Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one
My last posting was meant for yesterday afternoon but I forgot to submit.
I took my daughter and son to soccer practice and my wife stayed home and readied dinner. She had been mildly pleasant since they got home but when we returned she was cold, bitter and closed up. Not surprisingly, my copy of NMMNG arrived while we were out and she opened it thinking it might be one of the gifts she ordered for me for Xmas (she plans very, very far in advance, always had and, when ordering off my AMZN wishlist, gifts are addressed to the receiver). I wasn't upset, but I knew immediately why she was.
Did I address it outright? Definitely not. This was dinner with the family and I was more than ready to show off the "I need to think about myself first" attitude. She sat (more like crunched) at the dinner table, ignored me, ate nothing and drank red wine while keeping the conversation to a minimum with the kids. I was of course fighting that hurt but kept it shut tight and ate all my dinner, even part of hers (it was the most I've eaten in 3 days; I've lost almost 10lbs since). My son went off to get ready for bath and bed and my wife assisted him; my daughter stayed with me and finished eating. About 5 minutes later my wife comes in and calmly tells our 9yo daughter that she's not being quiet and upset because of anything "you or your brother did, you know that right?" My daughter is a sharp kid and when my wife went back to our room I looked at her with a "what can you do? life goes on" look. She pointed to me with her hand by her chest and had a deer-in-headlights look on her face, as if to say: "this is scary and I'm helpless"
When everything was cleaned up and the kids were put to bed I calmly confronted her in our bedroom (where she was working) with the book in hand and a shared a calmly-planted comment that "our daughter understood the context of your apology to her". Before letting her react I showed her the book I knew she opened and felt so hurt from the title (can you say, "don't judge a book by its cover?"). I told her I was going to read to her some selected parts, no more than 30 seconds worth, to set her straight on what a "nice guy" I really was. She wanted no part in it; she just wanted to finish her work. I told her I wasn't going to let her sleep tonight if she didn't hear what I wanted her to hear. She said, "fine, later than when I'm done". So I did what I was planning on doing anyway, next to her, while I waited for her to finish: I listened to another chapter of NMMNG. When she closed her computer I could see her reaching for the remote and I stopped her. She let me read the headlines from the first segment that outlines what a "Nice Guy" is. For the uninitiated, these are all bad, no-so-nice traits. I closed the book and explained I need to work on myself which meant being honest with her about my secreted needs. She already felt like she does too much, like buying the women in my family Xmas presents every year was her current example. I asked her what that was worth to her and if she could come up with something equivalent for me I'd tell her if it was fair trade. I think that threw her off, because she could not think of a thing.
She soon admitted she was more upset that I would jump into these lifestyle changes without any thought of her or the family and leave her to do everything (as if I'd be out drinking or fornicating instead of spending quality time with our kids)! I told her to wait and see. I got up, brushed my teeth, took a shower and went to bed.