CARMEL, CA—Approximately 45 minutes into a dinner party at their beachfront home Friday, Tom and Julie Raskin's six guests listened on in total silence as their hosts launched into an extended explanation of why they had decided to enter couples therapy.
"So, as you guys probably know, we've been going through a bit of a rough patch in our relationship lately, and we figured now would be a good time to seek help," Tom announced unprompted during a lull in the conversation. "It was either this or something more drastic, and neither of us were ready for that."
"It's been a really great way to work through whatever anger or resentment issues we've had building up over the last few years," he added as the speechless group awkwardly pushed food across their plates.
According to sources, while Julie went around serving the main course of beef brisket, a full two minutes of complete silence passed during which guests never once made eye contact with each other or with their hosts.
"Our therapist suggested we do more activities together," said Julie, breaking the stark lull in conversation during which no sound was heard save the scraping of metal utensils upon porcelain. "You know, just little things like walks and day trips. He thinks it will help rekindle the romance a little and help us feel more connected."
"How do you like the kale?" she added, eliciting nods of approval.
Tom then reportedly went on to explain at length to his nearly motionless guests that he and Julie had incompatible libido levels, a disparity their therapist believed was likely the cause of considerable underlying tension in other areas of their relationship.
"It's true," Julie said as someone ducked into the bathroom. "Tom has a much larger sexual appetite than me, so we've been working on ways to satisfy both of our needs without leaving Tom feeling emasculated."
After listening to the couple talk for another six minutes, Julie's former college roommate Denise Greenblatt coughed softly and placed her napkin on the table.
"The house looks great, you guys," said Greenblatt, who had been wringing her hands under the table for the past 20 minutes. "Did you repaint the dining room recently?"