It is Thursday night and I feel overwhelmed and out of sorts! Since my resolution last week, I attended dance practice on Monday; missed class on Tuesday, but spent hours with my attorney; and attended dance practice on Wednesday. It is now Thursday and I actually went into work early, so that I could make it to my 4:30 appointment with Dr. Ellis and leave in enough time to make it to class at 6:30. I will work hard to maintain my 3.6 GPA, but at the end of this quarter, I am done with school. It is simply too difficult for me to juggle class and homework, work fulltime, attend weekly counseling sessions with Dr. Ellis, show up for dance practice, and attend appointments with Janice.
My session with Dr. Ellis was emotionally disturbing. The topic this evening was about the counseling sessions Bryce and I attended immediately preceding our separation. I recognize now, that it was my last ditch effort to keep him – we should have sought counseling at least a year before that. I think one of the mistakes we made when selecting a counselor was that we selected our pastor and his wife. Even though Bryce went without me browbeating him, the minute we stepped into their home office, he immediately shut down. In hindsight, I think being counseled by someone unknown to either of us might have been more beneficial.
Dr. Ellis asked about the state of our marriage and the events that precipitated us seeking marital counseling. This was a very painful conversation – but necessary, I suppose. I explained to Dr. Ellis, that Bryce and I used to do everything together. We worked out together and went out on dates – dinner, movies, etc. on a regular basis. We spent time with friends and even hosted Bible Studies within our home. We shared our dreams with one another – goals, aspirations, business ideas, travel desires. Both of us were close to our families so we always made time to spend with them as well. Then something changed.
Bryce’s desire to enjoy sexual intimacy began to wane and then right around our third anniversary Bryce began establishing new friendships that did not include me. He started hanging out every weekend with these “new friends” and participating in activities and functions that did not include me. Initially, I was not bothered by these newfound relationships, I had girlfriends of my own and at least once occasionally twice a week we had our own activities like “girl’s night out” or book club meetings. Bryce also had band rehearsal where I had dance practice – but the weekends were special to me. They were reserved just for us – in part due to Bryce’s hectic work schedule during the week.
Bryce’s separate activities continued for about two months before I finally said something to him.
“Bryce, I understand that you want to hang out with your friends, but do you realize that in the last two months, not one weekend has been spent with me?”
“What are you talking about? I do spend time with you.”
“Bryce, we always spend the weekends together because of your work schedule. Last weekend, you got off work late on Friday; you hung out with the guys during the day on Saturday and went to the movie theatre that night; we attended church Sunday morning and you had band practice that afternoon. The weekend before that was identical, except you spent Saturday at a cookout and card party that night. The weekend before that the same, except Saturday you went to breakfast, worked out during the afternoon, and went to a house party that night. Again the weekend before that was the same, except that Saturday you were driving around with one of your guy friends to help him find a new condo during the day and that night…hell I can’t remember that night.”
“Angel, stop trying to control me. I am a grown man and I can have friends of my own and spend time with other people. I don’t have to spend all of my time with you.”
“No one is trying to control you; this is about quality time spent between you and me. You know your work schedule during the week is demanding and that you often don’t get home until 8:00 even 9:00 o’clock at night. Prioritization…that is all I ask. Some weekends you can continue to hang out with the guys, but some weekends should be reserved for me. It is not too much to ask.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
The next couple of months Bryce made an effort to split his weekends with me and the guys and I honestly had no complaints. That is not about us spending quality time together – our sexual relationship was getting worse. It really seemed like Bryce was trying to balance his time. That is until I caught him in a lie.
Normally on Monday nights, Bryce would leave work and go straight to band practice. He usually arrived home around 10:00 p.m. This was not a problem because I had dance practice from 6:30 to 8:30. I always came home showered and cooked dinner. Well one particular Monday night, Bryce called home to say that practice was going to run late so I should go ahead and eat dinner without him – he would eat when he arrived home around 11:00. If practice was much later, he would skip dinner altogether and take his plate to work for lunch the following day. With that established, I ate dinner, finished some homework and took advantage of the opportunity to go to bed early.
The following Wednesday after dance practice, I decided to throw a load of laundry into the washer while I studied. When I picked up Bryce’s pants to empty the pockets, like normal, I found a dessert receipt – for two – at TGI Friday’s. No big deal except it was for Monday night at 11:00 p.m.! Bryce said he was at band practice. Why did he lie? Wait a minute! Who the hell was he with?
I explained to Dr. Ellis that this became the first of many incidents that landed us in counseling with our pastor. After telling the story, I was shaking with anger. Dr. Ellis and I continued to talk long after the session ended. By the time I left it was 6:00 o’clock! Traffic was bad and I was late for class.
Re-hashing our marriage put me in a funk! I had difficulty focusing on the instructor and by the time class was over I wanted to call Bryce and cuss his ass out! But guess what…I couldn’t because he still refuses to give me his phone number. I am stewing in my anger with no opportunity for release. I desperately need sex!