Tyler: [sighs] I just keep thinking, you know, it had to be more than one thing. But, as far as I can tell, it was just that one, single thing.
Edith: What makes you think it was only one thing?
Tyler: Well, we seemed normal, totally normal, before then. I mean, we fought on occasion. But we hadn’t fought recently or often. It just seems so crazy. Stupid, really.
Edith: Why do you feel stupid?
Tyler: Do I feel stupid? I don’t know that I do. The situation is stupid. Her reaction—totally stupid.
Edith: She didn’t yell at you or anything?
Tyler: No. She walked into the bathroom, gave me a disgusted look, then walked out. Didn’t even ask me why I was peeing in the sink.
Edith: She hasn’t shown any affection since then?
Tyler: None. None whatsoever. No kisses, hugs. Not even a “Have a good day.” She’s just . . . cold.
Edith: Have you tried talking to her about this?
Tyler: Talk? She won’t talk. I tried, said, “Listen, about me peeing in the sink last week.” You see, I gave her space for a bit. Just thought she was mad. We exchanged hardly a word for a few days. But when I brought it up, she just walked out of the room.
Edith: How’d that make you feel?
Tyler: Confused. I mean, if she won’t talk then how are we going to work this out? It’s like, by being so closed off, she’s given up on the relationship.
Edith: How do you know it was her catching you urinating in the sink that did this?
Tyler: I tried more than once to get her to talk to me. To really talk to me. I thought, okay, maybe she’s depressed. She even chews her food as if on automatic pilot, like she’s not tasting it. I don’t know, maybe she’s depressed. So I started asking her things like, “Are you okay? Why are you so down?” And her response – finally I got a response – was, “You peed in the sink, Tyler.”
Edith: And that’s why she’s not talking to you, won’t sleep with you?
Tyler: I’d gone months without sex. That’s why I’m here. A man can only go so long. So I’m hoping this will be a solution, fix the problem.
Edith: Have you or her considered couples therapy?
Tyler: I just . . . I don’t know. What if we did go to couples counseling and I find out that it’s more than just me peeing in the sink? I mean, it’s got to be more, right? And on the one hand, I want to know what it is that’s really bothering her. On the other hand, I just want her to forgive me for being a lazy man and pissing in the sink because it was right there, at the right height and everything. I guess I’m afraid that it is more, yet I know it’s got to be more and I realize that whatever it is it’s got to be addressed. But what if it was just me peeing in the sink? Really? Really?! What the hell, you know? Is our relationship that fragile? Can she really be that disgusted with me that one silly little infraction ruins our whole marriage?
Edith: You don’t know which is worse – her having reasons to resent you beyond you taking a piss in the sink or her solely being pissed about you pissing in the sink? Pardon the pun.
Tyler: [Laughs] You summed it up. Have you ever had a client whose wife quit sleeping with him because of something similar?
Edith: You know that I can’t discuss other clients. Even in the abstract, I keep strict confidentiality.
Tyler: Well, I appreciate that.
Edith: Have you tried anything beyond talking with your wife? Dates or presents?
Tyler: Yeah, I bought her flowers with a little card. I set them on the kitchen table where she’d see them after work. She acted like she didn’t notice them. I even said, “I bought you flowers.” That made her look at me with this kind of “Duh” or “I don’t care” look in her eyes. But just for a second. Then she ignored them and me again. God, I’ve done everything but get on my knees and beg.
Edith: You should look into couples therapy if she’s willing.
Tyler: I don’t know. I’m already here. And I think this is a first step toward moving on. Yeah, sure, I’m disgusting. I peed in the sink, therefore I’m disgusting. And you know what? I don’t care that I’m disgusting. I’m going to embrace it.
Edith: Is that a part of yourself you want to embrace?
Tyler: It is.
Edith: I think I see where this is going. What is it you want to do?
Tyler: Before you put your clothes back on, I want to try peeing on you.
Edith: Oh, that is disgusting. Water sports costs extra, just so you know.
Tyler: That’s okay. How much?
Edith: Just urinating on me?
Edith: Fifty bucks.
Tyler: Cool. This is what I’m after – a little therapy for my dick. My wife thinks I’m disgusting, that’s fine, then I’m disgusting. But I’m not going to hate myself over it. I’m going to piss in the sink if I want, and I’m going to piss on whores if I want.
Edith: You’re so dirty, Tyler. You’re a disgusting pig.
Tyler: You’re fucking gorgeous, Edith.
Edith: Thank you.
Tyler: No, thank you. Thank you for this. This is exactly what I need.
Randal Eldon Greene