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Today in counseling, i learned...

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KeepOnMovin posted 1/30/2013 13:51 PM

...I am the reason DS15 blames his mom for the separation and divorce. (STBXW and I met at counselors to discuss DS15 and his anger/relationship with his mom.) I learned my reaction, during our first family session, caused DS15 to align with me and alienate his mom. I got teary-eyed when we were discussing the divorce with the kids and said, "You boys are such good kids. Nobody could ask for anything more. It's not fair. It is bullshit, and you don't deserve this." Counselor said i threw STBXW under the bus, and she (counselor) had to swoop in and try to control the damage by saying, "and your mom is hurting just as much as your dad" Doesn't matter that Mom has shown absolutely no sadness or remorse regarding the separation.

Yet another example of my impulsiveness and reactionary personality. I just don't get it. DS17 and DS10 haven't 'aligned' with me, and they were there for the same conversation. I asked whether it might have anything to do with DS15 snooping on his mom's phone and finding evidence she's having an affair several months ahead of us telling the boys? "well, that may have set the stage, but your reaction makes it look like she's the bad guy and you're the victim."

So lying, betrayal, and going outside of the marriage when things aren't going well doesn't make you a 'bad guy', but my reaction while talking to the boys does? And, i also learned i should have let DS15 know it's unacceptable to snoop on his mom's phone.

I feel like i'm at the end of my rope. I really do. GOD, the last thing i want is to Fuck up my kids lives. Yet, here i am.

No "Father of the Year" nomination for me.

I mean, HOLY SHIT! I've done the best i can with what i've had to work with. Found out STBXW had a PA in September with a coworker. Basically, i looked into how i've failed in the marriage, forgave her and worked my ass off in counseling to address my culpability in the deterioration of the relationship. I've been freaking meditating, for goodness' sake! She attends counseling, blames me for everything and then i find out, in December, she's in some kind of long distance EA (maybe PA) with a different guy she dated 25 years ago. STBXW even told me she has NO REMORSE FOR WHAT SHE PUT ME THROUGH!

AND i never told any of the three kids anything negative about their mom. I've stuck to the party line, that both mom and dad love them very much and although we may not be together, we will always be there for them.

i'm done. just done!

Coraline posted 1/30/2013 14:00 PM

I think your counselor sucks and he or she is full of crap. He or she does not believe they could possibly have failed to make this painless and therefore has found a nice scapegoat in you. The fact of the matter is that everyone reacts differently, and your counselor should be looking at what it is about the relationship between that son and his mother that's causing this, rather than looming for someone to blame. Therapists need to accept their own limitations, and yours seems unwilling to believe that being unable to force this to be easy isn't a limitation he or she suffers from, so is looking for a reason why therapy has "failed". You're just a scapegoat, of that's all you really said.

[This message edited by Coraline at 2:00 PM, January 30th (Wednesday)]

Beowulf posted 1/30/2013 14:05 PM

I am sorry that your have had this load of BS put on your shoulders. You have found yourself a SORRY MC. First of all a MC is NOT THERE TO ACCUSE. The minute they start doing this, they lose all credibility. Second you are the victim in this situation. I have seen bad counselors. Trust me you are not the culprit here. You MC is helping validate your WS’s blame shifting. Put a stop to it, your MC does not have any “skin in the game” in your marriage. There are plenty of good counselors out there.

Amazonia posted 1/30/2013 14:06 PM

I got teary-eyed when we were discussing the divorce with the kids and said, "You boys are such good kids. Nobody could ask for anything more. It's not fair. It is bullshit, and you don't deserve this."

I completely fail to see how this is throwing your STBXW under the bus at all! It's not about her. It's about them, and you're right, it does suck and they don't deserve to have to go through this all.

I gotta say, not impressed with the counselor's line of thinking

lieshurt posted 1/30/2013 14:06 PM

I'm calling bullshit on the counselor too. Instead of holding your WS responsible for her choices and the consequences of those choices, your counselor has decided to point the finger at you. Don't think so.

Holly-Isis posted 1/30/2013 14:10 PM

That counselor is less than worthless.

greenink99 posted 1/30/2013 14:15 PM

Ohhh hell yeah I don't agree with that at all! It is a far greater lesson for your son to learn how to take responsibility for his actions in this world! It seems the IC instead is teaching him the benefit of manipulation by supporting his mother.

Only thing you can do now is crisis control. Just hold your head high and be the best father you can be, let her show her true colors and your kids will figure out what's right.

I've said the SAME words to my kids and they have gotten the SAME unrepentant attitude from their father. Only difference is that he's kind of bowed out of parenting.

