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The woes of Marriage Counseling, LOL!

Old 08-28-2012, 02:20 PM
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The woes of Marriage Counseling, LOL!

So glad I didn't go to marriage counseling(MC) with any crazy expectations. I got what I wanted. We're so incompatible at this point and don't see eye to eye on anything.

The MT(marriage therapist) wanted us to focus just on the drinking issue. He is a recovering alcoholic but told me to specify what behaviors I needed to see to prove to me that my AH wasn't drinking. He wanted me to put, in writing, what I want AH to do weekly to prove to me that he's trustworthy regarding the drinking and even told me to buy drug testing kits. UGH! My AH pulled the old, "I'll do whatever she wants."

I know that will all come with major resentment. He claims he's not drinking anymore. Well, that may be but he was drinking just back in July and he calls that a little slip. And, gave the excuse that he had to go to jail and life was stressful, quack, quack, quack. I asked him this question, "J, if son and I weren't in the picture, would drinking be a part of your life?" To which he answered, "Hey I like a beer every once in a while. I wish I didn't, but I do. Sue me." So, that answered my question. He wants to still drink(which I knew but wanted to hear from him) and yet he wants to stay married.

He was argumentative at every turn, argued with the therapist about something they talked about when they met 2 weeks ago. He was defensive, pulled out all the stops, and it was so damn hard for me to NOT lash back at him. I wound up getting sucked in a few times but did my best to maintain my dignity and gather my thoughts and agreed when I felt he was right. He's really harboring a ton of resentment about the no sex thing and about the fact that I tried to control his drinking.

Honestly, I don't agree with the therapist. Even if AH meets my requirements, he'd just be doing it to check off the boxes. That's not fair to him, so I think the best answer I have at this point is to try a physical separation. I am meeting with this therapist alone to discuss this with him on Thursday because I'm not sure we should even be living in the same house together at this point. AH is hiding in his office at this point. He had reference to the fact that I flit about the house all happy these days and that I'm getting too much validation from my therapist who thinks I should leave him. Geez, heaven forbid I be happy and enjoy my life. I told him he could join me and he immediately shot back, "NO, NO, I can't. You're just...just..." and, he never finished his statement. Absolute insanity folks!
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:26 PM
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I will tell you the same thing others told me... when I talked about not like what the MC had to say...

You hired this MC to SAVE your marriage. That's the job you have given him - so keep his words in context with his assigned task.


That said... I'm glad to hear you are going ahead with your own individual counseling... I think that has a ton more value than MC!! IMHO.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
So, that answered my question. He wants to still drink(which I knew but wanted to hear from him) and yet he wants to stay married.
Um, yeah. Don't they all? Doesn't matter what HE wants, what do YOU want? (that doesn't involve him changing......)

L
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:31 PM
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He wanted me to put, in writing, what I want AH to do weekly to prove to me that he's trustworthy regarding the drinking and even told me to buy drug testing kits.
So he wants you to become a babysitter and drinking police?
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
So he wants you to become a babysitter and drinking police?
Yeah, insane, I know. Coming from a recovering alcoholic I'm not sure why we're going this route. I guess it's all about the fact that I don't trust AH and I won't until he gets sober and stays sober and does it for himself.

As for what I want, I already know the answer to that. I just need to get a few things in order over the next few weeks. Or maybe AH will ask for the separation first? Who knows.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:52 PM
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My therapist told me it was absurd to drug test my husband. If I had to, then I already knew the answer. She was right!

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
I will tell you the same thing others told me... when I talked about not like what the MC had to say...

You hired this MC to SAVE your marriage. That's the job you have given him - so keep his words in context with his assigned task.


That said... I'm glad to hear you are going ahead with your own individual counseling... I think that has a ton more value than MC!! IMHO.
This pretty much sums up what I'm thinking. The therapist is doing what you hired him to do: save your marriage. I'm sure he knows where this is going to go, but that's not why you're paying him. Your AH doesn't care about you or your feelings and never will unless/until he gets himself straight first. He only cares about himself and his next drink. This is probably the hardest part for any of us to accept. We simply don't matter unless we're enabling them. If we're doing what they want, then everything's gravy. If we're doing anything to threaten their cushy existence (babysitter, nurse, housekeeper, etc.), then of course it's going to make them unhappy.

