We went religiously to therapy, week after week. The scene was always a little something like this: We got the kids off to where they needed to be, took care of the dogs, did the typical household stuff, grabbed coffees and off we went. We arrived most times eager to get started and help ourselves get to a better place, but as anyone who’s gone to therapy knows, it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, we had some serious crap to work out. Between money, the addition, the kids, my daughter’s issues, his daughter’s issues, his ex-wife, my ex husband, the animals, it was all getting to be too much. All I wanted was for us to get to a place where we knew that we were on the same side. That I was not the enemy no matter what. Unfortunately my sharp tongue sometimes showed him otherwise. I would suspect after a while all he could hear was disdain and judgment from me, even when I wasn’t trying to sound that way. Most times at therapy I cried. I was this hard-shelled rough around the edges chic and we got into that space and I was a blubbering idiot and again I repeat “I was just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her” ~ Knotting Hill. Why was that so hard? Had I become so cold, so distant so unlovable? It’s possible. I wasn’t internalizing, I knew exactly the things about Jolly Guy that drove me crazy and made me enraged, but I couldn’t help but accept that I too was to blame. We would be asked how our week went and most of the time there wasn’t too much to say because we didn’t spend any time together. He worked, I did everything else. And that’s how life was. I began to resent it, I wanted desperately to go back to school or work, but the kids, the house, it all needed me. I had been convinced by Jolly Guy that I was doing this for the betterment of our new-found family. What I felt like was the nanny and housekeeper. I would scream “WHY AM I HERE IF I DON’T HAVE YOU?” It dripped from my mouth with utter disgust. How could he not know how much I needed him. To love me, to be there for me, to give me attention. I was not the live in help and then the show piece for when we went out. He never said much in therapy. He mostly sat with a dumb shocked look on his face, I’m sure half thinking about how long this was going to take to be over so he could leave and go do whatever it is he wanted to do so badly. We left there so many times not speaking, where the anger and frustration of the session ruined the rest of our day together. Then we were given homework. We were to spend five minutes every night holding each other or just talking or laying quietly holding hands with no interruptions. Five minutes. Every day. That was the most of a commitment we had to make to each other. We did it one time. ONCE. And every night I asked him if we could sit for five minutes and every night he said “Do we really need to do that? And every night my heart broke a little more as I saw our fantasy life disappearing. Then at the suggestion of our therapist we were told to go away together. Just us. Didn’t have to be ultra expensive or elaborate, but the thought was to reconnect the two of us. To remind us that we were in this together and that together jolly guy and I could do anything, we could even fix us. So Jolly Guy planned a three-day two night stay away down the shore. I hadn’t been so excited to see him alone since the night of our first date. I would have him all to myself. I would remind him of what we were and how we could get back there. And we would fall in love all over again. At least that’s what I was hoping for.