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MC - counsellor said partners are co-responsible for the affair.

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MJane posted 9/13/2013 06:17 AM

Just back from MC - not sure it is for me - while counsellor made some points that made sense I don't agree with her that I am in any way co-responsible. Essentially she said that the dymanic of a couple leads one person to shut down and not communicate and then the affair is them acting out as they are unable to communicate. She did say it didn't make what they do responsible but it is often the reason for the affair. I take responsibility for difficulties in our marriage that there may have been at different stages but I am NOT responsible for his being a callous, irresponsible, cruel cheat ....

Raven96 posted 9/13/2013 06:24 AM

I think it is time for a new MC. It sounds like she is giving him an "out" for doing this, and that is ridiculous! You turn inside a marriage when there are problems, not outside with an A.

Our first MC said that I either need to forgive him or leave him. REALLY??? Needless to say I never went back. Not all MCs should be MCs. If you aren't liking her, find a different one. Seriously. You are dealing with your H's betrayal. You don't need to feel betrayed by your MC, too. ESPECIALLY if she is giving him reason to blame you in any way.

Yes...we are 50% responsible for the marriage, but NOT the A!!!!!

I'm so sorry...this adds insult to injury for you. Sending good thoughts and hugs your way!!

[This message edited by Raven96 at 6:26 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

heforgotme posted 9/13/2013 06:40 AM

WRONG. You need a new counselor.

idiot85 posted 9/13/2013 06:50 AM

In my opinion you've already hit the nail on the head- relationship problems usually take 2 to tango- making a decision to cheat is all his own.

Get a new MC.

Camalus posted 9/13/2013 07:08 AM

Get a new MC. Every marriage has issues and you may be responsible for 50% of the issues. But those issues are internal to the marriage. Injecting an outsider into the marriage was a decision made by your WS without your input.

Kelany posted 9/13/2013 07:11 AM

NO NO NO NO NO! Fuck that.

You are not in ANY way responsible for the affair at all. That's the biggest line of BS I've ever heard. I would have walked out right that second.

I'm furious for you. Definitely get a new MC, that is terrible what she said.

bionicgal posted 9/13/2013 07:16 AM

I don't know. . .I wouldn't be so knee jerk about it. Co-responsible seems a little extreme, but unless your husband is a SA, serial cheater or psychopath, it is mostly likely that there were forces in the marriage that helped set the stage for the affair.

Is the choice his alone? Yes. . . But if we don't look at the dynamics in our marriages, then things will not get better. That is not the same as saying it is your fault, though. Sometimes ai find people here are too quick to fire MC's. I'd give her a little more of a chance, as they are actually educated about what helps people recover from this.

MJane posted 9/13/2013 07:20 AM

Thx for the sanity check - of course my H is all for going back - the minute she said it I shut down - she also, BTW, insinuated that we repeat behaviours in future and that if we didn't do MC I could face myself cheated on again and he could cheat again....he may very well cheat again but as I have been in three loving relationships before my H who I do not believe ever even considered cheating (hey what do I know right? ) I very much doubt the cheating is something that I bring about to anyone being with me....I'm now very annoyed i didn't walk out there and then but after having cried a good bit at start I was pretty drained) I don't know how you all cope with this, I'm so not - I wish day after day i could just curl up in a ball and disappear and I don't know any MCs or how to find them...without telling the world why i need one am not sure how to find a good one...any tips?

catlover50 posted 9/13/2013 08:27 AM


I think it's wrong also for the MC to automatically assume that there were even significant problems in the M; many times the WS is acting out issues unrelated to the M or BS.

Every M can improve or become stronger, but according to Not Just Friends, often the one who cheats is the one who is giving less to the M.

I am sorry that you felt this way in MC. Now you have an even harder battle.

bionicgal posted 9/13/2013 08:40 AM

I think you are taking what she said as blame. I would ask her point blank about that. It is not about blame -- but MC is about making the marriage stronger . . .

The way I see it, there are two major schools of thought here on SI. One is that WS is a broken person and if he/she will just fix their s^it then everything will be ok. Well, to me that is not realistic. We don't exist in a vacuum.

The WS was living in (and chose) a marriage that either brought out the best in them, was neutral, or brought out the worst - sometimes bits of all three. I can say looking back that while my H and my marriage was very good in many ways, there were one or two dynamics/issues that pumped up his insecurities and FOO issues. We also had some communication styles that did not serve us well at all, and if they were better, the A likely would not have happened. So, the stage was set so that in a moment of weakness in our marriage, my H royally screwed up. Is that my fault? No, unless I am god and have perfect understanding.