BRAVO to you for seeing the light and starting to head out the door!
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:15 PM
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Frankly, I am surprised that any reputable counsellor would take on the job of saving a marriage. That isn't what counselling is all about.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypatia View Post
Frankly, I am surprised that any reputable counsellor would take on the job of saving a marriage. That isn't what counselling is all about.
I don't know how therapy can save a marriage. That's right up there with expecting therapy to to cure alcoholism, addiction or codependency.

Best case, a therapist can teach highly motivated people how to communicate, resolve their own conflicts and rebuild trust.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:37 PM
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The best was when he started getting on me about how I protect our son and he called him "His Lordship". He's said this before and it always brings out my mama bear instinct. I wouldn't have to spend so much time with our son if I wasn't married to insanity and immaturity. Over the years, I can think of many times when I needed to leave for hours at a time and had to take remove our son from dad's rantings or ruminations.

As for therapist's saving marriages. I didn't think that's what they were supposed to do, either. I thought it was their job to guide couples through the waters of marriage problems and give them tools for better communication.

I'm still in shock that this guy wants me to put behavioral modifications upon my AH and require these things of him. Yeah, like that's going to go over well, NOT.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I'm still in shock that this guy wants me to put behavioral modifications upon my AH and require these things of him. Yeah, like that's going to go over well, NOT.
Maybe the point is to get you to see how absurd it is to expect another person to change to your liking.............

My counselor used a similar technique with me. She asked me what AH would have to do for me to be happy in the marriage. As I started listing all the things I wanted him to do, I immediately saw how my expectations (not my husband) were the cause of my angst.

L
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:20 PM
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Well, the therapist is a recovering alcoholic himself, right? I imagine he's dealing with your husband the best way he knows how to deal with alcoholics in denial.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Maybe the point is to get you to see how absurd it is to expect another person to change to your liking.............

My counselor used a similar technique with me. She asked me what AH would have to do for me to be happy in the marriage. As I started listing all the things I wanted him to do, I immediately saw how my expectations (not my husband) were the cause of my angst.

L
I think that's the point exactly so that's why I'm meeting alone with this counselor on Thursday. Neither one of us is getting our needs met in this marriage. He wants sex and I'm ready to just say, "Please divorce me so you can go out and find yourself a new bedroom sex slave and free me from this misery." LOL, but I know that's not a very positive attitude and not very recovery related, either! But, those thoughts do creep in from time to time. I want a relationship with trust, respect, honesty, and Christian values. Not getting that right now with AH. I'm so ready to ask for that separation, but I have to make sure that my HP is giving me the right signs and that my decision is in his will(Higher Power, not AH).
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:24 PM
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When you're done, you're done. It doesn't have to be positive and recovery-related.

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Old 08-28-2012, 05:44 PM
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Sometime's stepping back (time apart) - can help.
It can give everyone time to breath

I know for me, nothing he said or did - worked for me and visa versa
If everyone could get on the same page at the same time, life would
be easier..Wouldn't it?

Marriage counseling is for 2 married adult people.
But unfortnutely, lots of us go in their office, as 1 adult and 1 child
Sometimes I think it should be called: Adoloscence Marriage Counseling #101
I know, you would like to reach over and boop him one...I had those feelings too!

I found that I looked at marriage counseling and rehab center's as the miracle
cure to my marriage. - Boy, did I get woke up!

