SERIAL NOVEL: Confessions of a Hotel Maid: Plagues Do Not Come Without a Reason (Chapter 22), by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte

22

Seeing The Real You

During Bianca and Ann’s conversation, Bianca dug deep.

“Do you have a lawyer?” Bianca asked.

“Yes, I do, but I have not spoken with her much over the past year. I just contacted her after talking with my husband last week,” Ann said.

“From talking with your husband, do you sense that he really wants to go through with the divorce? Exactly what are you picking up?” Bianca asked.

“I don’t believe deep down that he really wants to get a divorce. Camine was five years old when we separated and he brought up divorce quite a bit in the early months of our separation. I believe he was testing me to see where I stood. And I guess I used Camine to some degree to find out exactly where he stood and hopefully to draw him back because whenever he would talk with her over the phone, I would put her on speaker phone, and I could tell from his tone of voice that she touched a sensitive nerve inside of him. I sensed some guilt. Early on in the separation when we did speak, I would tell him ‘let’s get back together for Camine’s sake’ and tell him how torn up she was on the inside. His response would be ‘I’ll see.’ Whenever he would say those words, it meant he was considering doing what was being asked of him. However, lately when I’ve mentioned our getting back together ‘for Camine’s sake’, he says ‘I’m not divorcing Camine; It’s you that I’m divorcing.’ Do you want to know what I really think, Dr. Bianca?”

“Yes. Tell me what you really think.”

“I believe this other woman he’s been seeing and living with is pumping negative ideas into his head.”

“What kind of ideas?”

“For one thing, before he never once said, ‘I’m not divorcing Camine; it’s you that I’m divorcing.’ That just does not even sound like him. He’s also said in reference to Camine, ‘She’s not the one who’s been causing the problems; you have.’ He has never said that to me no matter how mad he may have been with me. He has always accepted his responsibility in the situation,” Ann said. “He is a mild-tempered person who would keep quiet to keep the peace. He hardly ever talks negatively about others, so that just does not sound like something he would say.”

“Over the two years of separation has verbal or physical contact with him diminished or has it been about the same?” Bianca asked.

“At first, Camine would sleep over one, maybe two nights, Friday and or Sunday night, with him at his apartment. I asked him on two occasions if he was seeing another woman. He me-hawed and beat around the bush, so I told him it was best for Camine to just stay with me and he could have her spend a day with him. He could pick her up in the morning and bring her back in the evening before dark. That has worked out especially after he told me he was living with this woman. I do not want another woman taking care of my daughter.”

“Tell me, what kind of problems did you and Greg have the five years you were together?”

“Dr. Bianca, I’ve thought about it and thought about it, and I cannot place my finger on any one thing that justifies us getting a divorce. I know one of his complaints has been that I talk too much, that I speak disrespectfully to him, that I don’t listen to him when he talks, and that I don’t know when to shut up.” Ann burst out laughing. “Now that I’m finally talking to someone else about it, I’m seeing myself clearer. I guess I do let my tongue get loose more times than I should. Whew! It feels good to admit something negative about yourself that you have been avoiding.”

“I’m glad you can objectively see a negative part of yourself and have a good laugh,” Bianca said. “The Bible does say, laughter doeth good like medicine.”

“It sure does,” Ann said.

“Well, more than anything a man wants respect from his wife, and part of showing him respect is in how his wife speaks to him. Does she use derogatory terms when speaking to him or about him whether in private or with friends? Does she cut him off verbally or walk away when he is speaking? Does she display negative actions like smacking of the lips, rolling the eyes, blowing, looking away as he speaks. Things like that. I hear you giggling,” Bianca said.

“I’ve denied doing those things ever since the inception of our marriage, but I must say, it feels good to finally own up to them,” Ann said. “Up until now, I felt every response of mine was warranted.”

“The Bible does say if we judge ourselves we will not be judged, and that’s where a lot of husbands and wives get messed up. We don’t judge our behavior and make up our minds that we will change those negative behaviors that are causing problems in the marriage, and this goes for any relationship for that matter,” Bianca said. “Then when we don’t judge ourselves and our spouse points out our faults and foibles, be it in a soft or harsh tone, we get angry and play get back by either defending ourselves or by pointing out their wrong doings. That has never worked and will never work as none of us like for others to point out our faults. We get defensive.”

Ann laughed. “I can’t argue with that. Since I last spoke with Greg, I’ve really been looking back on the marriage, and I’ve had to come to grips with myself about some things. One thing I had to finally admit was, I was always defending myself. I just could not see where I was wrong. In my eyes, any negative response I dished out was warranted because it was in response to something negative that he said or did or insinuated.”

“I’m taking notes on our conversation as I don’t want to forget anything, so if it seems like I’m slow in answering that’s the reason,” Bianca said. “Before we continue, I just want to mention that since this has nothing to do with the research project I’m working on for the book, and you have my word that all that you have shared with me so far will be confidential, I’ll need for you to sign a confidentiality form. It seems like this will probably require us talking more than this one telephone call. I can bring it in to you at your job or you can pick it up.”

“Okay. In fact, I was thinking maybe you could come along with me and my lawyer next Thursday when we meet with Greg and his lawyer. Maybe you or your husband could talk with him about us getting marriage counseling before we sign the papers. I just don’t see the need for us getting a divorce now especially with Camine caught in the middle,” Ann said. “Greg might insist on Camine spending more time with him now that he has another woman to help take care of her, and I don’t want Camine to begin thinking she has a second mother. And I don’t want this other woman to begin thinking she’s Camine’s mother. And I especially don’t want to hear of her mistreating Camine; that would definitely cause some serious problems. You know what I mean?”

“Yes. Let me make a note of that and we’ll definitely discuss that fully,” Bianca said. “But let’s do first things first and that is coming to grips with the problems that led to the separation and seeing if and how we can sort through them. You’re off to a good start facing or should I say honestly judging yourself. Now have there been any money issues at all?”

“Not really. Greg’s been a hard worker and I believe he takes pride and joy in providing for the family, even when things have gotten tight. Now, one thing did come up that caused some conflict, and that is, Greg wanted me to stay home especially after Camine was born, but I insisted on working saying that we needed the extra money.”

“Were you working at the hotel then?”

“No. I started working there after we got separated. He felt strongly about me staying home, but I felt equally as strong about me working. That was a constant source of tension between us. But I stood my ground. I guess he gave up, at least verbally, trying to convince me otherwise. But I could tell he was not pleased as he would have a string of questions whenever I got home. I started questioning his trust in me and told him I did not appreciate him questioning me like that as though I was out there doing something wrong. After a while I refused to answer any more of his questions. So that’s been a sore spot.”

“If one of his criterias for you both getting back together as husband and wife was for you not to work, would you be willing to honor his wish and not work anymore?” Bianca asked.

“It would be hard, but, yes, I’d be willing to stop working,” Ann said. “I guess I could find something to fill up my time while Camine’s at school. Plus, as I think about it, that’s one stress I would not have to deal with—the work world and the stress of keeping things going in the house like paying bills and all that.”

“Just those two things are worth staying home for,” Bianca said.

“Excuse me, Dr. Bianca, Camine’s calling me. She was watching The Lion King. I guess it’s over. Where does the time go?”

“Fast. So, let’s make it count. We can schedule another appointment.”