One day, one emotion at a time... Together.
Currently we are both in IC with the same counselor, and while we had one session together, we are staying separate for a while to heal ourselves before focusing on the marraige. She is acting as a bridge for us right now.
My WH has so much to work on, anger issues, lying, self esteem, etc. that he needs to go for himself and he will be going for a good long time as far as I'm concerned.
Men don't like to think they are broken....that's just being a man. Maybe your MC/IC can suggest that they can cover that in the security of his office. If it doesn't come from you maybe your H will bite.
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
In most cases, I would recommend having a separate IC than your MC, just so you have someone to talk to "just for you".
I feel my wife and I both benefited greatly from IC, though. It was a very healing experience for me.
Please review the SI guidelines regarding generalizations.
GENERAL STATEMENTS: Please refrain from making statements that generalize gender, WS/OP/BS, race, religion or political alignment. Also do not presume to speak on behalf of other people.
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
My wife was even more resistant to IC than I was, but once she started, she had the same positive experience, and I could see changes in her almost immediately.
Good luck to you and your husband. Let us know how it goes.
One of the big reasons for fWH's A was poor boundaries. No red flags went off for him when OW started sharing inappropriate things at work, fishing for compliments, and acting all helpless. In IC fWH got to the bottom of why he felt responsible for OW, and why he allowed her to manipulate and eventually blackmail him.
Something you wrote in another post made me think your H might have similar issues with needing to save OW. Often this stems from FOO issues and IC is really helpful to change the thought patterns.
When I began marriage counseling I asked our counselor why he didn't dig into either of our past FOO issues. He said they didn't really matter. I asked about IC and he said he'd help me if there were changes I couldn't address making with my wife present, otherwise he felt it was unnecessary. In the beginning, the new boundaries and new habits were like trying to learn how to brush with my left hand. But after 6 weeks the counselor, my wife and I all felt we were working together on all our changes proficiently and moved our counseling to once a month. After 6 months our counselor said we were more than ready to be done unless we felt the need to return to reinforce any of our new habits/changes.
In a sense, my left hand was doing it without injury.....
Our MC has a duel doctorate degree, one is in behavioral psychology.
We have stayed in touch, as friends, and he has told me that many of his fellow associates milk clients by unnecessarily diving into their past for years, never addressing the simple changes that need to be made and implementing changes in practical ways..... It really grieves him!
Just my .02
D-Days April - Oct. 2007 Recovery started Nov. 2007
"Found Myself", I was right there in my shoes all along!
Search for self called off!
Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin
I am no big fan of most counselors. My experiences with them for myself and some family members have almost all been extremely negative. I have read most of the same psychology books they have, and I have taken some of the same classes even though I don't have a degree in psychology. I don't believe their degree or certification really gives them any magical insight on advising people through the problems of life, and in fact sometimes their advice is terrible and counterproductive.
My H and I both have plenty of things about our childhoods that shape the people we have become as adults, in both good and bad ways. We have talked about our childhoods a lot with each other. I absolutely agree that paying a counselor to repeat all that would be mostly a waste, at least for us.
My H did not do IC and neither of us did MC, and yet it has been 7 years now. We communicate better than ever before and are closer than ever. We figured this out on our own.
I went to an IC for a time period of time during that awful year, mostly because I felt I needed a sympathetic ear, someome who did not know my H who I could be comfortable talking to. She was mostly a "paid friend." She didn't tell me how to live my life and didn't delve into my childhood, other than for me to briefly tell "my story" how far I had come in life, from divorcing a previous serial cheater, getting married again, the blended family issues we went through, and then his cheating and the death of my step-DD.
After about four months, she told me that she didn't think I really needed to come back unless I wanted to. She had never met my H but based on what I told her, she said, "He is IN the marriage." And she seemed confident we would make it and be fine. She was right.
I admire the fact she was not in it just for the easy money, encouraging me to come back for years.
And in the end, it boils down to this for me:
I believe my H has learned his lesson, even without counseling! I believe he is truly remorseful. Does he know EXACTLY why he cheated? I would say not, but I am not confident people have those answers even after years of counseling. Sometimes there just isnt' a good answer. So how do I know he won't do it again, then?
Well, he gives me reasons to believe he won't do it again, but the bottom line is this. After being cheated on in two marriages, I will never be 100% sure it could not happen, and that is with or without all that counseling. The only thing I know for sure is what I would do if it happened again. And that is immediately file for a D.
[This message edited by Bobbi_sue at 12:05 PM, August 15th (Thursday)]
I asked our counselor why he didn't dig into either of our past FOO issues. He said they didn't really matter.
I'm glad that worked for you. However, some WS's have problems that are not going to be fixed by simply implementing new boundaries and habits for a few months.
I can tell you that FOO absolutely matters in our case, since it's the reason fWH was vulnerable to an affair. How do you change the worthlessness that someone who was abused or abandoned as a child feels without dealing with FOO? How do you understand their irrational fears, anger, self-blame, shame and denial?
The other thought I have is that MC may help the couple survive the affair and communicate about it, but I don't see how counseling for the couple gets to the bottom of why the WS is messed-up enough to cheat, lie, risk, and betray.
I think IC can be very useful for a BS who wants help getting through the feelings of being betrayed, rebuilding self-esteem, getting out of co-dependence, and/or making any other internal change.
I take the above positions because we can't see ourselves as others see us, and because people have a tendency to mislead themselves. An outside observer - an IC - can help us stay in closer touch with reality.
WRT same or different IC/MC, I think it depends on the client and the C. Make a choice - change if it doesn't work out.
[This message edited by sisoon at 2:16 PM, August 15th (Thursday)]