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The woes of Marriage Counseling, LOL!

Old 08-29-2012, 04:02 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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IMO, a good counselor does not take sides. A good counselor puts things in a way that helps the person to be able to see themselves. Yes, our issues are that we choose unhealthy people for whatever reason. But the counselor just repeating what the H said, just put you on the defensive, and sent you into defensive mode. Of course you didn't know he was going to become what he has become. You hoped for what we all hoped for. Until the alcoholism is addressed, and the A stops drinking, the relationship can't move forward. If the only way to get the A to admit he has no intention of stopping is to force him to go to counseling with you, so be it. But spending time blaming eachother is a big waste of time and money, IMO.

I hope you find a good therapist for YOU. To help you figure out why you chose the kind of person you chose and help you to not do that again.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:49 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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i'm not so sure the MC is a bad therapist.

what I see is someone trying to get the two parties involved to see the dynamic.

nobody here seems to have boundries that are defined, actions not words

it just seems to be the same ole same ole, he does what he wants to do, you express you unhappiness over it, but no boundries are in place, even your relationship with your son is up for use.

I would not throw the baby out with the bath water in terms of the therapist, an hour session is just not enough to get a feel.

by telling your husband what behaviors bother you, it gets the ball rolling on boundry making.

Saying that you choose him, does not blame anything on you, it says, maybe we should take a look at this.

It can be difficult for a therapist , with two controlling people in the room, to figure out how to make it flow.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:55 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I am baffled as to why a marriage counselor would place so much obligation onto you. Suggesting drug testing I find to be an insane recommendation. My couples therapy is completely different. She stated that for the marriage to move forward there cannot be any drinking. I say continue on with your individual therapy and focus on that.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:59 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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My guess is that he was more interested in Liz's reaction to doing drug testing.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Katiekate View Post
My guess is that he was more interested in Liz's reaction to doing drug testing.
Yes, as I said before, allowing the absurdity of trying to control another person to become apparent.......

L
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:53 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
"Well, you married your father, you just didn't realize how much like him I was."

"You aren't like ANYONE in my family and I specifically designed my choice like that."
You know the show Heroes? The way your AH talks reminds me of some of the characters, and I'm not talking about the good ones.

Also, you didn't have a crystal ball, but if you knew how his family was before you married him, I feel like that should have been a clue.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:38 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Wow... I missed all this discussion yesterday... so I'm a bit late to the conversation... however...


Liz, what you are describing from your MC session is EXACTLY what my XAH and I went through a year ago. I was PISSED off at what the MC had to say b/c she said the same thing, "Well, you PICKED him!" What happened next was a TYPICAL co-dependent relationship response... My XAH took it to me that I was WRONG, that I knew going in that he was an alcoholic and therefore, I bought the farm "as-is" so I should sit down and shut up. Me... being a co-dependent, took it the same way - I felt like I had to figure out a way to suck up and deal.

OH... but not so fast!!!

That's not what she meant... what she was intended was to show ME that I had choices. Yup, I made a bad choice by picking him - but I could always change my mind and make different choices. I remember vividly telling her, "I feel so powerless in all of this. I'm stuck at the mercy of the waves that keep pounding me!" Her response was, "You're not powerless and it's my job to get you to SEE that you have the power to control... and to make sure you know what you CAN and CAN'T control!!!!"

As many have point out, we went into our MC in a dead-locked power struggle. Her tough, dead on approach hurt initially because she laid it out what we BOTH were doing wrong. The good news is that it opened MY eyes... the bad news is that my XAH was no where near ready for recovery or therapy... or accepting even an iota of responsibility... so... we quit MC. I focused on taking care of and healing myself... and my XAH... well, life continues to spin around and around on the same old track.


I would not put much weight on anything that came out of you AH's mouth during counseling. To me, it's all part of alcoholic manipulation to keep you in the dance. My XAH used to throw out all sorts of "bait" about how I was "the greatest thing that ever happened to him", "I was his grace", "I was so much stronger and healthier."... blah-blah-blah. It fed my ego and kept me stuck. When I plugged my ears and used my eyes... everything looked soooo much clearer. He said he valued me... but his actions said I was worthless to him.


Just my 2 cents!
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:29 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
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,
L
i think i said this a few threads back about validation...we "think" we need it from others (family, friends, police, professionals) because we FEAR we are making the wrong choice....but for your sanity, there is no other choice....

I suggested awhile back for you to take a small vacation...go, clear your head, there is no harm in that...

you have rights to set LIMITS and BOUNDARIES...

when i was in "grief councelling..my therapist had NO IDEA of the alcoholism role in my family....if she caught on and suggested AL ANON, it would not have taken me so long to 'heal' myself...but that was my HPs plan...i had to find my way...and i did, so glad i did..there was STEPS i need to take to get there ( i believe)

all in time and maybe even more so NOW, you will find your path...grieving the 'old' husband when you 1st married is part of that...he is not that man anymore, just like you are not that wife anymore....

