Second Marriage Counseling Session

We were given homework from our first session. We had to make note of instances of things that seemed better, whether actions or feelings, etc.

I wrote three things down:

1. He shared (without me having to ask) info that EB will be out for an addition 3-6 weeks due to knee surgery

2. He told me that he will not make me a fool again by cheating on me ever again

3. We had a really great conversation the other night about how amazing I think my husband’s brain is – he’s a math wiz and frankly can see patterns and shit. Anyway, it was a great chat and I felt closer to him.

 

It’s been a great few weeks, to be honest. Yesterday’s session started great. We both shared what we noticed as improvement. I listed my three points above. He said he could tell things are getting better because we have been getting along great. Frankly, I was disappointed in his comment. Not that I disagreed with him, I just felt a little bit cheated with his answer. I wanted more.

So, Hippy Dippy (what I call our therapist), asked what would it be like to wake up one morning and feel as though a miracle happened…what would be that miracle? Great question…and I was prepared to answer it.

My answer was that I would wake up with complete trust in him.

His answer was spot on: His miracle would be that we were getting along like we have been and that he never had an affair.

Good answer, right?

She then asked more questions that led to the topic of the Evil Bitch. I said that the last few weeks have been very peaceful because she’s been out of work (see #1 above). Hippy Dippy then asked about my miracle and said how could I get to the point of complete trust with my husband.  I said that my miracle would be if EB left her job, in fact, completely left our lives, especially his…never to be heard from again. That is my wish, that is my miracle. (those were my exact words).

But, it went a bit south after that point. He then said he thinks I’ll never trust him again. And his body language showed futility, like he was giving up. Hippy Dippy explored the topic and asked why he thought that. He said that when I would ask questions about his affair, he would be defensive and have a difficult time answering. He said he never did that to me after my affair. (Yes, we all know what a fucking saint you were, honey. You just never talked about it after and we never healed. I’m particularly to blame for that…that I know…but you have never let me forget it…and then fucked a whore at work because you were entitled and then you completely discounted my pain at your actions…constantly rub my face in it since post my Dday…). I hate when he says things like that. It sounds like he’s giving up and giving himself the right to not try and walk away. It scares me to death and pisses me off to no end! FUCK YOU, I wanted to say. I didn’t. I just shut down. I sat there, staring and thinking what I just wrote. I was seething and in pain. He noticed. He made a comment and asked why I was quiet.

I replied and said that it makes me sad to hear him say that about me not being able to trust him. I said he has a choice, the power to change the situation. But he doesn’t want to and that hurts me deeply. I wanted to say, “Am I not worth it? For you to leave your job?” But, I didn’t. I had expressed that in our last verbal fight three weeks ago and he walked out then. Reason why I didn’t ask it at that moment — I knew what the result would be.

What was a big moment was his response to that. He said that he wished she would leave the job, too. First, because that it would make me happy and feel less anxious and help me trust him again. Then said he wishes she would find another job and that this never happened. He wouldn’t miss her at all. (OK, that was a MUCH better answer…thank you).

I still was shut down, to be honest. I went to that dark place and I wasn’t coming out for awhile. My head hurt and I wanted to go home.

Hippy Dippy closed the session with some homework for next session in two weeks. She asked us what number we are on a scale of 0-10, (10 being the miracle), are we today? His answer was a 7. My answer was a 6-7. So, what instances over the next two weeks can we mark down that we think would bump up our number to the next higher number on the scale.

We left in separate cars, went home. Got ready to attend a high school variety show our youngest was performing in. In the car, my husband asked me if I wanted to talk about what was bothering me. I was still suffering from my stress headache and frankly, I was dizzy. I told him that – I needed to decompress. He then asked me to pull out a paper in his wallet. He wrote down what he thought was the homework assignment. Written there were about 5-6 text messages I’ve sent him over the last few weeks of love notes. I thought that was nice, but for some reason, I didn’t think that was creative enough. They were MY words, not his. I know they meant a lot to him. They meant a lot to me when I sent them. But, I don’t know…I just was let down a bit, to be honest. I know it’s his way of acknowledging and validating my love for him. But, it’s still not really exposing himself enough for me. I want more of him. More of his thoughts, fears and declaration of love.

I will say he didn’t express any apology in the words of “sorry” at all during the session. I guess I have to ask myself if that’s important to me to hear those words again…”I’m sorry”. He hasn’t said them more than twice. He wrote it once or twice, but saying it has been only twice. I suppose it must be important if I’m writing it here. But, is it really? Do I think he’s sorry? Yes…but there is a wall he’s built. Prideful wall and it pisses me off. More to explore at the next session, I guess…

 

Husband College Courses (ADULT Education)

Crazy idea, but what if there were college courses offered (online or in person) that teach our husbands to be BETTER husbands?