Now, some of us are very sensitive to the feeling of being culpable in any way because we may have gotten blamed for the affair during and just after by the WS, which is a load of bull puckey. I am constantly seeing how this deflection from my H is actually what led him straight into the affair.

The WS has to look at themselves hard and figure out why they took a sledgehammer to a marriage. But, can there be any harm in figuring out what was going awry there systemically for them within the relationship, and how you guys can fix it? It doesn't mean it is your *fault.*

honesttoafault posted 9/13/2013 08:48 AM

Both parties are responsible for the marital problems. The WS ALONE is responsible for the decision to have an affair.

Get a new MC.

Because there are problems in a M and one has an A it's like saying that one spouse is responsible for the other's escapes like drinking, drugs, gambling, etc.

You were in the same M and you did not choose to have an A.

Snowy posted 9/13/2013 08:49 AM

Hi MJane

I agree with bionicgal.

In life we make alot of choices.

No one's marriage is perfect. We have the choice to either fix it or run away to a fantasy world and ignore it.

In your WS case he chose the fantasy world.

Did he make the right choice; definitely not.

Where you responsible for him making the wrong choice; definitely not

Do you have an issue with your marriage you need to address. I would say yes

Ascendant posted 9/13/2013 08:56 AM

I'd ask the MC if she felt the same way about domestic violence, or verbal abuse, or drug or alcohol abuse....are those shitty coping skills 'caused by the marriage'?

ETA: I think that as soon as the word 'affair' or 'infidelity' gets injected into the discussion, people alter their perception. But if you keep it framed as the abuse that it is, I think it's a lot clearer.

I mean, listen...if you two went to MC after he beat the living shit out of you, no MC in their right mind would tell you, "His choice to hit you was all his, but you helped contribute to a marital environment where he felt unsafe expressing his anger and so held it in until he acted out."

It sounds ridiculous...because it is.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 9:00 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

heforgotme posted 9/13/2013 08:56 AM

It doesn't matter what MC actually meant by saying this. If your WH is jumping on it as a way to avoid looking at himself, then it will have a negative effect on both of your recovery processes.

In any case, if you are uncomfortable then that is reason enough to find a different MC.

MC_Jack posted 9/13/2013 08:58 AM

The WS has to look at themselves hard and figure out why they took a sledgehammer to a marriage. But, can there be any harm in figuring out what was going awry there systemically for them within the relationship, and how you guys can fix it? It doesn't mean it is your *fault.*

^^^ I agree with this. The words that an MC uses must be carefully chosen. I might return to hear a bit more before coming to a conclusion.

In digesting 18 mos. of being here, and to echo what bionic said.

There are some folks who will cheat while in a perfectly happy marriage. They got issues. There are others that will cheat when things are in the crapper - stress, unhappiness, unhappy marriage - etc. - they have different issues but at the same time the marriage needs to be worked on.

Ultimately, you will have to figure out in general terms what you situation is, if the work the WS is doing makes sense, if you can have a happy marriage with the WS, and what you need to feel safe.

hopingforhappy posted 9/13/2013 08:58 AM

My FWH and I went to MC right after dday. We met together for one session, then she met with each of us separately for one session. During our next meeting with her together, she gave us each the names of IC's that she recommended, then sent us on our way. FWH and I looked at each other in puzzlement as we left. We felt like we had been fired by the MC.

Three years late, we have discovered that our MC was very smart. We both needed IC--my FWH to figure out what was going on with him that he could have had an A and me to keep myself together until he was in a fit condition to actually do MC.

We are in MC now and it is great. I don't know that I would characterize our M as bad before the A. But it is really good now, because we have learned how to handle our emotions and to work together to make our M a true partnership. I think before we were paddling the boat in circles at times, so to speak. Now we row together in the same direction.

BTW, I agree that it could be the dynamics of the couple that leads one person to shut down--but there are a whole lot of other things that can lead a person to shut down as well. You might want to give the MC a few more sessions to see where she is going with this. Also, I would not hesitate to share your feelings with her. She might be able to clarify for you what she is saying.

k94ever posted 9/13/2013 09:03 AM

And I'm going to dis-agree with Bionicgal.

When TWO physiologist say the same thing I will tend to believe them.

