Last Tuesday in therapy I was discussing an incident that happened over the weekend with my partner M and I. As usual, many of our disagreements have to do with raising our daughter. You see I'm a bit looser in my approach to many things, where M is a bit more strict. In telling L my version of the story she appeared to understand where I was coming from and intimated that she probably would have felt the same way.
So fast forward to last night when M and I went to see L for couples counseling. We hadn't been in a couple weeks, and I was really hoping that I had gotten through the worst of my weird reactions to seeing L for both individual and now couples counseling. What was I thinking???
The session started out ok. I was a little uncomfortable but as the time went on I got better and a little more relaxed. We covered a bunch of things, as there is a lot of stuff going on in our lives. It was helpful, and as some things continue to unravel it will be helpful to make sure that M and I keep talking. M works nights 3 days a week, so that coupled with my tendency to live in my head means that a lot of important things may not get fully talked through.
Towards the end M brought up the argument that we had over the weekend, the same one I had talked to L about a few days earlier. During the telling of the story L expressed that she understood where M was coming from and even offered some supportive comments/observations. Hearing her support M's side really threw me.
To be clear, I didn't, and don't expect L to take sides. I'm not looking for her to choose me over my partner. I do however think I would be ok with her calling me out on something that I may be totally off base with. I don't think I'm that fragile. So I really don't think my reaction was because L was 'choosing' M over me. I really don't.
For me, I took it down a very weird, long path. I was now questioning any supportive thoughts or actions that L has ever shown me. Was all this 'relationship' crap with her bullshit? Was she just saying things at the time so I would feel supported? But the whole time she's just been playing me for a fool? Trying to trick me?
It took me a long time to get some of this out to her today. I got to my individual session feeling pretty sullen and shutdown. If I didn't trust her, how could I now talk to her?
I quite often accuse her of seeing too many things as 'half full', where I tend to see the glass as 'half empty'. But I also told her it's one of her qualities that I like as well. But, I said there are times when I need for her to tell me the truth. I told her an example of me trying on an outfit and asking her opinion of it. She said she would say to me 'Well, how do you feel about it?' I told her that would frustrate me. That if she were a good friend, and if the outfit looked horrible, or didn't match, or god-forbid made me look fat, I would want her to tell me. She responded with 'If you felt good about the outfit, then that's all that matters, not my opinion'. We went round-and-round with that for quite a while, until I finally told her what was really running through my head.
At first she misunderstood how I was feeling. She thought I was pissed that she supported M, or that I didn't understand how couples therapy worked. But that wasn't it, at least not this time. I felt like she lied. Like she just wanted to appease me the other day. And now, what other things has she not been honest about? Has she lied when she told me she cares, that I matter?
Now, 10 hours later, I still feel crappy about the discussion. She did say that maybe we should not do couples counseling for a while. That maybe M and I could see someone else, or maybe we just wait for a while. I told her that I would feel like a failure. But I'm also not sure if that would help this problem. This problem of me trusting her.
I also hate that I'm doubting her. She's done so much for me. Been so available to me. Been so supportive of me. What kind of person am I? Am I someone who just can't be pleased? Am I someone who will always look for ways to not trust someone and just exploit the opportunity when it arises?