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Talking to WH's therapist

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Blobette posted 6/27/2013 12:19 PM

WH has agreed to have me talk with his therapist, whom he really likes and seems to making progress with. And I've been very pleased with what I hear about the sessions -- it seems to me that she's touching on the important stuff I'd like her to explore with him. I left a message with her to set up a meeting/discuss.

To my mind, the goal of the meeting would be for me to give her the benefit of my knowledge of WH -- the bits and pieces I've noticed over the years that I think don't add up / what might be worth exploring. These are all things that I've mentioned to WH as well, so there are no secrets here. But I'd also like to hear what she has to say about reasonable expectations re WH -- is he capable of change?

Has anyone done this? Is it worth doing? I'm conscious that I don't want to intrude on the "therapeutic relationship". If WH really does need a safe space to truly feel free to explore things, I don't to ruin that, especially as he seems to be doing well. I've tried to let go of WH's "recovery" lately and step back. On the other hand, I do know the guy pretty well and might have some insights that might help her (the therapist).

What do you think? WH is OK with this, and pursued it even after I hadn't mentioned it for some time (because things seemed to be going well). I will discuss with her to see whether she thinks it will do more harm than good. Does anyone have any views or thoughts on this?


ladies_first posted 6/27/2013 13:24 PM

Blobette, I re-post some of your wise words:

Why BSs shouldn't figure out the Why. I know wiser and more experienced brains than mine have already figured it out, but I just "got it", reading a post with a BS talking about how good she was at digging into her WS's brain... Figuring out your WS's Why is so, so tempting. First, it's natural. Why did this happen? How could s/he have done it? And the truth is that no answer will suffice. It's horrible, and it happened. Nothing will explain that away or make it OK. But of course, we want more. We feel a need to really understand what was going on in our WS's mind. First, because we need to feel we know them again. This person we thought we knew is now a stranger. Finding out about the mess that is their truth is a huge shock and reality, so we need to understand what this fucked up reality is, how they see it and how they can live it. To know what to do next (in our own lives), we need to understand how far the rot goes. Second, we want to understand the psychological processes so we can figure out IF they're fixable and if so, what needs to be done. And that's where we get in trouble. Because this means the focus is still on THEM. And this means that the BS takes responsibility for figuring out the WS. The BS can't do this for a number of reasons. First s/he is not, and cannot be objective about any of this. We WANT to find the least painful, easiest explanation for how our WS fucked up. We WANT to believe they still love us and did throughout. We want to minimize and we want to find "good" reasons for what they did. So, on a practical basis, our desire to do the work of digging out the why is deeply flawed and unlikely to come up with good results. Not to say we don't have some valuable insights -- because we do, after all, presumably have SOME understanding of this person -- but really, we can't be objective. But the most important reason why we can't be our WS's therapist is that it shifts the balance of power back to them. It keeps the focus on them, not the BS. For the BS, it can be an almost pleasant distraction from facing up to the fears, pain, and hard decisions that we have to make. Here's a problem, so let's fix it! This is something I can work on! It's much easier to keep talking about the WS than it is to work on making the WS aware of your needs and desires, and forcing them to take responsibility for your pain and devastation. That's the really, really hard part for many of us, and that's the part that's going to make or break the relationship. Is the WS up to focusing on the BS rather than on themselves? Can the painful thought and introspection that they go through when analyzing their behavior be converted into looking outward and seeing the pain they've caused others? We're almost afraid to put them to the test -- but that's the do-or-die part. Much easier to keep talking about them. Many of us BS's are to some degree co-dependent, used to denying our own needs, being strong and so forth. By focusing on working out the Why, we are continuing to play that role. It's comfortable, but it's ultimately not constructive. Just my thoughts on a beautiful Saturday morning, when I should be taking advantage of WS taking the kids out to get some work done! ~ The main point I was trying make was NOT that it's not necessary to figure out the Why; the point was that the BS shouldn't be driving that process. Part of owning the A and working toward R is that the WS takes responsibility for this. BSs who fall into the temptation of doing this "for" their WSs are letting them stay the center of attention and failing to face up to the hard problem of whether the WSs are up for this or not.

Blobette posted 6/27/2013 14:39 PM

Oh, geez. First, I'm totally flattered that someone actually remembered one of my posts. I'm so glad it resonated with you to that extent. Second, in my defense, I have stepped back considerably since I wrote that post and I *have* been trying to let my WH take the lead. The problem I've always had is that my WH is a typical LTAer (see thread going on right now in Wayward) -- a master compartmentalizer. He intellectually KNOWS he has to change and he's recently been much more pro-active with respect to his "work" (even sent me an article about empathy the other day), but it's still against nature for him.

One of the more irritating things about all of this is that the "reasons" he's coming up with in therapy are all things that we've openly acknowledged -- his difficult mom, his habit of blacking out (not literally, emotionally), his infertility. The problem was that he never acknowledged the power of the subconscious and thought he was in control of all of this stuff. And I thought that he was a grownup and he was, too. Anyway, he's still putting the pieces together and my hope was that I might give the therapist a few more pieces. And right now my issue is how much I can believe him, and talking to her might help with that.

And I have been in IC myself, which has made me more aggressive re my own needs and trying to articulate them.

njgal480 posted 6/27/2013 14:57 PM

If your WH is open to it and the IC agrees I think it could be helpful for the IC to get your point of view.

ladies_first posted 6/27/2013 15:15 PM

From the LTA thread you referenced:

My dad died recently so I've been going through a lot of depression and "what's the point" kind of stuff lately ... I responded to my abusive dad by sealing off my heart to him and it's all too easy to go that route with WH.

And above:

The problem was that he never acknowledged the power of the subconscious and thought he was in control of all of this stuff.

As long as your meeting with *his IC* with realistic expectations. (What are your expectations?) And the awareness that your father's death and your upcoming one-year Antiversary may be weighing heavily.

Skan posted 6/27/2013 16:58 PM

Well, I'll be attending a session with my FWH and his IC tomorrow night. I have questions after the shock of finding that he has been lying to me for almost a year. I want to know if he's actually talking to the IC about the A, trying to get to the bottom of his whys, and a whole slew of things. This wasn't a request, it was a demand if there were going to be two people staying in the house vice one. Maybe not exactly what you were asking, but there it is.

sisoon posted 6/28/2013 10:52 AM

W's IC is our MC, and W signed a release that allows MC to bring anything from an IC session into an MC session, so I have enough visibility into my W's IC.

If that were not the case, I'd have set up regular meetings with IC to check if what my W tells me is what she tells the IC, especially about her goals. I'd also bring up behavioral anomalies I notice in the here and now.

Personally, I wouldn't bring up past stuff, nor would I bring up my 'diagnoses', but I'd be for whatever works for you and his IC.

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