Today’s Stupid Shit challenge is about therapy and all the stupid therein. Tell me the most absurd thing your cheater said in marriage counseling. Tell me the most asinine therapy nugget you got and how much you paid for it.
No disrespect meant to the mental health profession — a good therapist is worth their weight in gold. But God knows there are a lot of quacks out there as well. Good therapy shouldn’t give us a pass on our faults, but it recognizes what we control and what we don’t control. Good therapy identifies abusive dynamics and personality disorders. Good therapy helps you recognize your agency and power at enforcing boundaries.
Bad therapy has an agenda. It might be Keep The Marriage Together At All Costs. Or it might be the I’m Okay, You’re Okay School of False Equivalencies. You will know bad therapy by the stupid.
Here’s my Bad Therapy Nugget contribution — After the first D-Day, like a good chump, I dragged my cheater to marriage counseling. The cartoon above is a homage to that guy — a bearded, sweater-vested man, possessing all the gravitas of over-cooked pasta.
I described the discovery of cheating, the death threats, the outburst that cheater would like to “piss on the grave” of his ex-wife’s dead baby for speaking to me. Cheater said he considered STD testing “punishment.” And the shrink says NOTHING. A whole litany of horrors and he just nods sagely. At the end of 45 minutes, we get up and he utters one sentence, “You guys need to learn to dialogue.”
Wow. I paid $125/hour for that? Really, it was a lack of dialogue that made my husband cheat on me? Had I just said, “Please don’t have a double life” we could’ve averted this disaster? Clearly a man who is concealing staggering debt, mistress(es), and a love child just needs unconditional love and understanding. Perhaps a hug too. He just didn’t know how to speak to me. Well roll me in flour and call me a biscuit! I didn’t know.
Anyway, dumped that guy after one visit and got Janet the Good Shrink. (There’s a chapter on her in my book.) Cheater Therapy Nugget — “I like being a narcissist.”
Janet yelled: “ARE YOU LISTENING TO THIS? THIS IS WHO HE IS.”
Yep. It was. A guy who likes being a narcissist. And at that, I was set on the path of Trust That They Suck.