In Therapy.

Love & Sex 23

I sat uncomfortably on the couch as the therapist looked back and forth between my husband and I.

Did he expect me to actually say something? Shit. What was I supposed to say? Was I supposed to tell him why we were here? Is that what I was supposed to say? I thought back to every movie I'd ever seen that had a scene where the couple went to marriage counseling. Hell.

Why was I supposed to start this awful conversation?



Was I supposed to tell the therapist that I'd finally had enough? Was I supposed to tell him about the straw and the camel's back or whatever that dumb metaphor was? Or was it a simile? I could never keep those two straight. Hm. Okay. Maybe that's where to begin. At the end.

I thought about that night.

I thought about that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, that feeling of despair, that niggling sense of not-rightness I'd gotten when I'd looked at the clock and realized what time it was. How the acid churned in my gut as I thought to myself, “oh no, not again,” while I tried to call my husband. I was trying to see when he'd be home - a normal thing to do - and yet, this feeling, well, it was not normal. I recalled how the panic rose to a dull ringing in my ears when I couldn't get through to him. His work cell, which was always, always on, would pick up, then cut off, as though he'd been answering it only to hang up on me, which was, I knew, precisely what he was doing. I just didn't know why.

I remembered that when I'd finally spoken to him, he'd been drunk, drunker than I'd ever heard him. He spent those two minutes on the phone lying to me about where he'd been and what he'd been doing. 

Then he was crying.

I remembered that helpless feeling; stuck at home, our three children snug in their beds, slumbering on thankfully unawares, while I wept with the kind of despair that comes from the bottom of your feet. The kind of despair you feel when you realize that it's finally over. Something had to give.

Eventually, he came home and vomited all over the house before passing out. I considered dumping a bucket of ice water on his head, but decided against it. Not out of kindness to him, but because I didn't want to get my couch wet. The next day, I called the therapist.

So we sat there with our new therapist, the two of us, at the end of one road and the beginning of a new one, each staring dumbly at our hands and wondering how it had gotten to this point. How does anyone get to this point? We didn't strap on our weddin' clothes and march down that aisle to end up here, sitting in front of some stranger, dissecting our emotions and actions piece-by-ever-loving-piece. And yet, there we were. The last, final attempt at salvaging what we once had before we threw in the towel once and for all.

I took a deep breath, ready to speak.

“It started this one night,” he began.


Image via miguelpdl/Flickr

breakups, commitment, love, marriage


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Kier

Oh wow... Powerful stuff.

melro... melrose79

I've been there a few times with my husband. I know every feeling you described. For some reason I thought it was just me not handling it well but every woman describes the same feeling. That is the deepest betrayal anyone will ever know. I hope everything works out. We're still working on our marraige. It's not easy. Good luck. ((Hugs))

nonmember avatar terry77

Wow. Memories of December 2009 just sprang into my head reading that. The phone call. The drunk husband being brought home by his co-worker. Him walking down the street in anger in the middle of the night after I found a text to another woman. Me stuck at home crying my eyes out while our three kids slept. It was awful. We've worked really hard to repair our relationship and we're finally in a good place. I hope nothing but the best for you and your spouse during this.

nonmember avatar BeenThere

You are not alone. Do what you can and feel you want to do. Make sure to take care of yourself too. I've been there. My husband just flipped basically - had an affair while I was pregnant with our second daughter, his floozy got pregnant (terminated), lots of lies, lots of secrets, lots of tears and still some anger issues. He won't go to therapy so we're dealing which is hard. We're still together (but being together is not a sign of success - remember that). Wishing you strength.

cryst... crystalara

(snifles) heart sanked. brought me back to the exact feeling word for word November 5, 2011... but December 12, 2011... restarted our same routine.

coffe... coffee.crisp

Amazing. Good luck. I've been there too... you're not alone.

Lovin... Lovinglife2004

I'd suggest going to Al-Anon. That program did wonders for me, and when (or if) your husband is ready, he can attend AA meetings.

lawliss lawliss

Al-Anon is wonderful - they are support groups for people who have family members that struggle with alcoholism.  I think that a support group for people that have been cheated on might be available too - and individual therapy?  Stuff like this is ften very, very hard to get over, if at all (and that's perfectly all right too!).



nonmember avatar LauraRB

So Sorry Aunt Becky. I was almost in this situation, but I found the texts early enough (still in just the flirting stage, but still completely inappropriate and soul-crushing to read) to stop my idiot husband from doing anything unforgivable. Even now though, 3 years later, the trust has never fully returned. I wish you the best, and I hope, if you decide to work things out, you are able to fully forgive him, for your own peace of mind. We never saw a therapist, and I wonder if that's why I don't think I've completely forgiven him...

nonmember avatar Marcie

I'm so sorry Aunt Becky :'( that's an awful place to be in. I'm going through something very similar right now & it FN sucks. I hope that you two are able to work through this together.

1-10 of 23 comments 123 Last