Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Therapist Makes a Suggestion

I had my weekly appointment with my therapist yesterday. After discussing the climate with home life and job search, she asked me to tell her what I thought was going on with my wife.

I said that I believed my wife was taking one of the following strategies.

  1. She doesn't want to give up on the marriage, and she figures that from past experience she doesn't really need to give much to keep me in line. All she has to do is throw enough emotional abuse to get me to fall back into line.

  2. She really doesn't care about fate of the marriage, and is using the dilemma to get out of the marriage while looking like a victim.

I said what was missing in my wife's comments was any positive statement about preserving the marriage. Rather than saying something like, "Stick with me on this, and I'll do my best to make this better for both of us." She was saying, "Why don't you just do take the local job, maybe go back to school so that you can find jobs here, and ask for more money so that we can do more of the things that I like to do?" There was no sign that she was self confronting or expressing a desire to grow, let alone foster a deeper relationship between us.

My therapist sensed that it was this confusion that is keeping me stalled at making a decision about the job. I said that was a big chunk of it, because if the first speculation was accurate, there might be a ghost of a chance that she still might self confront makes some changes.

She wondered if there was a way that I could discern between which is the truth. I said that only way I could see would be actually telling her that I'm taking the relocating job (regardless of whether it is in the desert or in the Silicon Valley). Her reaction might give some clues, but even then it could be an act.

She suggested that we have a joint session, just as we had discussed in early April when my wife demanded that she come with me to my therapy session. During the session I could spell out clearly in a safe environment what I wanted to do with the job offer and give her a chance to respond. Perhaps finally just spelling it all out would get at the truth of where she stands.

My therapist e-mailed me last night with some times that she and my wife's therapist would be available on Monday next week. That may well be the point where I move past the gridlock.
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