Marriage Of One

July 5, 2009

The Marcia-n Conspiracy

Filed under: marriage — marriageofone @ 9:43 pm
Tags: , ,

This may sound paranoid and cynical but I don’t think Marcia is totally innocent of Susan’s failure to capitalise on her counselling sessions.

Why did she feel that she needed to keep asking Susan whether she wanted to continue the sessions?  Unless she wanted to give Susan – who would obviously be finding the introspection quite difficult and would be looking for an escape route – a ‘get out of jail card’.

From the start Marcia seemed to be attributing Susan’s behaviour and sexuality on Susan’s life as a mother rather than her life as a wife or woman or teenager, neglecting even the 5 years before she became a mother.  First it was how tiring it must be to be a mother.  Then that perhaps she had post-natal depression.

And I think Marcia kept returning to this because she did not want to continue to work with Susan.  I think she thought that she saw a lost cause and didn’t want to waste her time.

Susan’s own inability to describe her emotions and sexual feelings, her extreme immaturity and lack of understanding of sex must have been really difficult to reconcile with a Marcia’s ‘normal’ view of an adult woman who had somehow managed to become pregnant deliberately and raise two infants.

Susan on the other hand did herself (or me) no favours by telling Marcia I was using a pump on my penis or perhaps not adequately explaining the lengths I had gone to to help her.  So Marcia’s image of our marriage, relationship and sex life must have been incomplete and very skewed if not downright bizarre.

All in all what really gets to me though is that Susan did not discuss this with me before throwing in the towel.  I had my doubts about Marcia and I might even had supported Susan’s decision to quit although I might have asked her to continue for another month or so.  We could have looked for a second opinion and continued with another therapist.

As it stands Susan is now behaving as though she has been given a new lease of sex-life and Marcia has given her the ‘all-clear’ to continue to live her life as she sees fit.  She doesn’t quite realise that actually she has been left more or less where she started.  Actually it is worse, because now she sincerely believes there is nothing wrong with her and nothing anybody can do for her.

In the two conversations we have had since this event I got a few new facts and home truths.  I’ll return to these in a post in a few days.



  1. I think that this is the phrase that you should have recognized much earlier, maybe even before you began writing this blog (but I understand how writing can clarify the mind and organize the thoughts): “…she sincerely believes there is nothing wrong with her and [there is] nothing anybody can do for her.”

    In this phrase, if accurate, I identify the motivation of the defense against your sexual advances. Yes, defense. Susan clearly sees sex as an intrusion to be defended against, something she had to have picked up from another woman she admired and emulated whose own sex life was a miserable shambles.

    The fact that your battles with her over sex continued for so long brings to mind a comment my own wife made to me today from another context, but it fit the open space in my personal life puzzle like it was made for it: “Don’t get into a power struggle, but if you do – win it.” With this, all of the arguments, all of the subject-switching during them, all of the accusations and manipulation and rejections came into laser-like focus. I had been controlled through their use.

    There is a problem with this strategy, however. I’m now on to it. I also am not willing to be manipulated though it into accepting my imposed second-class status in my own home. I won’t bore you with the details, but when it comes to my relationships with my children, in her view they are always right and I am always wrong. If I don’t understand that these children are hers and will be defended against me, I will know no peace in my home.

    I no longer care to pursue that which is unattainable. I will continue to live here, but interacting with the other family members will be formal. I will no longer pretend that anything I can do will ever repair the rift among us, created by my wife so that she can retain total control. I no longer care. I will watch out for my own self-interest, and her condemnations be damned!

    So you see, my friend, you are clearly not alone in this. I am but one of millions in similar straits who seek relief. We can achieve this if we can share our insights and victories, And we have at times the necessity of being brutally honest, even when we don’t like what we hear. I have had to restrain my responses even to you at times until I got through the emotions and thought about what you said. I’m sure that this is true for you as well, and for those others who read but don’t write.

    But if there will ever be true equality and open honesty between the sexes, we have to stop being carpets for foot-wiping. We have to stand up and reclaim our lost honor and dignity and be human men again.

    Comment by ToppHogg — October 17, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  2. I think I need to clarify the statement “…she sincerely believes there is nothing wrong with her”.

    Susan does accept there is something wrong with herself. She just doesn’t accept that it is a condition that needs attention from ‘the outside’ i.e. a doctor or therapist. She thinks what is wrong is the combination of some ‘nurture’ issues and our circumstances from marriage onwards. All of which can be resolved ‘if we work together’ – a euphemism meaning “if I just accept her attitudes and behaviour and take what I am given”. Essentially it’s “take it or leave it”. I’m leaving it. I have my pride. Maybe I’ll have sex once a month instead of once every few months if I did take it – but quite frankly the deal is not good enough and I’ll be even more of a doormat if I did.