Both of them (separately) told FWS and I that FWS's entitlement issues were the basis for his cheating. The major issue in the marriage was him not spending enough time in relaxation mode with the kids and with me.

Kinda hard to spend "play" time with the family if you are out screwing random vaginas or doing "me" things.......

Issues within the marriage are marriage issues. Making the decision to go outside the marriage is an individual decision. I'm pretty sure no BS has ever been consulted by their WS to see if it was fine for them to have an affair.



1Faith posted 9/13/2013 09:10 AM

Please look for a new counselor that specializes in infidelity.

As many have said. Yes, you own 50% of the marriage (good, bad and otherwise) but you own 0% of the affair.

His choice. His lies. His deceit.

Regardless of the reasons of having issues in a marriage (and we all have them) there is NEVER an justification to cheat. Never. Do not buy into this for one second.

This MC sounds irresponsible and perhaps was a cheater herself. Hmm...

Our first MC asked 5 days post DDay if we had sex yet (um no) and that it would help if we did and that I should get a massage and that would make me feel better. He then proceeded to tell us that he didn't really like talking to his wife after talking to people all day at work so sometimes cut the H some slack.

Needless to say, we did not return to Dr. Dumbass.

Can you go to your doctor and ask for a referral? We have EAP (employee assistant programs) that also offer confidential counseling and referrals.

Please do not be ashamed - this is NOT your secret to hide. You've done nothing wrong as it relates to the affair, you are simply trying to clean up their mess and navigate your way through. You get a medal for that, my friend.

You will make it through one day at a time. One blow up, one crying fit, one break down at a time.

Please see your doctor regarding depression and/or anxiety. These are both lovely infidelity gifts the BS is often given on top of everything else. Seek any and all help you can get.

Hang in there.

Many hugs.

RyeBread posted 9/13/2013 09:26 AM

FacePunched makes a really good point.

We all have issues. M issues, personal issues, etc. Making a CHOICE to cope by being destructive towards others is squarely on the persons shoulders who made that CHOICE. There are other ways to deal with the issues.

7yrsflushed posted 9/13/2013 09:30 AM

of course my H is all for going back - the minute she said it I shut down - she also, BTW, insinuated that we repeat behaviours in future and that if we didn't do MC I could face myself cheated on again and he could cheat again....
^^^This is the info I was looking for, your WH's reaction to the MC's comments. If he sat there and listened to the MC say what she did without stepping up and saying "wait a minute, yeah we had M issues but the choice to have an A was completely on me" then you need a new counselor that will push your WH a little more than that because he likely doesn't get it. If your WH isn't remorseful and even trying to change his behavior and figure out why he did what he did then this counselor will not help. You are likely going to get stuck on discussing M issues in future sessions which may allow your WH to blameshift and say his choices are a direct result of the things happening in the M which is complete bullshit. His choices are his choices, unless you had a gun to his head. He also had the choice to discuss his issues with you, go to MC, go to church, hell even divorce you if he was unhappy but instead he made the decision to have an A which is pretty much the most unhealthy choice you can make imo.

So at least in the beginning I would make sure the MC knows the difference between the choice your husband made to cheat versus the many choices he chose not to make that could have resolved some of the M issues. The counselor should be digging into why your WH thought that an A was a valid way of coping with whatever issues he had, whether they were M issues or not. You don't get to come in after the fact and say yeah as a WH the dynamic of the A caused me to shut down because that's bullshit. Call it like it is, the dynamics of the M brought the fact that your WH has zero coping skills to the surface. Your WH didn't "shut down". He actively chose to go outside of the M and involve a 3rd party with the A. He communicated just fine with the AP instead of communicating his needs with YOU, his wife. He didn't shut down at all. Even if it was you that shutdown he always had choices to reach out to you yet he chose to have an A instead. He chose to address the situation in a non-healthy way.

The MC should be addressing your WH's horrible coping skills because if there are problems in the M, which every M has, then as long as his coping skills are non-existant or limited to having A's when times get rough, then yes he WILL likely hand you another DDay or some other form of black hole filling behavior. You were a partner in the same M but you didn't go out and cheat. Does that mean it was perfect, no, so yes address the M issues but it should be addressed separately from any discussions about the A.

IMO, time for a new counselor if the next session doesn't fine tune the concepts and direction she was going in before. IMO, when the DDay is this close the A should be addressed prior to getting into M issues. I wish you teh best. IC and MC really do help but you have to find the right counselor.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 9:36 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

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