Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 2

Marcus and I were having a problem with sex.  For months, there just wasn’t any, unless I snuck up on him and initiated it, and quite frankly, that was getting really old, not to mention the severe beating my ego and self-esteem were suffering.  When I questioned him about it, he was kind enough to insist it had nothing to do with me. 

When he started therapy with Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, we’d had a particularly long dry spell.  And as timing would have it, after Marcus’ first two sessions we took a five-day ski vacation to Park City with another couple we knew from West Los Angeles.  And boy did I have big expectations: the thrill of the slopes, good food and drink, laughter and camaraderie with friends.    

Plus I hoped the change of scene would inspire Marcus to pin me against a wall and take me madly and passionately with great force and desire.

As it turned out…not so much. Don’t get me wrong.  The trip was everything I wanted, but there was no sex.  Perhaps a hotel room in downtown Salt Lake City, overlooking the dramatically lit and majestic Mormon Tabernacle, wasn’t really conducive.

Life went on as usual after that.  Marcus was charged up about his analysis, and I was pretty excited about my job.  My numbers were good and I loved being out in the field.

Then one evening Marcus said, “Andrew suggested I bring you with me to a session or two.”

“Why?”  I asked.

“He said it would be good to witness our dynamic as a couple.  Will you do it?”

“Okay,” I said.  “If it will help, of course I’ll do it.”

Andrew Rosenberg appeared older than his thirty-one years.  He looked quite a bit like Orson Welles in “Citizen Kane.”  His brown eyes were wide-set under dark eyebrows that seemed permanently arched in the angry position.  There was a softening with his small perfectly shaped nose and mouth with full lips, but those eyes really scared me for some reason.  He was a little overweight, which added plump to his cheeks, and his long dark hair receded on each side of his forehead, forming a rather sinister looking widow’s peak.

By contrast, Andrew’s office was warm and cozy with old, stuffed furniture and lamps glowing with soft, pink light.  One window interrupted the wood-paneled wall facing Little Santa Monica Boulevard from three floors up.  As we walked in, he motioned for us to sit while he closed the thick, lined curtains.

He asked Marcus and me about our relationship, when we met, how we met, how we felt about our lives together.  Then he just sat back and left the floor to us.  I found the session to be a little uncomfortable.  Andrew never smiled.  I felt heavily scrutinized by his silent stares, his incessant nods and the intermittent “Hmmmm.”

When the hour was over, he said, “I’m having a therapy marathon next weekend with a group of my patients.  I do this a couple of times a year.  I’d like you both to come.”

“Therapy marathon?” I asked.

“Starting Friday evening,” Andrew explained, “everyone brings food and sleeping bags to my house in Glendale.  We swim, we cook, we eat, and we socialize.  We sleep on the living room floor.  At 6:00 Saturday morning we eat breakfast, then begin a day-long group therapy session. On Saturday evening we have dinner out, then back for more therapy.  We sleep at midnight, we wake up early again on Sunday and work all day until early evening, when we clean up and you all go home to lick your wounds.”

Andrew chuckled at his own closing remark, which surprised the shit out of me after an entire hour with him frowning and nodding.

I looked at Marcus.  He looked at me.

“I think we should do this Jill,” he said.  “I really think we should do this.”

Stay tuned for Part 3:  The Marathon

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July 5, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , ,

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