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First day of marriage counseling

Old 10-10-2013, 05:04 PM
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First day of marriage counseling

AH and I had our first session of marriage counseling today. This is a counselor that has seen us both privately in the past, so she know us well. She said she was very impressed with how honest my husband was, considering this was our first session since his affair.

On one had, it went well, he WAS really honest and really sober, both are good. The bad part, he's "on the fence" about our marriage. He's giving it a 50/50 shot.

I just don't even want to face this. I've been through so much with him, given, given, and given, been the Codie through and through. But, I don't want to throw away our marriage. HE has the audacity to say he's not happy! Does he have a flippin clue what unhappy even smells like? Part of me just wants to die inside, just pull a blanket over my head and sleep...forever. Another part of me is getting very angry, but I'm not good at angry.... I don't stay angry long and it almost always turns to depression.

Has anyone ever tried therapy with their A?
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:23 PM
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I have done therapy both my XH (not an A) and with my AH. In my opinion, it takes both people being completely open and honest and both wanting same results. Sometimes I have heard of people going to marriage counseling to decide if they want to stay married. But I believe it is a good sign your A is willing to go and also to be honest with you. Hopefully these sessions will uncover the true reasons behind his unhappiness and need for escape (alcohol, affairs). But just because he says he isn't happy, that doesn't mean you did anything or didn't do something to cause it. We are all in control of our own happiness. Maybe try not to take it personally as a personal attack on you or your marriage. Maybe he just simply is t happy with himself right now.
I hope it all works out well for you! I've seen people that are self aware make amazing strides with counseling and have a marriage in the end that is stronger and better than they ever thought possible.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:25 PM
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Hi,

I've been through marriage counseling with my ex, when he was my H. Actually though it wasn't supposed to be marriage counseling. It was his therapist, who also wanted to see me after he had gone a few times.

My ex was always divorcing me, (lol) then would change his mind, then would go to a therapist, then would find out that he might actually do work on himself, so he was divorcing me again!!!!!!

He actually did want the therapist to tell me what a bad person I was, and that I needed to change, so that he did not have to look at himself. When they didn't do that, and they validated me, then he didn't love me, and didn't think we would make it, and wanted a divorce.

I didn't want to throw away our marriage, I wanted to work on things, I couldn't stay angry that long either, but as soon as I wasn't angry he would pull another stunt. Mine liked to run away from home.

That thing about him giving it a 50/50 shot is pure manipulation. He will stay only if you shut the eff up. Just let him do what he wants to do, no consequences whatsoever, and he will think about staying.

You deserve so much better.

(((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

PS - I'll bet if you told him you agree with him, and you want a divorce, he would be shocked about that, and "how could you even think of doing that to him".

Last edited by amy55; 10-10-2013 at 05:28 PM. Reason: adding in PS
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:27 PM
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My experience with it was totally ineffective. New beginnings' point of both people needing to want the same results is important for counseling, as far as I am concerned. My ex said he wanted to be married, but he wasn't interested in learning any new ways of handling marriage. So he kept doing the same thing and wondering why the results were the same, until we both finally reached a breaking point.

I didn't want a divorce, but I didn't want to be married anymore, either. Not like that, under those circumstances.

Instead of focusing on what he wants or doesn't want, what do you want? Really, truly want? For me, what I wanted was unrealistic, I found out in the end. I wanted him to be the man I thought he was when I chose to marry him. I hated having to come to terms with my own fantasies. That was the hardest thing to accept...my own distorted reality of who he was.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:54 PM
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Hello AllThings,

Maybe if you continued with individual counseling (someone other than the person you are currently seeing for couples' counseling), it might help? I found it very useful for me, even though my first husband and I did end up divorcing.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:11 PM
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We did it. He left a year later. It didn't help us or him, but it did help me. We went when he decided to leave to, the therapist told me I could leave, and gave me a card with the name of a lady who specialized in meditation but recommended he continue individual counseling...but he didn't.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:19 PM
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Hi AllThings,

My husband and I started marriage counseling when he was in rehab, and we continued it for months after he came home. It was very helpful to us, and I often recommend it to others. What I found is that both people have to be committed to it & willing to give it time, and both people have to be open to the process; its about both of you - not one person blaming the other, but working together to communicate and share what they feel works in the marriage, what doesn't. Feelings of both people have to be validated IMO.

