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James hated to see Lexia cry and this had been one of the reasons he had decided it best not to tell Lexia how he felt once they lost the baby’s had talked a little bit about this before and he had confessed that he cried and he mourned the loss of their child just as much as her, but this was him finally confessing that he did blame Lexia. Though, of course that was his initial reaction. While he still missed their daughter, he knew it was unfair to blame Lexia or harbor any resentment toward her. “It wasn’t your fault,” he said, unsure whether or not it was okay for him to reach out and take her hand. He cursed in his mind, turning his head away as he just couldn’t bear to see those tears in her eyes. Christopher thought it best to give the couple their privacy and went to talk to the other couple, just catch up on how they’d been for the last hour.
James didn’t want to answer the question. What good would it have done? It would only make Lexia feel worse and what if it was the answer, she needed to leave him, to find the strength to finally listen to her mother and her own feelings and divorce James. “The night I slept with Gianna, the first time I was drunk Lexia and upset and I wasn’t thinking. We hadn’t been intimate in a while, Gianna was just there and she kissed me and I don’t know, I was just desperate to feel anything but the terrible feelings I had and I just – I don’t know why it was so hard for me to express that to you.” He sighed and looked toward her, “Would I have still slept with Gianna or had an affair? No,” he finally admitted. He’d really cleaned up his act by then, getting married to Lexia and then news of the pregnancy. James had left his bad boy and harsh drinking days behind. But the miscarriage had triggered him. He wasn’t the same guy when he was drunk and Lexia knew that.
James took her hand. “You re enough. I’m sorry I made you think otherwise Lexia,” he told her. He didn’t know if she believed him; would she ever believe him?
Lexia new that it was good for her to be finally talking about this but that didn’t change how much it scared her. She was terrified that rather than fixing things, she would push him away and make him realise that their marriage wasn’t worth saving. She had done nothing but fight for their marriage and even keeping their mouth shut when they tried to move past the affair. Maybe she had made a mistake. Somehow, she always seemed to feel responsible for everything that James had done but he couldn’t be to blame for everything right? She wasn’t even sure she wanted to know that answer the question that Christopher had posed towards James. Hearing him say it was her fault…it would kill her. She could barely even look at him, but she tried to follow the programme and she looked towards James as she awaited his answer.
[I I don’t blame you but…]
She knew exactly what to expect and before she could even do anything about it her eyes were already filling up with the tears of the pain it caused her to know that there was even an ounce of blame. She was just carrying a box up the stairs. It wasn’t even heavy, and she wasn’t even rushing up the stairs. It was just a trip; one that changed her life forever. Lexia never [I let] him walk away. She tried so hard to make sure that he didn’t walk away so she became passive, barely arguing and barely questioning him because she couldn’t deal with the thought of being left alone with her grief.
Hearing Christopher talk now felt like she was being stabbed in the heart, listing all the things that Gianna was that she wasn’t. She wanted to get out of there and un away from this, but she couldn’t. She could never have expected it to get so deep and uncomfortable so quickly.
[B “Would you have done that?”] She asked him again looking at him. [b “I’m not enough for you, am I?”] She sighed and looked away from him.
“Is that true?” Christopher asked James. James sighed out and ran his hand along the back of his neck. “Do you still hold some resentment toward Lexia for the loss of your child?” James sighed out; this was certainly not something that he wanted to bother talking about so soon which seemed to prove Lexia right. Jams had avoided the conversation, closing off as though he couldn’t talk to Lexia, as though she wouldn’t understand what he was going through, considering she was going through it herself and even worse, she we going through it alone without her husband.
“I mean,” he sighed out. “I don’t’ blame you, I just – I wish you would have listened to me ‘s all. I said don’t try to do what you can’t and you – I just wished that once you listened.” James said with a sigh. He knew of course that it’s not like Lexia had the intentions of falling and harming her and the baby. He couldn’t blame her, and he couldn’t change the past, he just wished that was a moment he could turn back. “I didn’t know how to talk to you or be around you – I just. Every time I saw you, I just thought about what could have been. An after a while it just seemed like you let me walk away.” James said with a shrug.
Gianna was there with open arms and not once did Lexia question him and it was a dick move for him to think he could get away with it and for the most part he had. Christopher let out a deep breath. “Good, see we’re creating a safe space for dialogue. Now we know that you of course f guilty for the loss of your child Lexia, but it is clear James loves you. Now James, it seems Lexia is aware of the affair and she still has some fears regarding it. The question is now: are you using the miscarriage as an excuse for your philandering ways?” James rose his brow then. “From what you’ve explained, Gianna is sexy, bold, and she doesn’t back down. Those are qualities that for the most part Lexia in your eyes lacks. So – would you have still found yourself in an affair if the baby had been born? If you can answer that question, I think Lexia – it will give you the answers you need.”