    In all your comments ToppHogg I had identified with you as someone who shared my experience of a fragmented marriage. But I did not realise that your relationship with your wife had affected your relationship with YOUR children in the way your describe. If that is the case can I ask (without prying and of course you don’t have to reply) why you persist with the charade?

    I have always stated that the core reason why I remain in this marriage (yes Susan and I are friends) is my children. I am here to share the responsibility and part of that is to keep an eagle-eye out for any signs that Susan either now or in the future starts to poison their minds to me personally (so far never) or their relationships be it with friends, teen crushes or eventually full-blown (sexual) relationships. I think I have said that there are no guarantees I’ll succeed for all of the kids or even any of them. But I’ll damn well try. And as the sexlessness gains hold over every passing week and month that determination grows. At this point in time I trust her as their mother. I’ll always trust her with their physical well-being. But for their emotional development I’ve even recently had to step in discretely a few times. They were not big issues – but my eldest is a ‘sensitive child’ which means she picks up signals like a fine-tuned radar, so I have to be vigilant. As they get older and their world-view gets more complex I’ll need to be there.

    But if I got to the point where my interactions with my kids were ‘formal’ the game would be up. How could I influence them in a positive way? How would I get Susan to respect the time and interactions I have with my kids? What would I look like in their eyes? A cousin of mine is in a very similar situation: his kids I think see him as a walking wallet. His wife sees him…well the same way I guess. Unless he has a plan or hope (or deluded himself into thinking he has one) to regain the children’s respect he is better off leaving in my view. His kids might at least see a man who has the courage to walk away.

    Comment by marriageofone — November 1, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

  3. Why I stay in a bad marriage? An excellent question!

    When I first left home, I knew extreme loneliness. I’m not the most gregarious person, and my friends weren’t meeting my needs. I had changed and they had not. I also had just concluded an intense professional relationship with a group of people, and I missed the interaction. It was in this state of need that I met my wife, and she sank her claws into me before I could realize what I was allowing. Once I did, the fear of returning to loneliness kept me there under the blind hope that things would change for the better. They never did. To this day I know the exact date and time minute when I realized that I should leave her – and did not. I did it to myself.

    Sometimes the devil you know is deemed better than the devil you don’t. Yes, it’s an excuse not to act at all, but for a long time I have had to settle for excuses. I now have better reasons.

    One primary reason I remain is my granddaughter. If I were to separate from my wife, I would not be granted visitation privileges by my daughter, the baby’s mother. Another is simple economics. I cannot afford to establish a separate household and maintain my support obligations to my other college-aged children. I am also supporting my eldest son who is essentially unemployed due to being scheduled very few hours to work by his employer. Leaving would upset the economic apple cart.

    But don’t think I’ve been completely idle. I have established the means by which I get my own needs satisfied and that makes it much easier to remain. I have much less reason to resent the poor treatment I get from my wife, as I can now largely ignore her neglect and abuse. It drives her crazy that I don’t react like I used to when she pushes me!

    I doubt that my relationship with my children will ever be more than warm formality. They are too much like their mother for anything else. They think like her and act like her, and nothing I can do is going to change any of that now. I spent too many years working long hours to support them that I fell out of their circle of influence and left that field for their mother to fill due to that necessity. I just wish they will realize someday what I did for them and feel grateful for it. But for now, I am now willing to settle for polite discourse, for it is better than vituperation.

    My time grows short, for I have obligations to meet. I’ll return when I have more to add.

    Comment by ToppHogg — December 3, 2009 @ 11:07 am

  4. I alluded to the devil you know in my last post. Not having to face any relational surprises has become somewhat important to me, for I find I am succumbing to that stereotype which states that one grows more staid as one ages. It isn’t that I can’t deal with surprises, it’s that I don’t want to. I have reached an age where the amount of complexity that one deals with daily leaves me with less energy afterwards than when I was younger, and I like to have some left at the end of the day to do what I want to do. That doesn’t include fighting with one’s spouse.

    I know my wife is not as interested in sex as she used to be – and that wasn’t much to begin with. She has physical limitations to deal with, some not sexual in nature. She’s let herself go, and is now diabetic. I’d be hammered by any court if I were to seek a divorce now! I might as well locate that refrigerator box and the bridge to park it under – not an easy task in our nation at this time! – while I still have the means to do so. I wouldn’t afterwards.

    So sometimes going along with the flow is the wiser choice, at least until a clearly better option comes along. That way, one isn’t entire expended before one’s energy is really needed to achieve an improvement.

    Comment by ToppHogg — December 12, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  5. I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on posting such interesting stuff!!

    Comment by silfucourrich — December 13, 2009 @ 12:26 am

  6. […] She has also tried counseling for herself.  Recently she herself (after her failure with Marcia) has suggested couple counseling.  So far she has not done anything about it.  It may be in the […]

    Pingback by Half a dozen options « Marriage Of One — July 26, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

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