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The woes of Marriage Counseling, LOL!

Old 08-29-2012, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
The best was when he started getting on me about how I protect our son and he called him "His Lordship".
I hear you.

My STBXAH is jealous of our children, all boys.

"Where is my packed lunch?"

"No-one washes my clothes for me!"

"I've got a cold too!"

Um hello? These are children I am caring for. I refuse to be the caretaker of a grown adult who has the ability to do this shiz for himself. (I think this, I do not say it out aloud because I have detached.)

If I were to say it out aloud he would spin it and spin it and spin it until I was gas lighted to level 11. Wish I knew this stuff years ago.

I sometimes get a really bad back. I used to ask him to rub arthritis cream into the sore spot. He never did. He refused. Instead he would whine loudly:

"No-one ever offers to give me a massage."


No-one ever offers to give me a massage...

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Old 08-29-2012, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
Is this counselor experienced in addiction issues-other than his own? I went into counseling with the expectation of fixing my marriage. Our MC said that whether we stayed together or apart, good counseling meant we would each leave being healthier human beings. I was so frustrated because the drinking was not confronted as something that needed to stop. We talked about how it affected the marriage. When my husband said he planned to continue drinking, it was my turn to talk about if I could continue living that way. My husband felt this was a safe place to say certain things he had trouble expressing before. I started to see the "real" him and that he was no longer invested in the relationship. I still wonder what another approach to counseling would have been like and where we would be now.
My first thought was that this was a pretty good MC, because s/he cut to the chase and you found out that your husband had no plans to quit drinking and wasn't invested in the relationship. Then you could make your own choice.

As a general matter though, it's important to keep in mind that MCs do not have magic wands. Some of them are really terrible, there's no doubt about that, just poking around at the edges of issues and not getting anywhere. But even the very best counselor in the world cannot resurrect a dead marriage any more than the best doctor in the world can bring the dead back to life.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
My first thought was that this was a pretty good MC, because s/he cut to the chase and you found out that your husband had no plans to quit drinking and wasn't invested in the relationship. Then you could make your own choice.

As a general matter though, it's important to keep in mind that MCs do not have magic wands. Some of them are really terrible, there's no doubt about that, just poking around at the edges of issues and not getting anywhere. But even the very best counselor in the world cannot resurrect a dead marriage any more than the best doctor in the world can bring the dead back to life.
I agree. I met with this therapist individually first and told him all that had been going on and he shook his head and said, "You've got quite a mess on your hands. This is not going to be easy if he's as bad as you say." Then, he met with my AH alone and the only thing my AH complained about was the sex issue, LOL. Not about communication, not about the lack of trust, not about the fact that I spend more time with our son(whatever), etc. It was all about sex for him and how I'm not doing my wifely duties. He still doesn't see why I won't have sex with him and how trust and emotional intimacy fit into the bigger marriage picture. Also, I didn't realize that having sex with my husband was a 'DUTY', ugh!

When I say I got what I wanted, I meant that I found out that he still wants to drink. Even though he said, "I just want to have a beer every now and then", I know exactly what that leads to and where his mind goes(or at least I can suspect it). He still wants to drink and he'll resent the he** out of me if I take that away from him. Honestly, I just wanted to hear it from him because that makes my future decisions easier. Right now, we've agreed that we're technically separated living in the same home. I need to contact a lawyer next week when he's out of town. It sucks that he works from home because I really can't make any private phone calls until I take my son to tennis and that's late in the day and I can only get so much phone stuff done. Privacy is hard to come by around here.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:24 AM
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Well, Liz, this sounds like a page out of alcoholism #101. (referring to your last post).

The alcoholic, not in recovery, wants to drink. They resent anyone who gets between them and their drink. DUUh!

Liz, is it possible that you have wanted a "reason" that sounds "legitimate" to all. Kind of like staying politically correct. After all, who will argue with what is accepted as a
good reason to end a relationship. Besides, it serves to sidestep the true reasons for wanting a divorce---thus avoiding conflict with the husband in front of the therapist. You have been very open about the fact that you have a deadly fear of conflict--and since childhood, have done anything to avoid it.

If this is true, it reminds me of myself when I said that I would have divorced the children's father sooner if he had physically abused me. I meant this, also. I was afraid (for a while) that I would be blamed by society for ending a marriage for a frivoilus reason. As the misery of having my spirit sucked from my very bone marrow grew, I realized that my personal spirit is far more valuable than "appearances". At that point, my decision became easy.

