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Marriage counseling

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LearningToFly posted 5/23/2013 23:48 PM

I found out about husbands A at the end of Feb. He said it was over (it wasnt) I found out in April that the EA went further when they met up in March to say "good-bye" We had each been going to IC for the previous 8 months and MC before that. The previous focus was on communication which did not seem to get anywhere. Honestly, I believe my husband cant be honest if his life depends on it. Maybe its because he really doesn't know himself and what he really wants or he knows what he wants and feels guilty about it. He sees himself as a "nice" guy and he trys to be but if he is going to let anyone down, I'm elected. We go around and around and it drives me crazy.

Last week in marriage counseling (our second week of going to the counselor we started with years ago and that husband has been seeing alone for 8 months) we decided it would be best if husband continued alone with counselor and we got a different one for the marriage. (So three counselors). My job was to call the choices we had and see if we could get in to one ASAP.

I started to think about it and felt that I am not ready to work on our marriage. I have been working to be a good wife for the entire 30 years we have been together. My husband has been coasting. For a year and a half he has been cheating and claiming that he was working on us. He kept telling his OW and she him that they both wanted reconciling with their spouses as Plan A. They would be together as Plan B. Yet they poured all they had into their relationship and lied and cheated on their spouses. It was like saying Plan A is to lose weight, Plan B is to get fat. Actions were to eat chocolate cake every day. Plan B wins.

My husband says he wants us to work out now. He is dragging his feet, not taking responsibility for his behavior, and showing no sorrow over how much he hurt me and our family by emotionally disconnecting for almost 2 years. He is still not connected as far as I'm concerned. We also have huge problems with communication. I believe its because he will not be honest and straightforward with the simplest of questions about anything from what he wants to do for the evening to why he felt it was okay to cheat on me while we were in crisis with our kids. I am not ready to give 200% which is what I believe I will have to do in marriage counseling because he isn't at a place where he can give even 50% now.

I told the counselor that I wasn't ready to do marriage counseling with another counselor yet because of this. I am not sure if he understood but he left it to my husband returning to IC and waiting until I am ready to commit to MC. Of course my husband says he is ready for MC now but I don't believe him.

I'm afraid that our marriage is not going to work out. My husband says he wants to move on but he isn't willing to own his stuff. He says the A was wrong but he hasn't changed his behavior as far as being honest about simple things. He has been dishonest for so long, I don't know if he has the capability to be truthful even to himself. It use to drive me crazy and I thought something was wrong with me. Now I see it as something wrong with him because he could take the lying so far as to cheat.

I say I want our marriage to work out. I also feel that I don't want to live crazy anymore. It seems like a catch 22. Is there any hope? Do I need to make the decision for MC now when I am so conflicted? And if I wait until I feel ready, what if its too late and husband has given up?

WeepingBuddhist posted 5/24/2013 14:37 PM

What does your IC say?

LearningToFly posted 5/24/2013 17:33 PM

She says I have to decide if I want to stay with my husband or go. I have to work on the marriage or work on leaving. I am so confused. I feel paralyzed. I don't know what to decide.

Hopefulguy posted 5/24/2013 19:26 PM

Can you talk to him...tell him you can't live a life filled with lies anymore even about the simple stuff.

I am starting to attach to the notion that total honesty is a deep form of intimacy. The response to how was your day being god it sucks and I hate my life is so much more than its ok.

You get to set the boundaries on your acceptance of the continuing of the relationship, just make it poignantly clear that honesty is a boundary and define it he can never lied to you, or he can give white lies, or only lie in certain instances but anything of consequence is off bounds for him.

I think you just need to communicate that clearly then the ball is in his court can he change to accommodate your needs.. If not then I think you know what you need to do.

Ladyogilvy posted 5/25/2013 00:46 AM

They always want to move on and for us to get over it. It doesn't wotk that way but he won't believe that without consistant clear messages from you. There are a lot of resources here on this site which can help you with that.

What are the consequences of his lies? If my WH is any example, he learned that there were rarely any consequences for his lies. Lies were just a way to get what you want and if you got caught, oh well, so what, there aren't any consequences. Not even embarrassment. The lies have to stop working for him before he will see them as a problem that needs to be changed. At least that's been my experience.

I was so patient for so many years. Took the AlAnon thing to heart, didn't take his shit personally. Went on enjoying my life without him. His behavior continued to deteriorate. It wasn't until I completely lost it over his A that WH started to change. Its been literally years of my living n a state of fight or flight at the first sign of a lie for him to learn lies aren't getting him what he wants. I don't think anything would have changed if WH didn't have dam good reason he was going to lose his family.

It's not the best kind of marriage. One in which I am constantly preparing myself to flee but sticking around to fight another day. You do not have to decide to stay or go. You can give him a chance to man up and become a good husband while protecting yourself and preparing yourself for a life without him. Imagine that life.

Imagine the good things you could create for yourself. Keeping one foot on the path towards the things you would do if you left might make the pain of limbo easier to tolerate. It helps me.

I feel bad because I don't feel I love WH the way I should but he should be grateful that I love him enough to stick around and see if he can become the husband I deserve. They are damaged goods and we can't expect them to heal over night anymore than they can expect us to heal over night from the damage they have caused. If they they are trying to heal themselves and help us heal from the damage they have caused, it's seems like a good idea to stick around long enough to see how the story ends. Just me thinking in writing about things relevant to both of us.

[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 12:49 AM, May 25th (Saturday)]

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