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How important is IC?

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HopefullyLost09 posted 8/14/2013 14:22 PM

For the WS or the BS? We have a marriage counselor that we both like and see weekly. When I mentioned IC for him he said he really didn't think he needed it/would gain much from it that he wasn't getting from MC. Truthfully I feel like he needs it, mainly because of other things he dies that just leaf me to believe he is kind of in denial about the A and seems to deflect when asked our challenged to really look at himself and his actions honestly. But maybe that's all in my head m figured I'd ask you fine people what your opinions and experiences were with MC and IC for either or the WS or BS. Also if one or both of us were to seek IC is it best to get someone other than the MC or is that kind of good and helpful to have one person who knows both sides etc.

OldCow18 posted 8/14/2013 14:26 PM

I believe that anyone broken enough to have an affair can benefit from IC.

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.

TxsT posted 8/14/2013 14:28 PM

You BOTH need it...he as much as you. It is through his IC that he can deeply explore WHY he did this.....what in his make up allowed him to do this to you. I got some much out of my IC I can't tell you how changed my life is now.

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.


LosferWords posted 8/14/2013 14:44 PM

Hopefully - In my experience, my wife and I benefited mostly from IC. For us, that was where we were able to focus on the bulk of our work. We also had the mentality of "You work on you, and I'll work on me." We also sat in on each others' sessions once as a form of MC.

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.

authenticnow posted 8/14/2013 14:53 PM


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.

Thank you.

HopefullyLost09 posted 8/14/2013 15:04 PM

Thank you everyone. I actually just mentioned IC in a different way than ever before and he seems to be slightly more open to it. :) he had agreed to get our MC's opinion on it. I bet he is hoping/expecting her to say he doesn't need it. Lol

LosferWords posted 8/14/2013 15:07 PM

IC can be one of those tricky things. I was resistant to it, but once I got started, I really embraced it. It allowed me to put the work I was already doing on myself into warp speed. It was almost as helpful as finding this site.

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.

sailorgirl posted 8/15/2013 09:56 AM

For us, it was crucial. If fWH had not had IC, I would not be able to trust that he wouldn't cheat again.

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.

Card posted 8/15/2013 11:39 AM

I broke three bones in my right hand some years back. Yanno what bothered me the most? It was trying to brush my teeth. It was darn near impossible to do without jabbing my gums and having toothpaste run out all over the place.... 6+ weeks later, I actually was proficient brushing with my left hand. I'm still proficient with my left hand today.

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

Bobbi_sue posted 8/15/2013 12:02 PM

I believe I like your MC, Card!

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)]

sailorgirl posted 8/15/2013 14:11 PM

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.

sisoon posted 8/15/2013 14:15 PM

Obviously there are WSes who change without counseling, but I still think IC is essential for the vast majority of WSes - IC with the goal of changing the thoughts and feelings that allowed them to cheat, and IC with a release that allows the BS to talk with the C about the WS's goals and progress.

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)]

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