Some ideas for the curriculum:

1. How to listen and communicate better

2. How to date your wife

3. How to spend quality time with your wife and kids

4. Becoming financially responsible

5. You don’t need more toys

6. Choose friends that support a healthy marriage

7. How to create proper boundaries with female “co-workers”

8. The true damage of infidelity

9. Porn is addictive and harmful (just think of your daughters or sisters)

10. Your technology is like a mistress…beware

There are probably 1384373 other topics to teach. I think it would be great if it was required once the marriage hits a rough patch. Kind of like driver’s ed if you get too many tickets, or alcohol education if you are arrested for driving under the influence, etc. Remember those pre cana and premarital coaching sessions with the church?

What do you think? Sounds silly, but what if they existed? What if? 

I apologize for the snakiness, but thought some of these points made sense 😉

Blood Moon, Morning Rain, and Baby Steps

We woke up and cuddled this morning, listening to the soft rain and the birds. It was wonderful just to hold each other and slowly wake up.

Out of the blue, he asked a question: “Are you worried that you’ll get burned again?”

I had to ask him what he meant, exactly. He explained that after my affair, he was worried he’d be made a fool again.

I answered, “Yes, I am worried.” He then replied, “You don’t have to worry, it’s never going to happen. And, just so you know, I haven’t spoken with her since the last time I told you when she called in about her medical leave of absence.” That was over two weeks ago.

I asked if he missed her. He said, “As an employee, yes, but personally? No.”

I felt so uplifted and light. I told him not only does my love for him grow when he shares those thoughts with me, but so does my trust.

Baby steps, one at a time…

Marriage Counseling – First Session

So, we did it. We went together and attend our fist counseling session. The therapist is female and kind of a hippy, which is fine. We were both hopeful yet nervous.

I decided I was going to be more demure and let him answer the questions first. After all, he said he was there for me.

The therapist asked why were there. I said that we were experiencing marital problems and needed to get some help with communication. My husband then had his answer and he said, “Well, I’ll just say it, I had an affair about six months ago. And I’m here to do whatever it takes to save my marriage because I love my wife and I want us to spend the rest of our lives together.”

YES! Thank you! I think my heart swelled with hope at that moment.

I then quickly spoke up because I didn’t want him to be painted in the only negative light and said that I had committed adultery 16 years ago and had a two-year affair, which ended in 2000.

The first session was mostly a question/answer process. She was asking the mental health questions and then family history, etc.

One question that really identified the differences in our views of our marriage was: How have you been getting along? Before the affair? I answered that we were distant sexually, but loving and getting along for the most part. His answer was very different. He said that we were not getting along and he thought I didn’t want anything to do with him (sexually) and that he felt I was disappointed in him.

WOW – so, his take on our marriage was the kindling to seek friendship, flirtation and sex with another woman? That’s what I internalized, and it’s the not the first time I thought of it. He expressed this opinion when he wrote me the Why letter months ago.

I then expressed that I felt humbled by his infidelity and that I don’t think I will ever forgive myself because of my infidelity, yet I want to forgive him and that is why I am in counseling. I want to forgive. I may even forgive myself over time…

We did really well and I was really proud of both of us. I was reserved, allowing him to speak. I was proud he spoke up and expressed himself!

Next session is in two weeks. We are supposed to mentally note when things (little or big) get better between us and what was the occasion or reason for feeling better. I hope my list is long 🙂

Can an Affair Strengthen a Relationship?

Another interesting question for my friends to weigh in.

Has infidelity strengthened my relationship? Probably!

If given the choice to strengthen it because my spouse spoke up and said he wasn’t happy, feeling unloved, etc. vs. him having an affair? I’d choose him speaking up BEFORE him committing adultery, any day!

Peeps — weigh in…what do you think?

chemistryoftheheart

This is just shy of a year old, but I ran across it in my notes, and thought I would re-visit it since the concept sounds so bizarre while still making complete sense.

Psychologist Clifford Lazarus told the Huffington Post last July that an affair is like a heart attack, and just like a heart attack “that which doesn’t kill you can make you stronger.”

His exact words are:

“Just like a heart attack that doesn’t kill a person can ironically lead them to be in better cardiac health a couple of years post-MI (myocardial infarction) then they were a couple of years pre-MI, similarly, if there’s a couple that’s in distress but basically it’s not a fatal kind of malfunction in the marriage, then it’s possible that the act of infidelity might be the kind of crisis that provides the opportunity [to address problems in the marriage.] In some…

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