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healing without a marriage counselor

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grains posted 7/18/2013 00:50 AM

Hello SI,

I need advice on how to heal and reconcile without going to an MC. I know that some of you were able to do it. I would be very grateful for your insight. Thank you.

Flatlined123 posted 7/18/2013 05:30 AM

I'd be interested in this too.

We tried three and none seemed to be a good fit. I still feel like we need one for some unresolved issues.

Bumping this in hopes of getting a response.

Bobbi_sue posted 7/18/2013 06:06 AM

After D-day, my H said he would do whatever I asked, and specifically said he would go to MC if I wanted him to.

I called to make plans for that, but they did an "intake" and said they would call us back to make the appointment. Well, it took them about two months to get this going and by that time, my H and I were doing so well on our own I decided it would be a waste of time and money, so we never did MC. He didn't do IC either.

My H's extreme and obvious remorse is the main factor that allowed us to successfully R. For me, it was a matter of making a decison to stay with him, and to forgive him, based on that remorse (always with the option to change my mind if something new came out or there was evidence of continued lies and cheating).

For us, I think my H just had a huge wake up call. His remorse led him to make positive changes in himself, and how he related to me in our marriage. Changes that I never expected. For example, he used to give me the silent treatment any time we argued (before the A), sometimes days at a time. He would only speak after I apologized. Then sometimes he would apologize too, but I don't recall him apologizing first even once during the first ten years of our M.

Now he readily apologizes and has not given me the silent treatment in almost 7 years now even though we have obviously had disagreements in that time. I never expected these changes, but it happened and without him getting any counseling. You asked for advice, and I'm not sure I have any. It depends on the two people involved and how you choose to communicate, I guess. Perhaps others will recommend a book or something. My H is not a book reader, nor would I ever suggest he join a forum like this. He found his own way to show me he could be the husband I deserved, and for us it just worked.

blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 06:27 AM

BS here...but no stop sign so I thought I would post.

We have been in MC for 10 has helped. Your post talks about healing without a counselor. I use to think that was not possible.

Now, since the past month, I think this may be a good option for us.

You can view my post in General titled MC advice if you want more back story.

Books are helpful to could both read them, highlight items that resonate with you, then discuss them.

I think books like How to Help your Spouse Heal from your Affair and Not Just friends would be a good start to deal with the affair.

Other books like 5 Love Languages and Love Busters would help guide you through repairing pre-A marital issues.

This is the two pronged approach our MC has with the A, Deal with the underlying marital issues.

You could also go to one of the weekend retreats. We attended A Weekend To Remember and it was really good. Have heard great things about Retroville intensive weekends fact I understand that one is required in some states before a D is granted.

I don't have a direct answer to your questions...just some ideas.

Thank you for posting this as it is pertinent to where we are at as well. We may choose to go this without a C in the near future. I will follow this post closely.

God be with us all.

Aubrie posted 7/18/2013 08:18 AM

QS is very quiet and private. The thought of going to MC and pouring his soul out scared the bejesus out of him. He was already traumatized and the idea of MC completely froze him up. He said we'll try this on our own first.

I found SI. Guess you could say it was kind of our unofficial MC. We both read here daily. We ordered books which I read and shared with him. We learned how to communicate. There was some trial and error. But somehow, we've found our groove. Ironically enough, shortly after our Dday, our church had a series of relationship sermons. Blew us out of the water. Every service we went to was like public MC. Those helped out tremendously as well.

QS doesn't feel the need for MC. Trying it on our own worked well and he's pleased with the results. There's some issues on a personal level and I'm trying to work up the nerve for IC, but that's another story.

MissesJai posted 7/18/2013 10:13 AM

We have R'd without MC. Between SI and my going to IC, we were successful. Every situation is different. That said, if you both want R, you BOTH have to work at it.

MoreWould posted 7/18/2013 11:25 AM

Our A's were over 30 years ago, before Dr. Glass, and SI, when the internet was just a gleam in the eye of a few nerds at DARPA.

I talked to a couple of ICs and MCs but couldn't find one that didn't have their head further up their dark place than my FWW that I gave up on them and we did R on our own.

We successfully rebuilt our M, and will celebrate our 40th anniversary soon. It wasn't easy, and left more roadkill than it would today. I personally paid a pretty heavy price from PTSD attacks that blindsided me recently, which is what I'm doing here.