We both did individual therapy while this was going on. My husbands rehab was not based on 12 steps, but solely on principles of therapy. He said adding in marriage counseling helped him work on his own personal side of things in individual therapy, and I felt the same way.

I would give it a few sessions before deciding it if has potential to help. I think it is a good sign your husband is willing to participate. Hope it works out for you both !
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AllThings View Post
AH and I had our first session of marriage counseling today. This is a counselor that has seen us both privately in the past, so she know us well. She said she was very impressed with how honest my husband was, considering this was our first session since his affair.

On one had, it went well, he WAS really honest and really sober, both are good. The bad part, he's "on the fence" about our marriage. He's giving it a 50/50 shot.

I just don't even want to face this. I've been through so much with him, given, given, and given, been the Codie through and through. But, I don't want to throw away our marriage. HE has the audacity to say he's not happy! Does he have a flippin clue what unhappy even smells like? Part of me just wants to die inside, just pull a blanket over my head and sleep...forever. Another part of me is getting very angry, but I'm not good at angry.... I don't stay angry long and it almost always turns to depression.

Has anyone ever tried therapy with their A?

I am not ready to do therapy with my ah. Im so far gone with his selfish blaming addictive butt ...listening to anymore outside of home sounds like torture for me.
Sounds like hes somewhat willing but I dont know if I could have been in your shoes...I probably would have rung his neck. All the more reason im not ready yet. Im dealing with nyself first as I think my ah should. Look internally.
Obviously not yalls case since youve both have had individual therapy for awhile.
All I can say is ....hes still blaminglyou and self pittying himself and thats not fair to you or going to fix yalls marriage. A few more sessions and a head knocking. Lol
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:50 AM
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Allthings-

There is a great book by Janis Abrahm Springs called "After the Affair" She writes a part of it from the view point of the betrayed, and the betraying partner.

It was very helpful to me to see that the affair meant something really different to him then it did to me. It can take awhile (and some hard work) for the partner in the affair to get their head out of the affair.....and I of course just could not relate to that part, because I was just experiencing the bad part of it.

Also about the anger. For me that was part of the grief cycle and it is VERY common. I got to learn (really learn) about anger in all of this.....I lean more toward depression also.

I heard a great quote that helped. "Anger is depression turned outside and depression is anger turned inside."

Also when I got reading about affairs and addiction it was so helpful for me to see that these emotions were NORMAL, not having them was not. I hated the lesson, but I am a more fully emotional person because of this.

I did do some marriage counseling with my loved one....but I had an individual counselor too that I could process my emotions with. I found it helpful (thought short lived). I stayed seeing the marriage counselor individually even after my husband wanted out.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:11 AM
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On one had, it went well, he WAS really honest and really sober, both are good. The bad part, he's "on the fence" about our marriage. He's giving it a 50/50 shot.

I think when a partner isn't committed, it is time to get selfish, let self-preservation and self-protection actions kick in.
I would seek individual counseling. I would get into a self-protection mode to brace myself for a possible ending of the relationship, and I would start putting myself first.

It's either that or you are at the whim of what he wants to do. Not good. You're not a puppet on a string, you're a person! A person who committed with love. He is not giving it back. No wonder you are angry.
Time to have your own back...he's showing you he may not.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkies1 View Post
On one had, it went well, he WAS really honest and really sober, both are good. The bad part, he's "on the fence" about our marriage. He's giving it a 50/50 shot. I think when a partner isn't committed, it is time to get selfish, let self-preservation and self-protection actions kick in. I would seek individual counseling. I would get into a self-protection mode to brace myself for a possible ending of the relationship, and I would start putting myself first. It's either that or you are at the whim of what he wants to do. Not good. You're not a puppet on a string, you're a person! A person who committed with love. He is not giving it back. No wonder you are angry. Time to have your own back...he's showing you he may not.
Blueskies1 has great and sound advice on this!
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:59 PM
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We tried it, tried 2 different counselors. It did not go well. AH wasn't ready to accept responsibility for the damage he was doing and it would be about 45 minutes of pity party for him and 15 minutes of me defending myself. We actually spent an entire session where he complained about what exit I took off the freeway and how dangerous I was being and he compared it to how I have an issue with his drunk driving. Say what? And, the counselor sat there and listened to all of it until he, too, had enough and had to get AH to stop. He will do anything to avoid looking at himself, plain and simple.

