“What do you hope to accomplish here?”
I cringed a little, like I was waiting to be punched in the gut. What would I say? I knew what I really wanted—I wanted her to throw her hands up in the air and tell us we shouldn’t be together.
But that’s not how marriage counseling works. They’re trying to save the marriage, whether it should be or not.
“I just want us to figure out exactly what we need in life to be happy, whether that’s together or apart.”
The best part of working in advertising is the ability to spin your words so you’re not lying, just making it easier for the world to absorb the awful truth.
There’s a large difference between spinning your words to cushion a blow and manipulation to get what you want, with just the tiniest of gray areas in-between. I prided myself in staying on the correct side, both in my work, and my relationships. Usually.
That gray area is as thin as a tightrope made out of thread, and my balance isn’t always great.
If it were, I wouldn’t have been there in the first place talking about my feelings with a stranger and the woman I was trying to leave.
I’d be at home, in my office, hiding from my wife who would, no doubt, be sitting on the couch watching reality TV and thinking about making a baby.
And neither option was living.
The counselor leaned forward just a little bit, her pen ready to strike …
“What exactly do you mean by that?”
I could feel her eyes—and my wife’s—locked on me. My face felt sunburned, all of a sudden. I could feel my hair growing as I searched for the safest words to expand on my thought without using that word too early; The big D.
I may have wanted it, but I couldn’t say it—not yet.
In advertising, the best way not to lie is to be vague. You allude to things, and say just enough to avoid a lawsuit for your client. In counseling, you can’t get away with it quite as easily.