Marriage Of One

November 4, 2010

Thinking time

Filed under: sex — marriageofone @ 10:42 pm
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It’s been a while since my last post.  There have been two reasons for this.  The first is that nothing particularly unusual or notable has happened.

The second is that I have been thinking.  The last post was followed by a comment by ToppHogg that I should enlist the services of a therapist to help me navigate the choppy waters of my sexless marriage, not to save my marriage per se, but to help me manage my relationship with Susan in a different way.

I couldn’t immediately see the purpose of this approach.  In the first place it seems obvious that the general policy of disengagement that I’m following now is ‘working’.  I mean that in the sense that it’s effect on the relationship is basically neutral.  Secondly, what would I take away from therapy?

I feared it would open the wounds that I have (mostly through the cathartic nature of this blog) generally learnt to endure and even heal in some cases.

My greatest reservation however lay in my intrinsic skepticism of the therapeutic process.  Now I don’t mean that in the sense that it doesn’t work: I’m sure it does for many many situations.  I just don’t see how it would work for me.  I consider myself a normal person in an abnormal situation.  What exactly would I be hoping to achieve, knowing as I do that my marriage is not EVER going to improve?

I decided to throw the issue to a wider audience by posting the question to the I Live In A Sexless Marriage forum on the Experience Project.  What I asked, was other experiences with therapy.  The responses were predictably mixed.  What was clear however was that the ones with incontrovertible successful therapy were in the minority.  A few found that getting a decent therapist was itself a minefield and those that did came to the conclusion that they were best to abandon the marriage as a failure.  A few resisted this advice for other reasons and resigned themselves to the sexless marriage they were in.  The only clear message that came out of the responses I got was “go in with an open mind, without any objective or goal and don’t expect to come out of the therapy with something that is necessarily pleasant”.

Which begs the question for me: if I’ve already decided that I am going to stick with this marriage for the foreseeable future, what then is the value of finding out that the “best” thing for me is a divorce?  Or continued ‘disengagement’.  Am I going to be advised to have an affair?  Or to join an infidelity website?  What could therapy give me that I haven’t already got to by myself (and well-meaning advice from my readers)?

As I pointed out in my eventual response on the forum: the problem I have is that I don’t want to accept the harsh outcome or truth of an honest therapist.  I’ve already made up my mind.  There may come a time when I will turn to this truth.  It may be too late to do anything by then, but I can only decide with what I know now.  And for now I have decided to stay and endure.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ah, my friend, you misread my comment!

    Like you, I do not have a high opinion of therapy. The personal biases of the therapist too often get in the way of properly dealing with the problem under discussion. All too often, entering therapy is a total waste of time, as the discussions wander off into territory that the therapist finds interesting and yet has no impact on the immediate issue.

    Instead, I have found that if you can communicate with others who share your problem, you gain their insights and experience to help you deal with it. That is why I suggested contacting Sexual Recovery Anonymous-Anon, which is not a therapy organization but is a 12-step self-help organization. In some ways, it isn’t much different than writing this blog – it’s just that you have to act to reach out instead of waiting for someone to wander by.

    Comment by ToppHogg — November 5, 2010 @ 10:33 am


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