FYI: I'm still the marriage. I have chose to stay but I do a LOT of self care and self preservation including going to Al Anon meetings, communicating with friends in program, and righting myself with my HP in various ways through meditation and journaling. I keep myself sane in the midst of chaos because at this point, there's no way I'd go back to counseling with him unless I saw some humility on his side.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for the input, the counselor we are seeing is someone that we both see individually and I wouldn't change that, she's done a lot for me.

I'm not ready to leave my marriage, maybe at some point, but not now. Lots of reasons why...
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:23 PM
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as he said he isn't even sure he wants to continue the marriage, you might find yourself married and alone. I understand how much YOU want to work things out...but you need a fully committed partner to do that. you DESERVE a fully committed partner. not someone who gives 50/50 odds.......

I suppose he was at least honest about it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:47 PM
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I agree with Anvil, he currently is not 100% committed.

If I were in your shoes, I would be forming/making a Plan B.

Thinking a plan B would offer you some security and comfort during these troubled times.

I really can appreciate your commitment to your marriage, but we cannot force someone to stay married to us.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by marie1960 View Post
I agree with Anvil, he currently is not 100% committed.

If I were in your shoes, I would be forming/making a Plan B.

Thinking a plan B would offer you some security and comfort during these troubled times.

I really can appreciate your commitment to your marriage, but we cannot force someone to stay married to us.
Don't really need a plan B. The house is mine, purchased with my money long before he and I got married. The kids are mine, their dad bailed years ago. I earn way more money than he does, I have a lucrative career. He would just have to leave, end of story.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:40 PM
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For me the plan was less about safety and physical security, and more about my emotions.

I was physically fine, have a good job etc.

It was hard though because I could not love him enough to make him want sobriety, or want to save the marriage.

The affair shocked me into recovery from my relationship (I had been in therapy, individually a long time).

I was working so hard on me for the whole relationship, that I did not see, or have the capability to understand that just because I was working hard and wanted the relationship, did not mean he did.

As a result self-care for me around this was very hard....I still had the focus in the wrong place.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:27 PM
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Many therapists refuse to treat active alcoholics. It's a disease of distorted thinking and just being "not drunk" doesn't matter. I suggest running to Alanon and making a lot of meetings; the support is wonderful. Both alcoholics and codependents suffer from denial and rationalization, they help keep the addictions in place. Ask yourself if you trust and respect him ... if you don't, then what do you really have?
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:02 PM
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I have found that Marriage Counseling works well when couples are encountering normal everyday problems that seemed to have stopped their marriage but in your case with an affair I believe that each of you need to see (individually) an infidelity counselor. You need one to deal with the feelings of what was done to you and he needs to understand why he did this. Once through that if the decision is made to stay together he needs to be in recovery for several months before joining together in marriage counseling if it is decided by both of you to stay together. He chose to have an affair and it is YOUR choice now not his whether this marriage continues because you have to let go of what was done. Please get an individual counselor who specializes in infidelity counseling--I think this will help sort out your feelings--you need this after what you have been through.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:59 PM
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This was my experience. I hope it is not your experience. My husband wanted to go. I set it up. We both liked our counselor. But I am afraid we did not want the same thing. He had decided he wanted out pretty much. He was very honest. He could say things in therapy he could not say outside therapy. It came out that he felt he had "married up" and he always felt like a second class citizen. That was very telling. And even though the subject of alcohol came up-he said he would always drink, it was not addressed as something that was a big issue. My husband even admitted that he had more of a relationship with alcohol than with me. Our therapist liked to say that it did not matter if we ended up together or apart, what mattered is that we ended up healthy. It took 3 years but we eventually separated. And my reaction was the same as yours. I had put up with his drunk ass all these years and he wasn't sure he wanted to stay married? WTF??? I actually did sleep for a long time. I was depressed but with my own therapy, Al Anon, and good friends I was able to get through. And I am healthy. Good luck to you.
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