We met at the mall and dropped the boys off with their cousin, so we could go to couples counseling. I had been agonizing over whether or not to go to couples counseling for months. I prayed about it, and I thought about it, and I waited to see if it was the right thing to do in my marriage. After all the struggle, I realized that I had to go. I could not look myself in the mirror if I had not tried it.
This was my life, my marriage, and my family. It was really my everything, even if my world was falling apart at the seams.
I sat next to Husband in the white F-150 as we winded along the back roads of Bellevue toward a three story green building. Husband was on edge and quiet. He was listening to the Spanish radio station, but I could tell he was nervous. He was short with me, jumpy, and not talking much. He was acting irritable about his pen.
We pulled into the parking spot and finished the paper work. We needed an initial here and a signature there to complete it. We were walking into the couples counseling side by side. I wonder if our minds were worlds apart at that moment.
When our counselor called our name, we stood up and walked into a small but well decorated room. There were poppies here again. More poppies. My individual therapist has her office decorated with poppies too, so I guess it is my new theme or symbol for whatever the reason. God wants me to go where there are poppies.
Husband did most of the talking in the session. I know this sounds crazy, but when I prayed to God about all of this, I swear he told me to listen, and watch Husband’s eyes and heart. He said that will guide me to make the best decision for us as a family. So that is what I did. I told my side of the story, but mostly I did not talk much. I listened.
A few things came up that are worth remembering as I reflect on all of this.
1.) Husband still doesn’t really know why he did all of this and had the affair. I am concerned it is sex addiction and he will do it again. He blamed me for the affair because sometimes I take his socks. He said other times I asked him to do the dishes after dinner. Next he said that I waste food when I threw away uncooked chicken because I didn’t have time to cook it before it went bad with an infant and toddler to take care of. So, yeah, that’s why he had the affair apparently: socks, chicken, and dishes.
2.) The therapist talked at length about having an individual therapist in our situation as well. Husband seemed to be on board with this.
3.) Finally, Husband says he wants to do whatever it takes to work on the marriage for now, but he can’t hang on forever. He wants me to get over it.
The whole experience puts a sour taste in my mouth. I am breaking. I do not want this. I cannot live like this but I am so afraid to let go and be in the unknown. Why can’t he just leave and say he wants to leave? Why does he tell me that he wants to work on this when he has been leaving me again and again to go be in her bed? Lies, lies, lies.
Why can’t I find the courage to just throw him out? I love him. I hate him but I love him. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that I love him. It tears me apart. I just want to end this hell but I can’t. I’m not ready.
We shut the door and opened our hearts and told the story of our marriage to a stranger. God help us from here. We need it.