Daniel had fallen asleep while she had been downstairs getting more wine. She carefully climbed back into bed with him, gently removed his glasses, and covered him up. As she sat there drinking her wine and waiting for the Xanax to kick in, she thought about when she first met Daniel.
Joy had pretty much been a shy introvert since middle school. It seemed like with the change of school, all her friends changed too and she no longer really fit in with any particular group. Her parents had been working class and money was always tight. She concentrated on her grades, knowing that a scholastic scholarship would be her only ticket to college.
When she met Daniel in college, she was still that shy introverted girl. She was a senior majoring in Fine Arts and Daniel was a doctoral student finishing his dissertation. He was the teaching assistant for her psychology elective. As soon as Joy had handed in her final, Daniel had slipped her a very romantic note asking her to dinner. Where Joy was shy and inexperienced, Daniel was mature and self-possessed. That didn’t stop them in the least from falling hopelessly in love.
They married as soon as Joy graduated and Daniel’s dissertation was accepted. She adored him, even though she was shy sexually. Daniel had been her first, and she really didn’t know what she was doing. Even so, Daniel never pushed and was always patient with her. His gentle encouragement helped her know what he liked; and there wasn’t much that he did that Joy didn’t like.
It surprised them both when they found they were pregnant so early in their marriage, but they threw themselves into the pregnancy. Two days before their first wedding anniversary, Joy had given birth to a beautiful baby boy who looked just like his father. They named him Benjamin Daniel; Benjamin for her late father.
They functioned well as parents. They were parents first and their marriage came second. Joy was in love with Ben and Daniel couldn’t be more proud. While they still love each other very much, it was as if their marriage ceased to grow after Ben was born. Daniel immersed himself in his career; he had to work a lot of hours to build up his private practice over the course of several years. Joy threw herself into being a mom and a wife. Her home life was her pride and joy. They just didn’t seem to find the time to grow their marriage.
Joy didn’t have the assertiveness early on to let Daniel know that she was lonely for his companionship. She didn’t know that what she was feeling was neglected, no more than Daniel had a clue that his wife wanted more from him. Joy had been a loner for so long she didn’t have the foggiest idea of how to even go about making a friend. A few moms at Ben’s pre-school had made overtures, but after the initial get-together, Joy would drop the ball. So she spent the time Ben was at school keeping the house immaculate to occupy her time.
Daniel had his colleagues and his best friend, Jeremy, whom he lunched with daily to keep his life grounded and well-rounded. He was also fortunate to have both his parents alive and healthy. They were a big part of Ben’s life too. Joseph and Maureen were young grandparents and still had all the energy required to keep up with an active four-year old. When Ben had turned four three months ago, Maureen had carried a full load when Joy had his entire pre-school class to the local zoo for the birthday party.
Joy had been finding herself increasingly frustrated with her relationship, or lack thereof with Daniel. She saw how other parents from Ben’s pre-school interacted with one another, and she had to admit she was jealous. She envied their intimacy and their easy way with one another. And she wasn’t a naïve schoolgirl anymore; she knew there was a lot more to sex than what they had ben experiencing. She saw Sex & the City; it may be a made up show but they were talking about women having real orgasms, all the time. She had only occasionally experienced orgasms with Daniel. And with her little experience, she didn’t know if it was her, him, or both of them. Now she looked over at her sleeping husband, wondering how this rape was going to affect her sexual relationship with the man she loved more than life itself. How did one even bring up such a subject; especially with the specter of the rape orgasm hanging over her head? This was one area maybe the therapist could help her.