My colleagues told me it was inevitable. It’s all a matter of how the therapist deals with it once it happens. It won’t matter if the therapist is married or pretending; eventually, hormones will override logic.
“Hello, Doctor O, this is my friend Janice.”
DOCTOR’S NOTE: Janice is late 30s and absolutely stunning. This isn’t good.
“Janice, it’s a pleasure. Come on in and have a seat. Guess you’ll have to share the couch. You both realize this is very unconventional, right?”
“It’s not a problem, doc. I told Janice how wonderful you are. She’s a little shy so you’re going to have to pry a bit. Ain’t that right, Janice?”
“Well, I’ve never been to therapy,” added Janice.
“All right. Janice, tell me about your situation.”
“It’s similar to Beth’s–I mean, the way hers was. We’ve been married going on ten years and the romance is pretty much gone. He had an affair a few years back, and I can’t seem to get past it.”
“So, you haven’t forgiven him.”
“I have, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. I don’t trust him.”
“Can’t trust any of them,” Beth interrupts.
“Beth, behave. Janice, how were things leading up to his affair?”
“Not the best. We went through four years of infertility treatments and that seemed to take its toll.”
“Yes, it typically does. So, you never had children?”
“No. Turns out I’m pre-menopausal. We spent a small fortune on all the procedures.”
“Did you consider adoption?”
“Not really. You know, doc, I’m not the typical woman who feels incomplete if she can’t bear children. It’s just not meant to be for me, and that’s OK. My husband, Roy, was looking forward to parenthood. Me, not so much. I love my sleep, and I’d just as soon keep my flat belly.”
“Amen to that. Not that I’ll ever have a flat belly,” adds Beth.
“So, in the midst of trying to make a baby, you lost the romance.”
“Nothing worth saving there?”
“Nope. That’s the problem, though–he won’t leave. He insists we stay together and I can’t talk any sense into him. It’s like Beth’s situation. I have a successful business, and Roy doesn’t want to walk away from it.”
“That’s where you come in, doc,” Beth insists. “You need to make Roy go away.”
“Serious. I mean, you don’t gotta kill him, but he needs to go.”
“Are you insane? Beth, I’m not in the sniper business. John committed suicide.”
“I know, darling. I’m just teasing you.”
“It’s not funny.”
“Can’t you just scare him off?”
“No, Beth. Janice, I don’t know what she has told you, but I don’t employ any strong-arm tactics. I’m just here to advise and guide you free from a relationship you’re sure you want to leave.”
“Good, because I’m positive; I want to leave,” Janice reassures.
“OK. Have you spoken to an attorney?”
“Yes. Nothing there. I make more money than he does, and Roy’s uncle is the best divorce attorney in the county.”
“I’m tellin’ you, doc …”
“Beth, stop it. Janice, is he still having an affair?”
“I have no idea.”
“Let’s get together–just the two of us–next week and talk about this. I have investigators available. I need to know what I’m dealing with before I can help you. OK, Janice?”
“Now, can you do me a favor and let me have a few minutes alone with Beth?”
“Sure, I’ll wait out here. You two behave yourselves.”
“Don’t be jealous, girlfriend. I’ll make sure there’s some leftovers for you,” Beth teases.
“Janice, it was a pleasure. I look forward to seeing you next week. Here’s my card.”
DOCTOR’S NOTE: Beth is giving me that look.
“What were you thinking, Beth?”
“You told Janice I would have her husband whacked?”
“I did no such thing. I just said you’re an expert and rescuing deprived wives.”
“You can’t even kid about that. I don’t need people snooping around here suspecting I’m up to no good.”
“I know that. Stop being paranoid. I was just teasing. I did see the way you looked at her though.”
“You didn’t see anything.”
“Mm, hmm. If you say so.”
“She pretty, huh?”
“Yes, she’s pretty. And pretty married, as am I.”
“So? Maybe you both on the way out, and you can like run the beach into each other’s arms.”
“I’m going to help her, not sleep with her.”
“Bet you do.”
“Bet I do what?”
“Beth, … ugh! You’re remind me of my sister. She was always teasing me.”
“Ha! Maybe I’m channeling her. Yep, I can feel her now. She says you should tear open Janice’s blouse and make sweet love to her right on this here sofa.”
“You’re too much. Enough about Janice. What’s new with you?”
“Nothin’. I’m good. I got my dating profile up. Man, there are some tasty young men with big black woman fetishes. Did you know about that?”
“No, I wasn’t aware.”
“Yep. Bet they can’t handle all this, but I’m gonna give a few test drives. Why not?”
“You haven’t found any men on the site who might be more appropriate?”
“Sure I did. First, I want to have fun. Those other guys can wait. I’m gonna cage me a few of them cubs.”
“If that’s what you’re feeling, go right ahead.”
“Yep. I’ll report back next week. I’ll have some juicy stories, I hope. Meeting one tonight, in fact. You and me can exchange sexy tales.”
“I’m not hooking up with a patient, Beth.”
“She ain’t your patient yet. Maybe you should keep it that way. If she don’t pay you, all is fair.”
“Beth, I’m married. If I fool around with her, not only would it cost me my career and marriage, it would make me just like the husbands you two can’t stand.”
“I’d give you a pass. You cute. Plus, you don’t want no babies, right? You two’d be perfect.”
“Stop it. Now, get out of here, and quit the crazy talk.”
“Fine. It don’t matter, ’cause she gonna tell me everything anyway.”
Diagnosis: Beth actually does remind me of my sister in a strange way. I miss her so much. Still, I need to make sure Beth doesn’t go overboard with the young men, and stops the silly talk about getting rid of Janice’s husband.
Treatment: Have Ronnie run a file on Roy. When Janice calls–can’t believe I’m going to do this–meet her … not here.
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