The only good counsellor…

WE went to see a counsellor.

In a bid to save our marriage. We went together. Two things became apparent during the course of an hour-long session with this person.

First my wife and I agree on very little.

Second, one thing upon which we agree absolutely is that counsellors are a plague upon the surface of the earth. If you shot them all they might improve on the basis that the only good counsellor is a dead one, but I doubt it.

Perhaps it is not all counsellors. Perhaps it was just ours, but I have my doubts.

Why are they here? How did they happen? If counsellors have a worthwhile role then why are more people more screwed up more often with every passing day?

Except my wife and I.

We are perfectly well-adjusted, which is probably why we’ve both had enough of each other’s infuriating habits.

It was her idea, the counsellor. At first I told her not to be so bloody ridiculous. Then I realised that it would be a good idea, if only to sort her out, so I agreed.

Apart from winding us up to a state of apoplectic fury, first with each other, then with him, he didn’t do any good at all.

Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to work: you say goodbye to the counsellor, go home, poison each other and the problem is over. You don’t even have to poison each other! One will do. Then the problem’s over for the other one.

I don’t know how it happened – the yelling. But we yelled at each other. We never yell at each other. And he smiled. He was as implacable in his smile as the Mona Lisa.

He wanted to know what we thought of each other. Then he wanted to know what we thought about what the other one thought of us.

Then he wanted to know what our sex life was like. It’s best to stop smiling when you ask a married couple — even one that isn’t any more — what their sex life is like.

It was about then we stopped being angry at each other and took it out on him. Smug little twerp.

I was not prepared to discuss my sex life with him, and I am not prepared to discuss it with you, except to say I have no complaints. That’s what my wife said to him, too, and although it’s not possible to be sure, I am fairly certain we were both talking about our sex life with each other.

She also told him to mind his own damn business. We left shortly after.

We agreed it was a waste of time and money. So all up that made three things we agreed on, the first being the waste of space that counsellors represent.

I think we had made progress by the time we stormed out the door. I even held it open for her.
We drove home together. She asked me if I wanted to come in for a coffee. I said yes. While she was making it she said: “I suppose I’ll have to ring him and apologise tomorrow.”

“Why?” said I. “You never apologise to me.”

“What? What!”

“You never apologise to me. The word sorry is simply not in your vocabulary. Not where I’m concerned anyway.”

“I am always apologising. God, if I waited for you, we’d die first!”

“Pig’s arse!”

“How dare you talk to me like that. And you expect us to get back together again!”

“The counsellor wasn’t my idea – you… you shrew!”

“Oh yes it was. I knew it would never work.”

“What? What!”

That’s it for me. No more counsellors. I will remain unstable, maladjusted and probably single.

I’ll miss my wife, but I won’t miss the bloody counsellor.