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“I’ll see what my wife says,” Larry said. He paused a moment then hung up the phone.
“Who were you talking to?”
“You’re seeing a counselor?”
“Yes. A man on campus.”
“Why? Is there something wrong with me?”
“No. It’s me. Will you go with me?”
It was the end of April, the long winter was ending, the children might be well for a while. I wanted to enjoy the sun and the blossoming scenery. I didn’t want to see a counselor, which made me shake my head at myself. I was the one who needed to talk, not Larry. When our second daughter was a baby, I felt overwhelmed with marriage and went to a counselor. On the second visit Larry agreed to go with me. We took some tests and found out that he didn’t need to talk, or didn’t want to.
“He says we need a marriage counselor,” Larry said.
Again I asked, “Why?”
“I have a problem,” he said, avoiding my eyes.
The counselor was Don, mid-thirties, married with two children, a slender man with light brown hair that was a contrast to Larry’s darker and very curly brown hair. Always more comfortable in a room with women, I sat uneasily in a room with one man I thought I knew fairly well and one I didn’t know at all.
I asked Don, “What do you know about Mormons?”
“They put a lot of emphasis on education,” he said.
That was all he said.
In the next session, he suggested that we read sensual books, go to sensual movies, and use devices for sexual stimulation to improve our marriage. Obviously, he didn’t know how morally conservative we were. I cringed and glanced at Larry who nodded at Don, and a few days later came home with The Sensuous Woman for me and The Joy of Sex for both of us. I was mesmerized by the books, and uncomfortable. How was filling my mind with these images helping Larry with his problem, whatever his problem was? I was even more confused and stunned when Don said that adultery could sometimes be a good thing. What was he suggesting? When I finally told him how uncomfortable I was with his suggestions, he said he had been waiting for me to speak up.
“Do you realize what you do?” he said. “You assume you know what we’re thinking.”
“She does do that,” Larry said.
He looked at Larry. “That lets you off the hook.” He looked at me. “He knows if he makes a few simple comments he can sit back while you take the ball and run with it.” He turned to Larry again. “You let her do this, you know.”
“That way you don’t have to say anything.”
“It works, doesn’t it?” Larry said with a grin.
“I’m sorry,” I said to Don. “I’m just so confused. I don’t know what’s going on.”
“I’m trying to help you,” he said. “Larry’s more frightened of emotions than you are.”
Larry nervously tapped his fingers on his thighs. Was this true? Was he afraid to say what he felt?
“This week I want you to share secrets,” Don said.
“Secrets? I don’t have any secrets,” I laughed nervously.
“Just see what happens,” Don said.
The writing style is intense in its simplicity, ideal for In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets. I got drawn right in and read the story straight through in a day and a half...In the beginning, it's a tale of shattered dreams and betrayal. In the end, a story of hope and determination, survival and love.
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