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Marriage Counseling

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NedsBones posted 8/8/2013 23:19 PM

We are now about a week and a half out from DDay, and had our first counseling appointment this morning. We're not entirely sure about the counselor, but definitely liked him enough to make another appointment to see how is pans out. Before the counselor was able to hear what brought us in, he began with what is probably his usual introduction to couples seeking therapy and informed both of us that we were both to blame for what brought us in there. His tone changed a bit when he learned that my WH is a serial cheater, and possibly a sex addict. There was one more mention in the session from the counselor that *I* may have to admit responsibility for my husband's infidelity, but otherwise the counselor didn't come at me very hard.
Afterwards when my WH a I discussed the session, he took extreme issue with any blame being placed on me. I tend to think that the counselor needs to get to know us more before he makes conclusions about who is to blame. I do, however, have to acknowledge that whether my way of relating to my husband is "wrong" or not, I will probably have to change the way I relate to him.
I have always been a trusting wife, and I've been proud of that. I hope to be that again, and maybe therapy can help me get there. I've never been the insanely jealous type, I've never needed my husband to check in, I've not needed to check his phone, or his email. I do all that now, in the name of transparency, but I don't want to do that forever. I know it's not paranoia if it's all true, but that sort of life isn't for me. I want to trust my husband and for him to not take advantage of that. I can not be his keeper, even if that's what it takes to make this marriage work.
What do you look for in a marriage counselor?

meaniemouse posted 8/8/2013 23:25 PM

One thing I would not be looking for is a MC who started out pointing fingers of blame at either one of you in the first session. I would want someone that I felt completely comfortable with because you'll be sharing a LOT of very personal information with this person and you are going to want him/her to be objective and do more listening than talking in the beginning. The first few sessions should mainly be information gathering and observing how you and your husband interact and determining the status of the marriage prior to what happened and what it's like now, mostly by asking questions--not telling you what's wrong with what you're doing. I mean, seriously--you guys probably already know that. It doesn't sound like either you or your husband is very comfortable with this guy. You two (you and your husband) should probably talk about it but there are TONS of marriage counselors and this one may not be a good fit for you. I think I might not waste my time with this guy and keep looking for one who will help you go in the direction you need and want to go.

ETA--and he shouldn't be coming at either one of you "hard." That approach might work on a weight loss television show but yours is a delicate situation and there's already plenty of hurt to go around. You really don't need your therapist picking on either one of you--that shouldn't be a part of his job.

[This message edited by meaniemouse at 11:31 PM, August 8th (Thursday)]

Brandon808 posted 8/8/2013 23:44 PM

Afterwards when my WH a I discussed the session, he took extreme issue with any blame being placed on me.
First, I think it is a good sign that your WH is not engaging in any blameshifting. Secondly, I don't think his rejection of any blame being placed on you is "extreme". It strikes me as more resolute. He is guarding against any blaming of you on his part in any way at all. He striving towards ownership of his actions. I would recommend getting an MC who does not compromise this. Whether or not you contributed to any pre-A issues in the M you are not to blame for the A. Your WH knows this and I cannot stress how important that is.

[This message edited by Brandon808 at 11:44 PM, August 8th (Thursday)]

tushnurse posted 8/9/2013 07:26 AM

Find a new MC. Seriously, if he is already looking to "blame" someone he is not going to be therapeutic.
A good therapist would get the information of what your M is like now, and historically, and take things from there. Certainly not placing blame on anyone in the first session.
Don't go back, your H is trying to own what he did, and is working toward fixing things. All you need is some douche telling him it's not all on him at a time where he may feel weak, or tired of being the one that needs to fix himself. KWIM?

(((and strength)))

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