Monday, September 5, 2011

Kat's Counseling Update: Session #2 (Serious Stuff)

If any of your were wondering if I went back after my first counseling session, wonder no more.  I did. I was more comfortable than I was the first time, now that she knows the secret about my double life. I decided that I wouldn't bring up the blog or AM again unless she asked, and she didn't ask this session. She had more questions about DauntlessD and JJ and "others," but nothing I couldn't easily handle and nothing too probing.

That session, though, was all about my childhood and growing up years - Not my choice, I can assure you that.

I considered skipping this update because I'm really not interested in sharing my life details with the world, and there are many things about my younger years that would make me immediately identifiable to anyone who knows me in the real world, but a promise is a promise.

First, let me say that I cringe at the phrase "younger years." It implies that I'm now in my "older years," and while the same can be said for anyone living, I suppose, I resent the implication. These are great years!  In spite of the issues I have at home, they sure do beat my "younger years."

Anyway, back to the session......

I went back though my childhood and young adult years answering her questions as best I could. Parents?  Deceased. Was I close to my parents?  To my mother, yes.  To my father, no. Siblings?  Alive and distant. Children?  All but one still living (and, no, I won't talk about it). Abuse as a child?  Yes.  Sexual abuse?  Yes.

Let's stop here for a minute. The number of women I know who were sexually abused as girls or teens is very high. It's much more common, I believe, than most people want to admit.  So, if you are one of those out there who is still holding on to that secret, do yourself a favor and let it go.  Find a counselor and talk about it and let that burden lift a bit, ok? By the way, the same goes for men who were sexually abused.  The stigma of talking about it feels much worse for you guys, which makes it even more important that you say something to someone. You are not alone.  You really aren't.

I was hoping that maybe she would be ok with not knowing the details, but I knew that was unreasonable.  I was prepared when I walked in that day to have to re-live a bit of the non-fun stuff from my younger years, but that didn't make it much better.

(For those of you hoping that this would be an amusing post, I apologize.  As much as I thought about it and tried, I simply couldn't find a way to make child molestation funny. It's just not.)

The counselor made an interesting segue from keeping secrets in childhood to keeping secrets now. Ah, now that would have been an interesting revelation if I weren't already aware of the connection.

She wanted to know what secrets I keep from hubby. "Let's make a list," she said. It didn't look like she had enough paper, but I was willing to go with it. I started with the obvious - JJ, "others," the blog, lots of details around my prowling. The list continued until I finally thought we had exhausted all the secrets.

Then she dropped the bomb. "You know, Kat, when you start couples therapy in a few weeks, you're going to have to give up your secrets.  We have a 'no secrets' policy here for couples therapy.  It will be completely ineffective unless you both are willing to give up your secrets to each other."


Here's the issue I have with her 'no secrets' policy - Who says that having absolutely *no* secrets from your spouse is the recipe for a happy marriage? Ok, I'll concede that the infidelity thing may not fit into this category and I'll also concede that I ahve more secrets from him than I should, but I am pretty certain that all couples in long term marriages have some secrets from each other.  They may be small things (how much she really spent on that sofa, how many times last week he stopped for a beer with the guys after work, and the fact that one of the "guys" was really that secretary from accounting), but full disclosure of every single detail was not in the vows.

Ladies, how many of your husbands know your exact weight? Some will, some won't.  Does that mean that those who do not disclose that are "secret keepers?"  Oh please.

And guys, does your wife know you're reading this blog right now?  Does she know how much you enjoy Cara's photos?  Right.  I didn't think so.

I don't believe that we give up all rights to own lives and our own private thoughts when we marry. And having our own lives and private thoughts doesn't mean the marriage is in trouble. In fact, one of the secrets to a successful long term marriage is giving your partner a little bit of space to be him/herself.

Okay, that's enough of the heavy stuff for now. So, what are your thoughts on secret keeping within a marriage?


JerZey Girl said...

Sorry but I think the whole "no secret" policy is BULL-SHIT! In fact I think some of these councelors are BULL-SHIT! I may be the wrong person to comment based on the fact that I am questioning the instition of marriage but even if I weren't I agree that you don't disclose EVERYTHING!

Even my holier than thou husband admittedly keeps SOME shit from me. Okay, it's probably boring work shit but still...

Sorry Kat but I'd ditch the councelor and carry on.

JerZey Girl said...

LOL...sorry, I misspelled "counselor" ;)

SilentHawk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Keeping secrets within a marriage?


Well, in about 15 years of marriage, I have no idea if wife knows I masturbate pretty much every day -- especially as I have the "privilege" of having sex with her, oh, 8 times a year.

What should I spill? The 7 girlfriends I've had since the New Year? The wild sex romps? The hot convos I've had with the Shackled Kat the basement...while the wife is asleep on another med-created deep sleep?

