The situation only got worse. After a while, Richard barely spoke to me. I pleaded with him to see a marriage counselor. After the dish-throwing incident, I feared he was becoming unhinged and I didn’t know how to approach him. One afternoon, however, he grudgingly took off work and we met at the counselor’s office in Van Nuys, a psychologist recommended to me by an older married student I had become friends with at Pierce.
We sat for about an hour, both of us describing what we felt was happening in our marriage—a visible exertion for Richard. The counselor, a woman in her fifties addressed him after he stopped talking.
“As I see it…Veronica wants to continue her schooling and go on to eventually work on a newspaper,” she said. “And Richard, you don’t want her to do that. Can you tell me why you don’t want her to do that.”
I looked at my husband and saw his face turn purple with rage. He stood up and said to the counselor, “You can go fuck yourself!” and walked out of the office, slamming the door so hard, I thought the glass insert would shatter. The counselor handed me a tissue and said, “He’s a very angry man.”
Still, despite his anger, I continued to hope Richard would begin to understand my ambition. I didn’t want a divorce. It was the last thing I wanted, but I had moved ardently in a different direction—toward the encouragement I received regarding my writing and editing talents. Every day, I faced the emotional dichotomy of a husband who didn’t want me to attain my aspirations and college instructors who continually pushed me to pursue my dream. In that conflicting environment, I simply avoided addressing the inevitable until the day Richard picked up the family puppy in anger and deliberately threw it down on the concrete patio, injuring it terribly. As the puppy whined in agony and my young sons held onto one another and cried in horror, I demanded he move out.
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