If you are unhappy enough that you want out---you are not required to defend your reasons to anyone else. Your own happiness is your right and your own responsibility.

If you got what you wanted from the first joint session, I say this guy is genius.

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Old 08-29-2012, 09:22 AM
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Few therapists will treat active alcoholics because it's pointless.

When my husband said he planned to continue drinking............

Hey Liz, you get what you settle for.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
Few therapists will treat active alcoholics because it's pointless.

When my husband said he planned to continue drinking............

Hey Liz, you get what you settle for.
You got that right! It's taken me years to admit to my errors in all of this. You know, in the counseling sesson my AH said, "Well, you married your father, you just didn't realize how much like him I was." Then the therapist said, "You did choose him." To which I said, "Yes, but when I married him, he had quit drinking and was committing to church and other positive changes in his life. I didn't realize how bad the alcohol problem was and I was young and naive and in love and I thought that church friends and positive influences would be enough to keep us on that growth path." I was wrong, but I didn't have a crystal ball and I couldn't predict that his negative patterns would get worse over time and that he'd pretty much turn his back on church, etc.

I've finally realized that people change and it's not always for the better. My AH did pay me a wonderful compliment during the session. He said, "You aren't like ANYONE in my family and I specifically designed my choice like that." Well, this reveals a lot because his family is what he is used to. They are all anxious, alcohol dependent, back biting, and angry people. So, when I came into the picture with my fairy tale thinking and positive outlook, I'm sure I was a breath of fresh air but I'm also not like his family and that makes him uncomfortable. I won't argue and get down in the mud pit with him like he wants. I won't throw other human beings under the bus, etc. Anyway, a lot came out of that 1 hour session and I feel good because my eyes are finally opened so I came out of there in a good mood and just ready to get back to life. Recovery is refreshing, I just wish that I wasn't still so trapped in 'accepting the unacceptable' still. Things still need to change....awareness is key!
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:49 AM
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Liz, you are only "trapped into accepting the unacceptable" if you decide it is so.

How you think determines how you feel; and, how you feel determines what actions you take.

If you think you are trapped, then you feel trapped, and, if you feel trapped you will behave as a trapped person.

Liz, these are universal laws---I don't make this stuff up! LOL.

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Old 08-29-2012, 10:55 AM
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"Yes, but when I married him, he had quit drinking and was committing to church and other positive changes in his life. I didn't realize how bad the alcohol problem was and I was young and naive and in love and I thought that church friends and positive influences would be enough to keep us on that growth path." I was wrong, but I didn't have a crystal ball and I couldn't predict that his negative patterns would get worse over time and that he'd pretty much turn his back on church, etc.
I guess... well, wishful thinking is different from planning. You can't build a castle on sand, right?

I've fallen into this trap of thinking so many times. Someone recently told me that life will provide us with the same lesson over and over and over again until we finally get it through our heads. That felt true to me. Holding on to the dream, long after that dream should have dissolved, long after the point where my mental and emotional health is at risk, is one of mine. I'm still working on it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:36 AM
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Your AH talks like a sociopath. But I'm sure you know that already.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I guess... well, wishful thinking is different from planning. You can't build a castle on sand, right?

I've fallen into this trap of thinking so many times. Someone recently told me that life will provide us with the same lesson over and over and over again until we finally get it through our heads. That felt true to me. Holding on to the dream, long after that dream should have dissolved, long after the point where my mental and emotional health is at risk, is one of mine. I'm still working on it.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. This will just keep going around in circles until you decide to do something about it. You're not stuck in anything, you just aren't doing anything to change it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
You know, in the counseling sesson my AH said, "Well, you married your father, you just didn't realize how much like him I was." Then the therapist said, "You did choose him." To which I said, "Yes, but when I married him, he had quit drinking and was committing to church and other positive changes in his life. I didn't realize how bad the alcohol problem was and I was young and naive and in love and I thought that church friends and positive influences would be enough to keep us on that growth path." I was wrong, but I didn't have a crystal ball and I couldn't predict that his negative patterns would get worse over time and that he'd pretty much turn his back on church, etc.
Honestly, I cannot believe the therapist would actually support this. What this is doing is BLAMING you for the problems in the relationship, which is complete BS.

Yes, you chose an alcoholic, and that is YOUR issue to work out in YOUR therapy. Not in joint therapy. Ridiculous.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
Honestly, I cannot believe the therapist would actually support this. What this is doing is BLAMING you for the problems in the relationship, which is complete BS.

