Short UpdateI'll try to keep this short today...
Yesterday afternoon we had our first couple's counseling session since I started posting here on EP.
While I understand that some of you have strong opinions about my therapeutic history, lets just assume for the moment that I have reasons for wanting to continue with my present couple's counselor, and that I'm still finding the experience to be worthwhile.
That said...I started the session by saying that I had been doing a lot of thinking and writing, and that I had come to believe that I was doing both myself and the marriage a disservice by not taking good care of myself. I explained that I was making a new commitment to acting first and foremost on my OWN behalf, and to making choices that are good for ME and reflect the things I want, need, and believe in (thanks Baz and others!).
I then went on to reiterate how deeply troubled I am about the lack of physical intimacy in our marriage, and that from this point forward, I need us to keep that issue front-and-center. I also said that while I was still committed to continuing our couple's work, I would only do so as long as I felt there was hope of turning things around.
At one point, my wife did something she often does - she jumped in and started negating everything I was saying about myself ("that's not what he really believes, he's just trying to make me look like the bad guy" etc). For the first time, I saw everything really clearly - that not only doesn't she see me accurately, but for whatever reason she also really wants/needs me to conform to HER definition of who I am. Our counselor really took her to task for it (and by the end she was able to see what she had done) - but it brought a lot of things into sharp focus for me.
Anyway...by the end of the session, I felt that I was in a much better place in terms of being on my own side than I have been in a very long time.
Here's where I am today. While I'm not ready to call it quits, I am starting to gather my strength and imagine what it would be like to live my life in a different direction. Maybe I'm not in the endgame just yet - but yesterday I definitely put us a couple of moves closer. You've all been a great help.
Wish me luck...I'm probably going to need all the support I can get in the weeks and months ahead...