Protect your kids at all cost. I still say allow your D15 space and security by not making him go over there is he's not ready.

All you can do is tell your kdis that you're not perfect, you're trying to do your best in this very difficult situation and you want them to be a team and you love them more than anything. It'll all be okay.

carnelian posted 1/30/2013 14:23 PM

Not only condescending to you, but to your children as well - like they aren't able to see who's who and what's what. You counselor sucks, don't internalize this junk.

cayc posted 1/30/2013 14:24 PM

I asked whether it might have anything to do with DS15 snooping on his mom's phone and finding evidence she's having an affair several months ahead of us telling the boys?

Why yes stupid fucking worthless therapist, YES IT DOES. IT'S THE WHOLE REASON.

And, i also learned i should have let DS15 know it's unacceptable to snoop on his mom's phone.

Um. What about mom? Why can't she do this? Oh, that's right, because her credibility is blown.

Plus, "snooping". That's a mighty charged word when you're talking about kids who likely pick up parents phones to play games etc.

Ugh KOM. Please find another therapist. The one you're seeing sucks.

abbycadabby posted 1/30/2013 14:30 PM


First off, it is commendable that you are attempting to address your DS' issues in this manner. That tells me you're a good dad.

Secondly, I agree with everyone else. That counselor is just plain wrong. On what planet is it okay to chastise you for "throwing your STBX under the bus" (I disagree with this assessment wholeheartedly, BTW) but not have the expectation that your DS could, I don't know, form his OWN opinion of his mother's actions independent of your feelings, and that the anger is just a consequence of his mother's actions in the first place?

What I'm saying boils down to this: where is your STBX's culpability in this? Your "impulsiveness" and "reactionary personality" is being blamed here, but no mention is made of STBX's actions.

And, I think the counselor should be figuring out ways for you two to jointly help alleviate your DS' anger rather than blaming. The blaming in and of itself is counter productive to what you are trying to accomplish- helping your DS.

Sad in AZ posted 1/30/2013 14:33 PM

Your counselor is full of shit.

Let's frame this another way:

My mother stares at her great-grandson with a angry look. I sweep into the room, pick him up and hug him. Therefore, I'm the reason my great-nephew does not like my mother.

Seriously, get another therapist.

Nature_Girl posted 1/30/2013 14:37 PM

Fire your counselor. This person's approach is damaging to you.

Faithful w/Love posted 1/30/2013 14:38 PM

I am so sorry, you know I am really superised that you did call out the therapist and asked her why she was telling the kids that? And is a person who rips their family apart a good person at the time?
And why was she not asking your ds15 about his feeling and why he is so upset with his mother? Did she even ask about him and why? Sounds like she did the speaking and put you at the target of bad guy.
Your son is hurting horribly. And I am scared that if he can not express it or release it he may end up getting in some sort of trouble or become really distant with both of you. What he saw on her phone could have really disturb him and now he is protecting himself from her and is some how protecting you.
As a product of this as alot of us are with our parents, it does and can haunt you in ways you don't think. When WH was in his A, my therpist told me that it was opening wounds from what I went through with my parents and my mom's A's. When I sat and thought about how I was feeling everything came rushing back and I felt like a lost little girl again. It was horrible. We never really talked about it growing up but I think he really needs to before he lashes out.
And get a new therapist. DAMN HER!

inconnu posted 1/30/2013 14:43 PM

Fire that counselor.

Continue to love your kids.

Continue to show your kids through your actions that you are the parent they can trust.

Do not beat yourself up for showing emotion in front of your kids. How else are they going to learn it's okay to be sad when sad things happen?

oh, and did I mention, fire that fucking idiot who's pretending to be a counselor?

ps. it's true, your kids may blame you or be mad at you too, but it'll be for other reasons. My ds17, who was 14 at the time his dad left, was mad at me for 2 years because he felt I talked about private things to too many people. He got to have his own feelings about the shitstorm that our lives became. I let him be mad. For 2 freakin' years. He learned I'd still love him anyway.

Kajem posted 1/30/2013 14:43 PM

Wow. Just wow.

Why does it seem like your DS is being manipulated by his mother?

Keep your head held high, remember something... YOU (for all your faults) did not destroy your marriage... YOUR wife leaving the marriage destroyed it.

The only control you have in a situation like this is damage control. Show your DS by your actions that you are still his father, and you won't abandon him the way your wife did the marriage. It sucks to be the parent that gets to pick up the pieces of their hearts... but the sane parents are the ones who stick around and help the kids do just that. Be the sane parent.... her actions will also speak loudly to him. Just have patience.

