Monday, May 3, 2010
People often ask me what it's like to be married to a psychologist. Does he ever try to analyze you, they wonder?
And I say, no, he doesn't try to analyze me. The closest he ever comes is occasionally, when we're discussing something, he says, "If I were your therapist, I would probably ask you about ______." And then I throw a dirty sock in his face. (Because he's right.)
It's even more fun, during other arguments conversations when I say to him, "If I were your therapist, I would ask you about ______." He loves that. (Because I'm right.)
One time, in the depths of his lengthy clinical education, he said to me, "You are the most mentally healthy person I know."
I beamed with pride. I considered it a ringing endorsement. Four out of five dentists agree.
A few jaded years later I thought, Well, that was a clever thing to say! And then I imagined him writing secret articles for prominent psychological journals: Marriage Experiment, Year 13: Wife Still Crazy, Still Unsuspecting.
The truth is, sometimes I'd like him to be my therapist. I'd like to lie on the couch with him perched on the leather chair nearby, pen in hand, listening to my delicate thoughts. I'd like him to formulate my entire life story, sympathetically explain all my idiosyncrasies, and carefully solve all of my problems. Except that if he did, I'd probably throw a dirty sock in his face. Or a frying pan. But, no worries, because he wouldn't do it anyway. He's all into "ethics" and "boundaries" and crap like that.
I do, however, ask for his advice. He's a very wise advice-giver. So wise, in fact, that sometimes he says, "I don't think you really want my advice on this."
And I say, "Of course, I want you to tell me that I'm right! I mean, of course I want your advice!"
And he says, "Put down the dirty sock."