the counsellor.

“He was there, in my ear, 40 hours a week,” Carol added.

“It would be a different dynamic if it was a co-worker and not a boss. With that kind of power over her, though she is responsible, is she 50% responsible? Maybe not,” the counsellor said.

“From what I know, I would say no,” I said.

“That’s not an excuse!” Carol shouted then began to cry.

“It’s not an excuse, no,” the counsellor replied.

“But it is a reason,” I added, “and it’s a different situation than say, us having an argument then you respond by calling up an old boyfriend to cheat.”

“Or hooking up with someone at a bar,” the counsellor said.

“I have something I want to share so you can see just how much what you did has impacted me,” I said.

“I’ve been hiding how you’ve hurt me. I… I come home at odd times during my work day. I try the door. Even though it’s locked, that’s not good enough.” I began making my usual anxious movements. “I open the door and listen. Sometimes I sneak up to the bedroom, other times I run there, fists ready…” I saw a face caved in as a body crumpled to the ground, “…ready to smash his face in until he’s dead.”

“You want to go back and react the way you believe or wish you should’ve. I highly recommend you see an individual counselor to help you work through those feelings,” the counsellor said.

“Also, when Carol is home early from work, I get major anxiety. It’s gotten a little better since I’m starting to associate her being at home alone with her sending me flirty pictures and messages.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Yes,” I sighed and turned to Carol, “I can’t look at you when you’re naked and lying on the bed.” I saw the hurt in her eyes. “Not when I’m by your feet. If you have a shirt on, even if it’s pulled up, or if I’m up at your head, seeing you from that angle, it’s okay.”

“How does it feel to tell Carol this?”

“Uh, it’s good to get out, in a way. To show how it really affects me…”

“It’s good to know you’re not a robot,” Carol said with a sympathetic smile.

“But also… because the routine involves her not knowing I’m coming home… it’s kind of…”

“Like you lost control?” Carol asked.

“Yes, because I can’t go through that routine now that you know I do this.”

“Cheating doesn’t only happen in your house. You know that if she really wanted to have an affair, she could take it elsewhere,” said the counsellor.

“I know and it’s not like I actually expect to ‘catch’ her or anything, I’m just stuck in a loop, reliving it. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that now. Maybe it’ll stop but maybe that will make me obsess in another way. I don’t know.”

“Does anything else trigger you?” The counselor asked.

“Those are the big ones. Other things are just little reminders of moments from before, like the dartboard on the weekend.”

Carol saw a dartboard while we were out on the weekend and expressed interest in it, saying she knows how to play.

“Oh, because I’d play darts with him at his house,” Carol said.

“No, there’s more. He kept asking you to come over to play darts around that time you and him were… but you kept on coming up with excuses not to go, to stay home with me. Why?”

“I knew that he was probably trying to get me over there to try doing things with me, so I avoided it.”

This is so confusing. I’m sure it showed on my face. If she followed up with an explanation at this point, I can’t recall it. She may have said something about being happy with me at home but then it’d all change again when he had the whole day at work to talk and wear her down. I may just be guessing that though.

The counsellor then asked about the bed. We explained that we do have a new one and that the old one, including the sheets that I pulled off and threw in the laundry, is at Carol’s parents house.

“Maybe you need to burn it,” she suggested.

I pictured a man writhing in agony as he burned along with the mattress. I shook the image from my mind and suggested, “at least the sheets. I might be able to handle the mattress if the sheets are gone. Yes I pulled them off the bed that day and they’ve been cleaned, but I think I need them gone. Burned.”

“Okay, a bedsheet burning might be a good thing to do together.”

The counsellor finished up the session by asking about our sex life. We thought we were doing well. Then she asked about what we feel we need to do and I suggested more date nights. She then reminded me that I really should read up on predatory men to get an understanding of how they work. She made a comparison to coyotes playing with their prey before killing it.

“I hate these morning appointments,” Carol said, wiping at her tears as we stood outside between our cars. We hugged and kissed and she told me she loved me as she cried some more. I hesitated before saying it back. I knew there was no hiding that there was something on my mind.

She looked at me, trying to interpret the coldness I was presenting. I didn’t want to hear the answer anymore but I asked anyway.

“You never answered about the boat ride. What happened?”

“Nothing physical. Like I said, it was an emotional thing then. It was like talking with a girlfriend that I shouldn’t have been talking to. He’d tell me what I should do, that I deserve better…”

“What a fucking joke,” I said.

I saw fingers digging into a man’s throat, drawing blood.

We said our goodbyes and went on our ways.

All throughout history, if an asshole caused enough problems, the solution was simple: bam, he’s dead. The modern age protects the scumbags from being removed from society.

According to modern law, adultery ain’t no big deal. Really? Try being cheated on, does that feel like no big deal?

May the weasel-like scum fucks of the world be buried under their own bullshit.

Whatever comments you intend to make about my violent, angry thoughts, yes I know and no, of course I won’t. He ain’t worth it.

4 thoughts on “Marriage Counselling 5

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