Radical Shifts and Cautionary Words: Week 4 of Therapy

I'm sitting at the airport...again; this time for work. I'm heading to St. Louis for a huge conference for the next four days. Even though I basically had no time to unpack from my trip to Florida before I was filling up my suitcase again, I'm thankful for the forced separation for SCL and me. I'll have other things to focus on and a whole hotel room to myself to rest, reflect, and get some perspective.

Yesterday I met with C and recounted the events of the previous 48 hours. The way I was telling it, I could tell she wasn't sure what I would say at the end, meaning it wasn't clear from the conversations that I was summarizing that SCL would say "Let's give this another try." Interesting--it's always surprising how a story comes out when I tell it to someone else. I could sense a lot more caution and fear in my telling of it.

Eventually I got around to saying that I was considering another try with him. I told her how he seemed to have gained clarity and felt regret about his decision. Perhaps it was that he had little to lose when he opened up over the last month, and I think he was surprised by my compassion and grace in response. I know I didn't need to be that way, but I do strive to carry myself with grace during crisis. I think it spoke volumes to him about me--things he already knew but were much more apparent, and that he was open to seeing.

She asked what I wanted out of the session. For the first time in my years of therapy, I asked for her perspective in the situation, if she felt comfortable. She wisely told me what many of you said. First, only time will tell if this is for real. In the meantime I need to have boundaries in place, especially in the area of sexuality. I completely agree, and so does SCL. And second, I need to continue caring for myself in the meantime, and to check in with myself if I sense I'm holding back some part of me. Even the little things--like watching a silly tv show, staying out late with friends, not cleaning up my dishes right away. She also offered to see us both, and gave me a book to read called The Good Marriage. I just started it, but I'd recommend it to anyone in a serious relationship.

I don't want to slip back into a pattern of self-neglect. It will take a lot of effort not to. Last night SCL and I had dinner out together. It was the first time we'd been out in public like that together since the day we broke up, and it really felt amazing. I never thought I'd get to share like this with him. Part of me wanted to spend the whole evening together, but taking C's suggestion, I made concrete plans for later that evening (costume karaoke, Glee style! So much fun). SCL did, too. I went to karaoke and sang my lungs out, and he played trivia with some of his classmates. We both had a great time.

I realized later that night that there is indeed a part of me that doesn't trust him. I got home before he did, and as the minutes ticked by and he hadn't come home, I got worried that he wouldn't. Eventually I drifted off to sleep with my door open around midnight, sure that the sound of him coming home would wake me. When I woke up at 2:00 am, I panicked. Had he not come home? I got out of bed, and sure enough, there he was, asleep in the other bed. Home, just as he said he would be.

6 comments:

  1. The minute I read the first sentence of your last post I knew exactly what you were going to say. Maybe because I've been in your spot - letting someone come back and giving them another try.

    I definitely agree with what your therapist says and I think it'd be a wonderful idea for you and SCL to go together. I think it would give you both perspective on the relationship and make you stronger. And then maybe you can learn to trust him again.

    Thanks for the book link - I'm someone who thinks there is always room for improvement and I know there are spots in my marriage that I would love to make stronger. Going to give that book a try.

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  2. Thanks, Krysten. He has to show me that he's for real, and not just in a single grand gesture but over time. All I can do is wait it out and be careful with my heart.

    It's impossible for me not to give another chance to the person I've pictured myself with from the very beginning.

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  3. Well I know it has only been a couple days but I think so far you seem to be handling yourself very well! I don't know if I would be able to do the same thing but I like how you two are spending time together and still somewhat keeping your distance!

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  4. I definitely agree that both you and SCL should visit your therapist and to take it slowly instead of just jumping right back in. I'm definitely going to look into that book :)

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  5. It's nice that you are making sure to take care of yourself. Therapy together could be the best thing ever, the Husby and I go to therapy together once a month. It's made all the difference. I hope things go well and you continue to find yourself.

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  6. I know how hard it is not to jump back into the best part about LOVE but pace yourself, do the joint therapy, and take it slowly. I always muck up and jump right back into things and then a few weeks later everything goes down the pooper and I am back at square one! Keep us posted =D

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