Dont forget, it's all about "one day at a time" and dont let others put pressures of setting (dates/times) of what they think should be happening in your life "today"
- Only you know!
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:25 PM
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I think you already know what you want to do from reading your posts. The hardest part is getting the courage to do it.
(I am remembering the scenes in Charlie Brown....when the teacher is talking...and all you hear is wha...wha...wha? )
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
Well, the therapist is a recovering alcoholic himself, right? I imagine he's dealing with your husband the best way he knows how to deal with alcoholics in denial.
I agree choublak. To an alcoholic in denial a positive drug test can be helpful in facing reality. Of course, alcohol leaves your system quickly so you would have to test him early in the morning.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:21 PM
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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.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I want a relationship with trust, respect, honesty, and Christian values. Not getting that right now with AH. I'm so ready to ask for that separation, but I have to make sure that my HP is giving me the right signs and that my decision is in his will(Higher Power, not AH).
Did you ever have that kind of relationship with your husband?

In the last couple of weeks I have had a breakthrough. I had just shy of two years with my ex that were good, trusting and supportive. We got married just shy of two years of dating. Two weeks after that a binge helped me to understand that alcoholism was in my marriage. Yes there were concerns before, but I truly did not understand. I got an understanding then.

I spent the next five years trying to figure out how we lost our relationship and how to get it back. Though the problem drinking was not daily, my walking on eggshells was.

Then we separated just over two years ago, and I have spent a huge amount of time trying to figure out if he was okay, what I did wrong, how I could have made it better, etc.

2 good years should not equal almost 7 years of struggle. I never got honesty, trust and equality in my marriage, why have I spent 7 years trying to obtain something that was not there in the "honeymoon" stages?

It was a "Oh my god I shoulda had a V-8" moment coupled with relief that I might be able to let myself off the hook for all the problems in the relationship.

It is reasonable to want those things in a relationship...I think my question for you is though is it reasonable that he, you, and you and him can have that in YOUR relationship with each other? That is part of where I got off track.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
So glad I didn't go to marriage counseling(MC) with any crazy expectations. I got what I wanted. We're so incompatible at this point and don't see eye to eye on anything.

The MT(marriage therapist) wanted us to focus just on the drinking issue. He is a recovering alcoholic but told me to specify what behaviors I needed to see to prove to me that my AH wasn't drinking. He wanted me to put, in writing, what I want AH to do weekly to prove to me that he's trustworthy regarding the drinking and even told me to buy drug testing kits. UGH! My AH pulled the old, "I'll do whatever she wants."

I know that will all come with major resentment. He claims he's not drinking anymore. Well, that may be but he was drinking just back in July and he calls that a little slip. And, gave the excuse that he had to go to jail and life was stressful, quack, quack, quack. I asked him this question, "J, if son and I weren't in the picture, would drinking be a part of your life?" To which he answered, "Hey I like a beer every once in a while. I wish I didn't, but I do. Sue me." So, that answered my question. He wants to still drink(which I knew but wanted to hear from him) and yet he wants to stay married.

He was argumentative at every turn, argued with the therapist about something they talked about when they met 2 weeks ago. He was defensive, pulled out all the stops, and it was so damn hard for me to NOT lash back at him. I wound up getting sucked in a few times but did my best to maintain my dignity and gather my thoughts and agreed when I felt he was right. He's really harboring a ton of resentment about the no sex thing and about the fact that I tried to control his drinking.

Honestly, I don't agree with the therapist. Even if AH meets my requirements, he'd just be doing it to check off the boxes. That's not fair to him, so I think the best answer I have at this point is to try a physical separation. I am meeting with this therapist alone to discuss this with him on Thursday because I'm not sure we should even be living in the same house together at this point. AH is hiding in his office at this point. He had reference to the fact that I flit about the house all happy these days and that I'm getting too much validation from my therapist who thinks I should leave him. Geez, heaven forbid I be happy and enjoy my life. I told him he could join me and he immediately shot back, "NO, NO, I can't. You're just...just..." and, he never finished his statement. Absolute insanity folks!
Dear Liz, did the sign on this guy's door say "marriage counselor" or "magician"?

You said that "I got what I wanted". I think that is pretty darn good for the first joint session!! Maybe you should have left him a good tip---LOL.LOL!

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