Christian figured it was a pretty good day of breakthroughs. They should have a break and get lunch, walk around a bit then.” James couldn’t wait to get out of the room.
Lexia was terrified of hurting him and the moment she spoke her truth she regret saying it but the was the point of the retreat wasn't it? They were supposed to be honest but the thing Lexia feared more than anything was that she hurt James. Perhaps that is why she had kept her cards close to her chest and very rarely said anything. She wanted nothing more than fix things but she really had no way of fixing things unless they tried to do so here.
She looked up at James when she heard his voice, trying to keep an open mind as he spoke because she didn't want to be accused of not trying. She tried to fight back the tears. They had tried talking about this before but perhaps they had both still kept things back because there was clearly some unresolved feelings surrounding the matter and she did feel uncomfortable discussing this with the other couple here. She was glad when Christopher dismissed them.
Lexia looked up at Christopher and shook her head. [B "I didn't push him away. I tried...I tried so hard to talk to him. I needed him and we had always been so open before then."] She looked towards James. [B "I said it before but I still think you blamed me for losing her and that's why you did it. And perhaps you still feel that way?"]
James had his pants in his pockets then, leaning back and trying to remain casual. Though he wondered what Lexia was going to say and what he’d say about her. He sat there quietly, hands now in his laps and twiddling furiously with one another. James suspected that Lexia still had some nasty thoughts about the affair, but he assumed everything had at least smoothed over since it came to be. Had the child reignited those doubts in her? Especially considering they had Delilah. He sighed out then, Lexia’s words made him upset to know that she felt this way and he hasn’t really noticed. Or maybe he just refused to pay it any attention.
“Who are we talking about?” Christopher asked Lexia then looking to Jams, trying to push the conversation. Jams sighed out. “You are enough, more than enough Lexia. What I had with Gianna was different, it was just a way to take my mind off things and you’d – we’d lost the baby and I just couldn’t look at you without thinking about losing her. I was just I don’t know.” James shrugged then. Christopher could tell they were getting a bit more into the root of the problem and suggest a private session at this time. The other couple left for a breather.
“So Lexia, how did you feel with James? Did you know he was avoiding you or were you pushing him way without knowing possibly?”
Lexia was glad that James had slept well and she knew that with of them would continue to sleep better when they got home and out Mason into the nursery. Lexia seemed to wake up at every little sound with Madon in their room and it had really broken her sleeping patter and she knew that it was time for their boy to go to his own room for his sake as well as theirs.
Lexia enjoyed their breakfast and avoiding talking about the therapy, deciding ahead would only talk about the necessary things and the necessary time because if they tried to talk about some things on their own they could very easily mess things up and that was the last thing they wanted. There was a process to all of this and she wanted to follow that process as best as she could so that they could go home and be with each other once more.
After breakfast they moved towards the circle and she was a little bit relieved to learn that they didn't have to go first, at least seeing another couple go through it meant she knew what to expect but that didn't make it any easier especially when she knew she would be bringing up things that she knew James wouldn't like. Then it was her turn and suddenly she felt sick.
[B "I...don't trust that I'm enough for you...that you won't have another affair. With her...or anyone else."] She looked towards James and swallowed hard, terrified of his reaction.
James was glad that Lexia had slept well enough. He also slept well, and he knew that was to the thanks of Mason managing to sleep a full night. That could change and he wondered then how well they could stay on not having him sleep in their room. “I had a great sleep,” James told her with a smile. He listened to Christopher and he was admittedly back to being a bit more nervous. This was as Lexia said, was going to be very emotional. This was the first step into acknowledging and facing their fears and everything they had neglected to talk about. James tried to just relax and continued to eat his food, knowing that it couldn’t be too bad. He knew that him and Lexia didn’t want to hurt one another anymore. They had to finally face their problems.
Finally, once breakfast was finished, he moved toward the circle. Th either couple had already sat down and were very excited to go first. They bickered a little back and forth to which Christopher explained that the both of them had issues with being passive aggressive. Instead of finding a reason to start a fight, solve the problem. It all seemed so simple, but it was interesting hearing the advice from someone else. Most of his friends had been on his side whenever he discussed a fight, he had Lexia and of course Gianna always had the same [I answer]. Eventually he and Lexia made up and never talked about what made them mad or even resolved it.
It finally came down to Lexia and James. Lexia was first in direction to say her piece.