I do pray you will make your choices a HEALTHY one for you and your son and the COURAGE to do what needs to be done
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:02 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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After reading this thread I agree with all the qualified counselors I've ever heard say marriage counseling is useless until the addiction is addressed and the recovering addict WELL into recovery. They are two separate issues.

I would think your counseling dollars would be best spent on your own counseling.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:50 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Alcoholic is a terrific term for when we leave someone. We can just tell everybody that, when the truth is more complicated--including that little fact eating away at ourselves--well we did PICK THEM.

Thanks everyone for this thread--especially Dandylion and La Tee Da's remarks.

I chose a man much like Liz's. I picked him. Then when I left him, in due part to the active alcoholism but not only why, I simply told everybody his faults, a laundry list of them, alcoholism at the top.

Something left me uneasy in all that airing of his dirty laundry though. Something felt unfulfilled in that act also. The whole truth included that knawing little fact that I picked him, and WHY.

He was wounded, I thought, but didn't yet know how, or understand it. He was pampering me, he was going to take care of me, and take care of money, etc. I married him with that little girl fairytale, yet I was immature, because I was a fully grown woman almost 40.

It is another immature act to sit smugly behind the fact that our partner was/is an alcoholic, and blast this fact to the world when we leave them. It sure takes the focus off why we picked them.
It is another immature act to have to seek out the validation from professionals, or anywhere we seek it out.

That validation to move on in our lives, to divorce or leave someone, really needs to come solely from within, and simply be--well I changed my mind, I picked him, and now I want to UNPICK him.
We shouldn't hide behind the validation of anyone, professional or not, or any establishment, religion or otherwise.
That's part of being an adult. We make our decisions, and the only validation necessary needs to come from within our own grown-up minds. All other validations are hiding behind something, namely NEEDING SOMEONE ELSE'S validation or APPROVAL, AND JUDGMENT.
Doing that--seeking validation elsewhere, robs ourselves of our adulthood, and that our own reasons aren't enough--we need other's approval.
This has been truly an enlightening thread for me to read.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:52 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
Alcoholic is a terrific term for when we leave someone. We can just tell everybody that, when the truth is more complicated--including that little fact eating away at ourselves--well we did PICK THEM.

Thanks everyone for this thread--especially Dandylion and La Tee Da's remarks.

I chose a man much like Liz's. I picked him. Then when I left him, in due part to the active alcoholism but not only why, I simply told everybody his faults, a laundry list of them, alcoholism at the top.

Something left me uneasy in all that airing of his dirty laundry though. Something felt unfulfilled in that act also. The whole truth included that knawing little fact that I picked him, and WHY.

He was wounded, I thought, but didn't yet know how, or understand it. He was pampering me, he was going to take care of me, of things.

It is another immature act to sit smugly behind the fact that our partner was/is an alcoholic, and blast this fact to the world when we leave them. It sure takes the focus off why we picked them.
It is another immature act to have to seek out the validation from professionals, or anywhere we seek it out.

That validation to move on in our lives, to divorce or leave someone, really needs to come solely from within, and simply be--well I changed my mind, I picked him, and now I want to UNPICK him.
We shouldn't hide behind the validation of anyone, professional or not, or any establishment, religion or otherwise.
That's part of being an adult. We make our decisions, and the only validation necessary needs to come from within our own grown-up minds. All other validations are hiding behind something.
This has been truly an enlightening thread for me to read.
Thank you, MadeofGlass, I really needed to read this today.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:28 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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MadeOfGlass...
I also want to thank you for your thread. It rings so true with me.

I struggled for YEARS with 'the decision'. I tortured myself. I sought counseling. I spoke with our parish priest. I talked to concerned friends and family. I went to Al Anon. I prayed. I struggled. I examined and re-examined the situation.

What it all boiled down to...for me...was that my exah and I just wanted different things out of life. We were on the same page when we fell in love and got married. But gradually, over the years, I wanted peace and serenity and he wanted to continue drinking and drugging.

Yes, addiction contributed to the ever-widening gulf between us. But my decision to finally file for divorce wasn't rooted in his addiction. It was rooted in the fact that I just wanted something different from my life. I didn't want to be a passenger on his addiction-train...watching and waiting to see when it would come to a stop. I wanted to leave him to live his life however he saw fit and I wanted to live mine the same way.

Who was I to dictate what he had to do in order to 'save' our marriage?
How egotistical of me.

I thank my HP every day for my peaceful life.
Yep...I lost alot of material things along the way...but none of those things matter.
My son is happy. He's doing really well. And so am I.
My exah? Not so much...(at least as I see things) but hey, it's his life to live as he sees fit. Who am I to judge? Really.

Great thread.
REally great.
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