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The Marriage Guidance Session

Is this how they all go?

By Brendan DonaghyPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
The Marriage Guidance Session
Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

“Thank you for coming in this morning,” the counsellor said to me. “I met your wife yesterday. She’s convinced you’ll spend this whole time being flippant and cracking silly jokes.”

“Can you speak up, please?” I replied. “I think I’m going deaf — I never thought I’d hear myself say that!”

The counsellor took a deep breath. “There you go with the wisecracks. Do you know how much that irritates your wife?”

“I know she used to get annoyed at my Star Trek puns, but I thought they didn’t phaser anymore.”

“This isn’t going to work unless you take it seriously.”

“I am being serious, Counsellor — I’m really going deaf!”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“Sure. He asked me to describe the symptoms. I told him, Homer is fat and bald, Marge has blue hair and Lisa plays the saxophone. Not sure how that helps my hearing, though.”


The counsellor made a note. “Let’s move on. Tell me, how’s your libido these days?”

“Put it this way, Counsellor, I still enjoy sex at 43.”

“That sounds positive.”

“Yes, I live at number 46 so it’s no distance at all.”

“I was talking about your relationship with your wife!”

I shook my head sadly. “She’s not the woman I fell in love with all those years ago.”

“How has she changed?”

“She hasn’t changed. She’s just not the woman I fell in love with. That one dumped me.”

“She says she’s left you several times?”

I laughed, mirthlessly. “Did she mention she once took off with my best friend?”

“Did you feel abandoned?”

“I did — I missed him terribly!”

The In-Laws

The counsellor flipped a page of her notepad. “Your wife provided me with a list of the times she walked away. She says the first occasion was when you stood and watched as four guys beat up her mother. Why didn’t you help?”

I shrugged. “Those fellas didn’t look like they needed any help. Besides, her mother hates me! When I had a heart attack three years ago, she wrote for an ambulance!”

“What about the time you were rude to her brother when he told you he was losing his hair?”

“I wasn’t rude to him! He rang me and asked if I knew where he could get a hair transplant. I told him, not off the top of my head. And don’t get me started on her sister! How am I supposed to relate to someone who has a criminal record like hers?”

“How did she get a criminal record?”

I shrugged. “She downloaded it off Amazon. Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits. Can you believe some people?


The counsellor checked her notes. “Your wife says that you become irritable when you’re bored. Aside from your work, how do you spend your time?”

“I play silent tennis.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s like real tennis but without the racquet.”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah, I collect stamps but I’m going to ditch that and take up coin collecting. The change will do me good.”


“Would it be fair to say you’ve let yourself go these past couple of years? Your wife thinks you’ve put on a huge amount of weight.”

“I’ve had a lot on my plate.”

“Do you take any exercise?”

“I started a fitness class just last week. We’re doing lunges. That’s a huge step forward for me.”

“Is it true you download the Couch to 5K App every time you eat a bag of chips?”

I laughed. “That’s a running joke in our house.”

The Beginning

“Tell me how it all started. According to your wife, you were so poor before you met, you’d resorted to eating your own bootlaces?”

I sighed. “She’s exaggerating. I was living on a shoestring, that’s all. She was working as a music teacher at the time. We moved into an apartment, and she wrote a piece of music to celebrate our love. She called it ‘Romance in A Flat.’”

“She claims you aren’t good with the family finances. She says you’ve spent a fortune on stuff you don’t need, like oversized photo frames.”

“She never sees the big picture.”

“Have you and your wife made any attempt to improve your relationship?”

“Sure we have! We tried going to a nice restaurant twice a week. You know, nice food, glass of wine, bit of music.”

“And do you think you argued less on those occasions?”

“Definitely, Counsellor! I went on Mondays and she went on Fridays, so we didn’t have a cross word on those days!”

“Do you think she still loves you?”

I scratched my chin. “You know, she said the words ‘I love you’ only recently. I said, ‘Is that you talking or the wine?’” She said, ‘It’s me talking to the wine.’”

The counsellor closed her notepad. “And on that touching note, we’re done for today.”


About the Creator

Brendan Donaghy

'Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man - there's your diamond in the rough.' Larry David

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶15 days ago

    Oh dear! He didn’t miss a beat 🥹. Loved… ‘Is it true you download the Couch to 5K App every time you eat a bag of chips?” I laughed. “That’s a running joke in our house.” I tried Couch to 5 km, when returning to running post injury… it was pretty hectic 😵‍💫.

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