Lexia was surprised how easily James seemed to be taking to this. Before, he would never have accepted that perhaps therapy was something that they needed to help their marriage along but this was his suggestion and she hoped that they would both take it as seriously as possible so that they could come out of this better at the end of the week.
With James in toe she made her way to the banquet of food and started to pick up some fruit and some yoghurt. [B "I slept really well thank you. How about you?"] She asked before making her way back towards the table with the food. It was nice for neither of them to have to cook breakfast for once but she couldn't deny that she enjoyed the moments that James taught her some dishes.
She drank some of her water and then glanced towards James who appeared on edge. She couldn't deny that she was also nervous about all of this but she was sure that they would both feel better about this by the end of the week. When Christopher told them what their first task was she couldn't help but feel even more nervous. Speaking about such things did not come natural to her but she knew that this was for the best.
[B "This is going to be an emotional week I feel."]
“Nice to meet you two as well. Trust me, everyone is nervous on the first day – even me! Just enjoy your breakfast, and we’ll get started on the meeting.” James thanked him with a handshake before placing his hand gently to Lexia’s lower back. He headed over to the banquet area, certainly hungry.
“So how did you sleep?” James asked her as he made him a small yogurt cup. He looked toward Lexia, she had a bit of a glow and she certainly was smiling more than usual. He thought then just how sad she must’ve been before. They were either arguing or not talking to one another both of which made living in the same house uncomfortable. Of course, things had forever changed that night that James had made the mistake of becoming violent and he hadn’t hurt her severely, but just enough as a warning as to what he could do if he was drunk enough.
He took a seat at the table then, having a sip of his coffee. He was just a bit jittery as usually by now he’d already have a bit more Jameson than coffee in his mug. He was starting to eat some of the food when the counsellor soon returned. He greeted everyone again before h started to go a little more into what they would be doing during their stay with him, of course. A lot of meetings, but also some physical activities. Today they were going to talk about trust.
“So, once you guys are finished eating, we’re going sit in this circle of chairs and we’re going to go around and express one thing we don’t trust about our partner [I or] one thing regarding their trust for you which you find unfair.”
Lexia always hated leaving Mason but she knew that it was something she would have to grow used to. She couksbt be with him all the time. Eventually he would be old enough to go to school and she would have to let him grow up. Besides, even for someone as young as he was, it was important for him to socialise with other people and other babies. She needed to learn to let go and the first step in that was walking away from that daycare and making their way to breakfast as a couple who were fighting to save their marriage. Although, from the outside, looking at them now, it was hard to believe that they had any problems. They looked so happy.
She squeezed his hand gently as they made their way to breakfast, finding the table where the couple from the night before sat and sat with them. After exchanging some pleasantries their counsellor arrived. She looked the man over briefly before looking to James. There was no denying that she was nervous about all of this but it was going to help their marriage and that's what they both wanted.
Lexia stretched out her hand to him and shook it. [B "It is nice to meet you Christopher. I have to admit, we are both a little nervous about this whole process."] She said as she took her hand back and smiled towards James.
James kissed the top of Lexia’s head and gently stroked her arm. He loved having her close to him and being able to sleep in the same bef. Those nights on the couch had been cold and lonely. He watched as she finished texting her mother and knew he had really screwed up n that end. James’ mother in law had not initially been a fan of him, still they had managed to get through that when Lexia’s mother lost her house. Once she learned of Gianna and the child they had together while he was married to Lexia, she had finally given up on him. He knew that she wanted Lexia to divorce him and James knew Lexia would never do that. At least, this retreat was his way of making sure she had no reason to leave him.
The both of them eventually fell asleep. James had never felt more well rested and for once he didn’t have to worry about having to get out of bed early since he wasn’t going to eb working at the restaurant. That didn’t stop him from waking up early however, he looked to see Lexia still asleep, her hair laying over his chest. James kissed her cheek gently before getting out of the bed. He walked over to check on Mason who had slept well through the night other than being fed by Lexia. Lexia was soon up and getting showered while he worked toward changing Mason and getting him dressed. It would be his first day at an actual daycare and once more meeting new babies like the one they had at their restaurant.
He kissed Mason goodbye and took Lexia’s hand. They were to have breakfast with their counsellor and the other couple they met the previous night.
There were platters with food set out. The couple for the previous night had already arrived. Eventually a man with light blonde hair and soft brown eyes entered. He was wearing a light blue sweater and khaki pants.
“James and Lexia right? I’m Christopher, your counsellor. Please enjoy some breakfast and we’ll get started soon.” The guy seemed friendly enough and it was a nice sunny day to which they got some nice sunlight through the windows.