Secrets secrets are no fun... secrets secrets hurt someone.

Especially when they see the light of day. :)

- SomewhereMan

Nicholas said...

Some secrets are meant to be kept. I divide secrets from my spouse into two categories: 1) those which if discovered would cause permanent damange to my relationship, and 2) those that would not cause permanent damage.

In category 1, would fall all prowling activities from seeking a playmate to following through and stepping out. I have secrets that involve flirting with the idea of cheating, but have never followed through. I decided that my marriage was too important and to refocus my time in making it better. It has worked for me, and I don't have a desire to actually step outside of that for now. I would never disclose those secrets. It would cause too much damange, and permanent damange to what I have restored. I now try to avoid activities that would cause permanent damage.

Then there are those that fall into category 2. Secrets that may cause some harm, but the harm would not be permanent. An example in my reltionship with my spouse is reading this blog. If discovered, it might cause some pain, but that pain could be healed. In fact, if disclosed, it might help us resolve some issues that are in our relationship and open up dialogue that would be helpful. So, in at the right time, I might disclose this activity. Other secrets in this category are fantasies, strictly e-mail correspondence with other people, an attraction that I have to a member of the opposite sex, etc. She has similar secrets I am sure.

So, some secrets I would NEVER disclose unless it is apparent the secret would be discovered anyway. At taht point I would disclose to minimize the damage. Other secrets would in fact be healthy to disclose and to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise. A self-serving rationalization from the Queen of the same. Tsk, tsk. Ovary Up and spill it, sweetie. Your hubby deserves the full truth - as do you.

Failure to do so is just further evidence that this is an incredibly insincere gesture on your part. And then, for cripes sake, end your sham of a marriage.

DauntlessD said...

As always thoughtful and thought provoking my dear Kat.

In my experience there are also some gender issues with secrets. There are some dark "male" thoughts that I would likely share only with my very close male friends. I have some female friends close enough that I *could* share some of those things with, but I think there would be a disconnect of understanding; I'm sure the same goes vice-versa.

H said...

when you say "I don't believe that we give up all rights to own lives and our own private thoughts when we marry."

RIGHT ON, why do people confuse marriage with control and ownership...... I thought slavery was dead.

Ms. Inconspicuous said...

I am on board with Dan Savage's views on secrets. They are a necessary part of a healthy marriage.

I mean, come on--my husband knows about my lover, so clearly I've given up the big ones--but a "no secrets" marriage is either unrealistic or dumb. I haven't decided which.

Dump the counselor. That policy is juvenile and smacks of little real-world experience.

Kat said...

JerZey Girl - I agree. SOme secrets are normal and acceptable. The question is, which ones?

SomewhereMan! Hi!!! Uh...I don't think you should spill any of those secrets. And you spilled the secret here about out hot convos....sheesh.....can't ya keep a secret? LOL

Nicholas - Thank you for that very thoughtful response. I agree with you. There are secrets and tehre are secrets. Permanent damage versus harm that can be repaird....hmmm...foor for thought.

Anon 8:52 - I was wondering when any of you Kat haters would be back...and here you are! As always, welcome. You share the perspective of the counselor when it comes to secrets, although she is not nearly as obnoxious and rude about how she shares it. As for my marriage, it's not a sham at all. Question for don't think that Athol's suggestions for gaming your wife are deceptive? That's not about secrets? Or is that ok because you think it will make the marriage stronger? Sounds like a double standards to me, which doesn't surprise me at all, given the source. It sounds like the weasel is calling the hamster black.

Daunt - Is that your way of saying that you are keeping secrets from me? :-/

H- I know! It's crazy, huh? There is such a double standard in this area, too. Often, husbands are allowed to keep secrets because they have their wife's best interest at heart, but the wife is expected to trust completely and tell everything. I maintain that what I think is still *mine*.

Ms. I - You're not the first to make that comment about the counselor. Hmmm....more food for thought. Thanks.

Alex said...

Kat - I am a firm believer in the "no secrets" policy. My SO has the passwords to all of my accounts (facebook, IM, email, etc) and I have hers. I have NEVER used any of her login info and to the best of my knowledge she has never used mine. Are there things I don't tell her? Surely, but not because I am hiding anything. Its mostly because I don't feel it is important. However, she knows I read your blog and others, and she knows why I read them. I have to admit, explaining your blog wasn't easy. But she is absolutely confident that I am against cheating, and understands that I found your site by accident and now have a strange intellectual curiosity about it.

Anyway, you know where I come from in regards to relationships. I truly believe that once you take the leap and marry someone, you OWE them total honesty at all times. I am happy to see that you appear to be taking the efforts to repair your marriage seriously. I hope you keep that level of commitment the whole way through.

Anonymous said...

It is precisely because of this type of advice why they are referred to by some as "marriage cancelers".