I'm still waiting to meet an MC that is half as good as SI.

heforgotme posted 7/18/2013 12:11 PM

We are lucky enough to have a great MC, but honestly, WH and I did most of the heavy lifting at home anyway.

In the first 6 months after DDay, we talked about this and things related to it every night he was home (about 12 a month)after the kids were in bed. Not so much "fun", tears from one or both of us almost every single time, but definitely "good". About a month ago, we started cutting back (not really on purpose, it just started happening) and now we are at once or twice a week. If you have trouble knowing what to bring up, go on SI and read some posts and discuss your feelings about it.

We both listen to Marriage Builders every day (you can do it online or we have apps for our phones.) We don't see eye to eye with them on infidelity, but it still gives us something to talk about. And they do have a lot of good marriage building ideas.

Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And be proactive about it.

1Faith posted 7/18/2013 15:41 PM

It took us 3 different counselors until we found the right one. She was life changing and we saw her for about 10 months.

We also attended a World Wide Marriage Encounter that helped immensely. It really taught us how to talk and dialogue.

I think you can do it alone but our MC really helped us get to the core in an objective manner.

Communication, honest, transparency are key.

Good luck.

Darkness Falls posted 7/18/2013 16:08 PM

We are in a very solid R having done only 3 or 4 sessions of MC two years post-divorce.

All of our individual healing was done while we were apart. The rest was done together after essentially being "kicked out" of MC after those few sessions because the counselor didn't feel we needed her (possible bad fit of a C/possible she just didn't want to deal with us without seeing huge glaring issues, but rather than find another we just dealt with stuff on our own).

We are 15+ months into happy R.

KBeguile posted 7/18/2013 18:37 PM

Interestingly enough, I think this all boils down to the one thing we all have worked on/need to be working on: Know thyself, and know thy significant other.

If MC doesn't work for either of you based on your personality type, then don't do it. Trying to force something that doesn't feel natural will result in as good an outcome as one might expect.

Heart and I started working solo, talking to each other and reading books together, as well as reading here on SI. Initially, that was what we needed, and it worked well as a foundation. Once I found a counselor for IC, Heart eventually wanted to test the waters, and we did, but only after I had built enough of a foundation with him first.

We don't all move at the same pace, nor should we all expect to be in the same place at the same time. Expectations of behavior, to one degree or another, is what brought us all here, and to apply the same faulty thinking to other areas of our lives would result in similar problems.

I think "Your Mileage May Vary" is incredibly apropos here.

brkn_heartd posted 7/18/2013 21:17 PM

We moved during our R and lost our MC. To work on some of the issues and keep the dialog going, we purchased a couples devotional book. This required exploring various different questions that helped us dig into the A as well as other issues. Periodically, we took some time off if needed, but it really helped us quite a bit.

As I said, it provided some guided questions and discussions. However, we both had to commit to talking and being open and honest.

Good luck.

5454real posted 7/19/2013 07:28 AM

I have to chuckle somewhat at the irony of my/our situation here. The insurance approved MC for us also happens to be #4 in my "name".

Glad I was able to help her get her degree!

If I didn't, I'd probably cry!

Strength to all

rachelc posted 7/19/2013 07:57 AM

I'm still waiting to meet an MC that is half as good as SI.

have to agree with this statement.

grains posted 7/20/2013 17:24 PM

Thank you for your insights. They are all helpful. Please send more. Be safe and be free.

Alex CR posted 7/21/2013 05:41 AM

We did not do MC....instead we set up our weekly 'therapy session', usually at a restaurant.

We read all the books and in the beginning our sessions would be 30 - 40 minutes of me asking questions about the affair with H answering and then we'd stop at the agreed time and eat our dinner. Eventually the discussions turned to 'us' and the things we missed, expected and needed to stay married. Sometimes we wrote letters about topics that were too hard to handle face to face.

I went to IC but neither of us felt a need to find an MC though H said he would go if I felt it would help. We went to Retrouaville but didn't go until we were two years past Dday. We both felt we had already done most of the exercises so we didn't finish their program.

As someone said earlier, you really need to know yourselves and know what works best for you. MC, IC, group sessions, meeting just the two of you, with a pastor......there are so many need to find what works for you and your WS.

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