Yes, you chose an alcoholic, and that is YOUR issue to work out in YOUR therapy. Not in joint therapy. Ridiculous.
See, this is what I thought too. I am thinking of finding a new therapist if I don't get good clarification from this guy tomorrow. I mean, he specializes in addictions counseling and marriage counseling. Maybe I just picked the wrong one?
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
See, this is what I thought too. I am thinking of finding a new therapist if I don't get good clarification from this guy tomorrow. I mean, he specializes in addictions counseling and marriage counseling. Maybe I just picked the wrong one?
I'd definitely get a second opinion. At this point the guy is quacking just as much as your AH. I recant my earlier statements about what you're paying him for. This certainly isn't it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:08 PM
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Hold on a second. I don't see how saying "you did choose him" is BLAMING anyone for anything. It is a fact. She did choose him.

Honestly, I think you are looking for a professional to validate your wanting to leave. You don't need some PhD to give you permission to leave. You don't need a second opinion. You don't need us or your AH to give you permission to leave. All you need is to honor yourself and do whatever is best for you.

Instead of wasting money on marriage counseling to try and fix a marriage you appear not to want to be in anymore, maybe you should save it to make a better life for you and your son.

My two cents,
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:09 PM
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Maybe this is just me.......But, you said, Liz, that you "got what you wanted"---from the very FIRST joint session. You said that you were going to see this therapist about working on your individual issues on thursday and that you had arrived at your decision to seperate.

I don't think he is a bad therapist---I think he sounds like genius! I have never, myself, or, seen anyone else walk out after a first session and say: "I got what I wanted", "I feel good", "recovery is refreshing" "I am ready to get back to life" . How did it go from this to "I must have picked the wrong one"??? In a matter of hours?
Is this me......or am I being punked??

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:23 PM
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Exactly to LaTeeDa and Dandyloin.

I was wondering how you went from living seperately in the same house and calling a lawyer next week, to still feeling trapped in "accepting the unacceptable".Then I'm punked also.

Liz I think what's happening is... instead of thinking you got everything you need to know with MC and where you stand and feel, you are just beginning the crack the shell of what the problems are. Not only with your marriage but you in your marriage and the relationship you have with yourself.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Maybe this is just me.......But, you said, Liz, that you "got what you wanted"---from the very FIRST joint session. You said that you were going to see this therapist about working on your individual issues on thursday and that you had arrived at your decision to seperate.

I don't think he is a bad therapist---I think he sounds like genius! I have never, myself, or, seen anyone else walk out after a first session and say: "I got what I wanted", "I feel good", "recovery is refreshing" "I am ready to get back to life" . How did it go from this to "I must have picked the wrong one"??? In a matter of hours?
Is this me......or am I being punked??

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I got what I wanted out of it because I got the answer directly from my AH, it had nothing to do with the therapist as I could have asked my AH that question at home but I wanted a witness to his answer at this point. I felt good because I am working my recovery, period. I may have picked the wrong therapist because I find his approach to be anti-Al Anon and I don't see how putting behavioral restrictions on my AH is going to benefit anyone. So, all in all, I'm sure it's one of those 'take what you like and leave the rest' approaches.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:40 PM
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Liz, do you think it is fair to go to a therapist under the guise of wanting to work on your marriage, all the while, consciously having a hidden agenda of otherwise?

Striving for personal honestly is a fundamental in AA, and in alanon. as far as I can tell. Alcoholism as well as co-dependency causes us to live in denial and to "lie" to ourselves in order to protect our particular addictions and to preserve the status quo.

Liz, don't you think you owe it to the therapist and yourself to be honest with him and just shoot from the hip?

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:42 PM
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Two things come to mind.

1) Marriage counseling while the spouse is drinking, or simply white-knuckling it (abstaining is NOT recovery) is putting the horses before the cart. It's useless and you get nowhere.

2) I disagree with the marriage counselor too. He has no understanding and most likely, no training/education in addictions. It's a waste of time and money.

Just my two cents!
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:49 PM
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Imagine what it must be like to be the counselor. You have two people who have no desire to work on the marriage, but want the counselor to 'get the other person to see how wrong they are.' Not just in this case, but in most cases, I think.

I can only envision marriage counseling being beneficial if both parties are truly motivated and sincere about trying to understand each other and work on the relationship by honestly working on their own issues. And I imagine that the vast majority of people who go to marriage counseling are not of that mind.

I'm glad I'm not a marriage counselor, lol.

L
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