Tom had to work so I went on my own, but I did clarify my feelings a bit. She asked why am staying in my marriage if I’ve not been happy for so long. I said it would upset lots of people if we split, namely parents, in-laws and our son as well as being scared go the unknown. I acknowledged that I don’t think Tom is really happy either, though he doesn’t want to split. She reminded me that I’m not happy and said I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of everyone else. She asked what I want and I said I’d like to be on my own.
When I got home Tom and I talked about my session and he admitted he hasn’t felt happy either. He said he feels I’ve never been affectionate with him and that I’ve always been hard work. He says I’ve been a good wife in that I’ve kept the house clean, am a good cook and done the washing, but that he doesn’t feel I’ve ever really desired him. I’m sure I did in the beginning but I don’t think I’ve ever really ‘let myself go’ with him so maybe he’s right. He’s the only man I’ve ever slept with so I’ve had nothing to compare my performance with so to speak.
We agreed that we’ve both avoided conflict. The saying “least said soonest mended” came to mind and I thought that is not true. It may help in the short term but as my lack of communication has proved, in the long term, that path just allows hurt and annoyance to build up inside and eat away at you until there’s nothing left.
Basically, from the very start, neither of us has been confident enough to express our true feelings. Tom married me because he didn’t want to lose me, while I married him because I was ready to settle down and he fit the bill, or at least he seemed to at the time.
This morning, he said he can accept how I feel and we can cohabit as friends. I asked how he thought that would work in the long term for example what if we met other people. He then said that if that happened we should think of our son. It seems he is proposing that we continue as we are and as we have a child together, that means forgoing our own happiness or chance at happiness. As much as it makes me feel selfish for putting my happiness above my son’s, equally I don’t think it sets him up for a successful long term relationship when he gets older if his parents stay together just for him.
I’ve been considering my parents relationship a lot and while I do have memories of them holding hands, I cannot bring to mind any occasion of me witnessing a loving embrace or kiss between them. Perhaps I am only following in their footsteps as to how I perceived marriage to be?
Tom has agreed to come to my next session, so hopefully that will help our communication no matter what the outcome will be.