I sit down on the sofa first, my husband sits in the seat opposite before standing up to remove his jacket and stare idly around the room looking I know, for somewhere to hang his expensive clothing. I note our therapist clocking this. He takes my husband’s jacket and hangs it on the back of his door.
My husband has shown his hand.
I wonder to myself if our therapist has noticed the first clue of my husband’s character — his unmistakable self-importance. As the three of us have never met before, I know he will be absorbing every cue, both verbal and non-verbal.
I am stiff as a board — my body is tightly wound up; unbridled agony from our 11 years together: heartbreak, tension, and anxiety and trepidation are scrunched up like a ball of old muddied paper. My mind and my soul are heavy with anguish.
When our therapist asks us what has brought us here today, my husband — the love of my life answers coldly —
“Well I think Amelie should tell us as I don’t even know myself.” A disinterested scoff leaves his possession.
He has shown his hand again. How he — the smart and cunning one — doesn’t realise is beyond me.
Despite the depth of heartbreak moving my soul, I still see him for all that he is — deeply self-loathing, and fervently motivated to prove that the opposite is true to a human being that he has never before met. That cause is more important to him than his loyalty to his own wife.
I wonder to myself: don’t you think our therapist can see straight through you?
I feel for him. And I am reminded why we are still together; because I have forgiven a thousand sins in the name of empathy and understanding. I have chosen him above myself from the day we united.
I open my mouth to speak and struggle to find voice. Heaving arrests my form; you can hear it in my vocal chords — the hoarseness coming from difficulty breathing, deep in my diaphragm.
I tell the room in between heavy sobbing, that I love my husband more than life itself — that…