Last night, I talked to Carol about our upcoming marriage counselling session.
“So, what do you think there will be to discuss at our session?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” Carol replied.
It’s always difficult to start these conversations with her. It takes a bit to get her talking. We had a little back and forth before she warmed up and began talking more.
“Well, what do you think? Are we doing good?” I asked.
“Yeah, I mean, we talk, we spend time together, we treat each other well. I guess, I don’t really know what she could suggest to us at this point,” she said.
“Yeah, I think we got a good handle on this. Maybe it’ll be our last session?”
“Well, I know I don’t really like her and I don’t care for her approach sometimes, but she has been helpful and it would be good to know she’s there if we need her.”
“Do you want to try another counsellor?” I asked.
“No, I don’t want to start again with someone new. She’s just not like my counsellor. My counsellor challenges me but is able to do it in a better way that gets me to really think about what I’m feeling. Ours seems to take sides.”
“Yeah, we all know I’ve butted heads with her over that. My therapist challenges me too and we don’t always agree but her personality is different. I can see a genuine caring in her that I don’t see as much in MC.”
“Maybe we don’t book another session but we can keep her mind if something comes up,” she said.
“I don’t know, like, if we get stuck on something or stop being able to communicate.”
“Like going back to old patterns or falling into a rut?” I asked.
“Well, I do like that we can see her and talk about things we don’t tend to deal with on our own but I don’t want to ‘save up’ things and blindside you either. I don’t really have much on my mind for this session except, I guess, the question of am I going to discover anything new, accidental or otherwise?” I asked.
“No, there’s nothing else,” Carol replied.
“Then, we just keep working on leaving it in the past. I know you’re not a sociopath out to hurt me,” I said as I looked into her kind, sincere eyes as confirmation, “and what we have now is real.”
“It is. I do love you so much and I know you love me too,” she responded.
“Another thing though, as I feel closer and more comfortable with you, I get scared and start to back off a bit. I’m afraid of getting hurt again.”
“I know. I don’t want to hurt you. You’re my man. I know this now.”
“I guess there’s just our issues to work on with our own counsellor’s at this point. We’re doing well as a couple, we just need to keep working on ourselves to be sure we get through our own issues.” I said.
I must work with my therapist to learn to forgive Carol and put the past behind me. Carol must work with her counsellor to learn to forgive herself and put the past behind her as well. I may have been betrayed, but we both suffer from it.
I came close to telling her one thing that has been on my mind lately but I didn’t know how to approach it. I didn’t know if it was worth mentioning anymore. That is, that I don’t believe some of the things she told me during the second interrogation. I believe I have the general story now but for some of the specifics, I feel she left out things. Not big things, just a little downplaying here and a little omission there.
What do I want to do with this? I don’t think the finer details should matter anymore and often they don’t. I already know she did the worst. I already witnessed the worst. Maybe I just want her to know that I’m not a fool who believes I have all the information.
Maybe it’s all about not being seen as a fool, and instead being seen as too smart to be messed with. It makes total sense that I want to project that kind of image of myself considering what happened. Often, I fantasize about having been in the know all along, that I was the one pulling the strings to put people into compromising positions so I could have control over them.
This is me clinging to a sense of control and pride: I’m wise. You can’t pull one over on me. I know more than you think. This didn’t happen to me, I let it happen for personal gain.
But that looks like more to bring to my own therapist to work through, not something for the marriage counsellor.
Is there really any point in saying, “I know it didn’t go down quite like you say it did,” at this point? Is this something to just let go of? Maybe it’s just something to acknowledge once to get off my chest then let it go, without needing a response: “I don’t think it went down like you say it did in certain instances but the end result is the same. I know enough. I know what I need to forgive you for. We’re done talking about the specifics.”
I’ll see how I feel about it during our session.