Lexia decided to let James take Mason to be since he had requested that she let him have more control over the boy, so she used the time to get undressed and removed her make up. She didn’t want her skin to get all messed up because she had fallen asleep in it. After that, she went about her normal routine, washing her face, brushing her teeth and moisturising once she had changed into something more suitable to wear to bed. Once she was done, she climbed into bed, texting her mother to let her know that they had arrived safely, but she figured that her mother didn’t care too much for them trying to fix their marriage. She was adamant that she had given James way too many chances and, in some respects, perhaps she was right. However, Lexia had decided that her marriage was worth more than that.
She smiled towards James as he climbed into bed and she cuddled into him, wanting nothing more than to fix all that had been broken but she knew this next week was going to be extremely difficult for them. Things were going to come up that they had both been avoiding but she knew that this was an important process if they were both serious about saving their marriage.
That night, Mason only woke up once for a feed that night and when they all woke up in the morning, Lexia left Mason with James so that she could get showered and dressed and then she swapped over and took over so he could do the same. She was nervous about the day but once they dropped Mason off into the day care she looked to James. [b “Well, it’s now or never.”] She said with a smile.
Lexia deserved a break as well. James knew she had been working really hard to take care of Mason while he was busy with the restaurant and even when he came home, he didn’t seem to have enough time to help with feeding or cleaning. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it, he was either drunk or hungover. Lexia was onto something when she commented about his alcohol habit. He hadn’t a drink since a couple of nights ago and James had at first felt weird, but now felt very comfortable. This was just a moment though. If he became stressed out or was trying o run from something he didn’t want to face, it was more than likely that he would turn to liquor. He just had to be strong and realize there were things way more important than a bottle. James nodded toward Lexia and began toward the nursery. He placed Mason down in the bed, removing his beanie and sweater and tucking him into the covers. He kissed his forehead watching as Mason squirmed some before sucking on his fist.
It was a bit strange to leave him, but they’d have to get him to grow out the phase soon enough. He made sure to turn on the monitor and closed the door once Lexia was out. As long as they stuck to it, he was sure Mason would get through it fine enough. He kissed Lexia’s cheek, heading toward the bedroom. He removed his shirt then, not used to dressing up so much. He shed the shirt and tossed it into the laundry bin. The room was definitely larger than theirs back home and the décor a bit different, a lot of white and burgundy. James removed his pants and finally climbed into the bed. Tomorrow would be the start.
Lexia actually enjoyed spending time with other adults. It was as though they were beginning to feel like a normal family again and she wondered whether having forced the idea of moving and a second restaurant on James had been the reason for the second breakdown on their marriage because they were hith completely focused on making that work that they didn't make time for their marriage anymore. It was completely likely and she would be more than willing to accept responsibility for it if that were the case.
After dinner they made their way back to their room after bidding goodnight to the other couple and she told hold of James'hand easily. He die t seem tense or angry which was a good start because the things she wrote on that card could have easily made him that way but for now everything seemed to be working out fine. [B "I'm glad you feel relaxed. You deserve a break."] He said on their way back to their room and then she chuckled and shook her head. [B "You didn't but you have now and I really appreciate it. Thank you."]
When they got back into their room she sighed constantly and looked towards James. [B "I think now, is as good a time as any to get him used to being in a seperate room. I don't want to wake him to get him change though, he seems so content. Perhaps we just put him to bed and one of us can change him when he wakes up for his feed?"]
The both of them had taken the news of what the other thought very well James could see, and he was surprised that ha hadn’t immediately lashed out or even just dismissed everything and suggesting they leave. He was really dedicated to working through this. He looked to Mason who was enjoying himself. It was a great thing that he’d slept most of the day, but he knew that meant that he would be up for the rest of the night he was sure. After dinner was completed, he figured it would be nice to head back and get some rest after the long drive. Tomorrow was going to be their first day of counselling and he was nervous. Christian took her hand and got up.
He was incredibly full and couldn’t wait to go to sleep. James was surprised at how carefree he was. “I feel relaxed already,” James had admitted to her. “Did I tell you; you look beautiful?” James said with a chuckle as he kissed her cheek. All James could hope for was come the future then they would still be married, maybe with another child and happy and content with their lives.
James though wasn’t thrilled knowing eventually they would talk about the loss of their little girl. The both of them hadn’t really dealt with that and James didn’t know if he could handle reliving that horrible memory. They had finally reached the room then. James opened the door and walked inside, placing the key card in a bowl near the door. He gently picked Mason up. “So, I’m thinking, maybe he sleeps in the nursery tonight?” James inquired.
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