I think the counselor needs a crash course in dealing with a manipulative parent. Your wife sounds like my X... funny once X left the kids therapy sessions... things got better between my kids and I.


greenink99 posted 1/30/2013 14:49 PM

So many similarities - AND my D15 found out WH A (for all of us, I had no idea) by snooping in his phone too. WH immediately turned on her & started yelling "what're you doing snooping in my phone?!".

NOT her fault. NOT your S15 fault. D15 did try to tell her to respect her dad's privacy, but I interjected WH has done nothing to earn respect or privacy. We're deeply flawed and deeply hurt. It's alright for your kids to know we are vulnerable.

KeepOnMovin posted 1/30/2013 16:31 PM

Please talk me off the ledge if i'm continuing to beat myself up here.

A friend just pointed out there is more than one meaning to the term 'bullshit'.

i had not thought about what i was going to say ahead of time. When i said, "it (or this) is bullshit", i was using the term "bullshit" to mean nonsense as in just a big mess. i.e. you kids are the victim of Mom and Dad failing to preserve the family you deserve.

If the counselor interpreted "it (or this) is bullshit" to mean a big lie (and the counselor did know what STBXW did, and that she is a liar), then i can see how this could be interpreted as an attempt to undermine their mom and align my kids on my side. That thought never occurred to me.

I had the idea that DS15 knew something, but did not know what he knew until Monday evening. STBXW and i had agreed to tell the kids that we have tried and have exhausted all methods to resolve our differences, and that mom and dad both love you and always will...

Or maybe i'm giving her too much credit, i don't know. She's supposed to be a specialist for kids going through divorce, so i'm sure she's seen a lot. (this is my first time, of course)

I have not and will never attempt to put my kids in the middle, make them choose, or use them as any type of leverage. And i have told DS15 it is not his job to protect me, and he should be able to go to mom's house and not worry that he is somehow betraying me. i am taking care of myself.

STBXW, OTHO, asked DS17 to please stop by on the days he's supposed to stay with dad to 'check on her'. Counselor did agree with me that can be seen as an attempt to align him on mom's side.

What i do know is it will be up to me to be the stability in the family and lead my kids through recovery. It is sort of difficult when you have not fully recovered yourself, so i am doing my best. I honestly think the truth would help me get closure in my relationship with STBXW. She hasn't come clean about anything at all with me. A bit of tt, only. MC admonished us NOT to discuss the relationship out of session. STBXW told me that she can not, and will not, help me get past the infidelity.

Oh. MC identifed STBXW as failing to maintain healthy boundaries in our relationship. That is her culpability in the marriage failure.

Take2 posted 1/30/2013 16:49 PM

This should read: "Today in counseling I learned that my counselor may be an expert but that doesn't mean she is any good...

This is a tough crowd down here where protecting the kids is concerned, and these folks call people out on parental alienation if deserved. In your case, I think your counselor sucks!

Even if she misunderstood - she should have clarified before going further. My guess is your son is going to get even more pissy at this point. The only person who has done something wrong is the one the counselor is defending and protecting. Makes me wonder about your counselor's personal background...

[This message edited by Take2 at 4:52 PM, January 30th (Wednesday)]

Dreamboat posted 1/30/2013 16:52 PM

That counselor feels a connection or sympathy for your WW, for whatever reason. Maybe she always sides with the mother. Maybe she was a WW herself. Maybe she is offended by men who show emotion. I don't know and it doesn't matter. What does matter is that she is not neutral. Imagine how she might try to brow beat DS15 into "respecting" his mother?

Just because IC hangs out a sign that says she specializes in D does not mean she is any good at it. I would find another IC for your kids because this one is not neutral. In addition, she seems want to pin blame on each parent because a child feels a certain way. Kids are thinking human beings. They are capable of having opinions even as young babies (ever try to feed your baby that second bite of the thing they just scrunched their face up for?) Teenagers especially have opinions and make up their own mind about things. No one is to blame because you DS15 feels betrayed by his mother. And no one is to blame is your DS17 wants to please his mother.

I am sorry that you feel so beaten up.

Crescita posted 1/30/2013 17:27 PM

MC admonished us NOT to discuss the relationship out of session.

Better hurry up and book more sessions then

Seriously, find a new counselor. A good one will give you perspective and guidance, not admonishing, finger pointing, and restrictions on how to talk or feel. Also find a few review websites and share your experience. With peoples reluctance to seek counseling, nothing irks me more than a quack.

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