I think I have stated that my counselor likes to up my anxiety. He has a talent for doing just that each session. He likes to wait until the last part of the session to do so. Today’s session was no different.
At the end of today’s session, he told me he was bothered by something. I said, OK, what is up? He proceeded to remind me of the marriage intensive with my wife, like I really needed reminding! He pointed out that he had been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and he was bothered that my wife and I had been sexually intimate after day two. OK, I really did not expect that. I thought maybe I said something wrong he wanted to point out to me. I figured he had an epiphany about how I became someone who could do what I have done. Nope, that wasn’t it. He didn’t like that I was sexually intimate with my wife during that time. OK, now I am completely confused. Why would that bother him? Isn’t that a good sign that my wife still wants to be with me in an intimate way? That despite the betrayal and lies and manipulation, she still sees the need to build intimacy with me. Only that isn’t the way he sees it.
Of course, he had a nice one page document already printed out for me, titled Intimacy and Leadership Exercise. Excellent. I don’t like where this is going already. The opening paragraph states that this exercise is for a married couple where the marital vow of monogamy, both sexually and emotionally, has been broken by the actions the husband took, AND where the husband and wife have reengaged sexually prior to at least 90 days after the exposure of the betrayal. OK, I really don’t like where this is going now.
According to my counselor, this is a challenge for the husband and wife to enter a unique period of intimacy together where the emphasis is on leadership and self-discipline. This exercise may be relatively simple to understand, but may be hard to do. OK, if this is what I think it is, that is the understatement of the year.
Yep, its what I thought it was. I am to inform my wife of this exercise and to lead it. This should be a loving, consensual and relationship building exercise. The rules basically are:
- No sexual intercourse for a minimum of 90 days
- I can’t see my wife naked
- No sexual touching of any kind. Brief kissing and minor hugging is allowed (well, thanks for that!)
- We have to stay in the same bed
- I am to arrange day 91, a joint sexual experience
- I am responsible for connecting with my wife in an emotional or intimate way every evening before we go to bed
- I have to journal about all this daily
- We start over if we break the rules.
The end of the briefing with my counselor focuses on the purpose of this exercise. There are three characteristics of marriage this is meant to reinforce:
- Intimacy doesn’t mean sex
- The husband is responsible for servant leadership within the marriage
- The wife is responsible for graceful responsiveness of her husband’s leadership role.
Wow. OK, I understand the purpose. I even agree with the purpose. Can we do this in our marriage? I guess we will find out.