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mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 09:37 AM

I'm considering marriage counseling as a last resort. I've found five nearby within my insurance coverage:

OConnell, James
Foti, Kenneth
Tuckman, Stuart
MacKinnon, Susan
Gjertsen, Richard
Fusella, Vincent

There isn't much feedback I've found about any of them. Does anyone know anything about them or know of a source for such information?

LA44 posted 10/17/2013 09:52 AM

Hey matt, I just read your other posts. It seems like you are pushing the boulder up the hill alone. Now you are looking for MC's. What is your wife doing?

Does she still attend IC? Do you? I do and highly recommend in terms of voicing your pain and getting some support.

We were doing all three at once and then I asked for a MC reprieve. I wanted H to figure his shit out before we sat together and discussed our M. I just felt he needed to take a good long look inward before anything else.

I can also tell you that HE booked IC and MC for us.

You were given some great advice back in January with regards to R.

I wish you well.

mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 09:58 AM

Thanks, LA44, for your thoroughness. She stopped counseling after six sessions and thought it accomplished nothing. I haven't attended counseling. I've reached out to trusted confidants, this forum, researching, etc. The advice I've gotten from this forum has been very helpful.

heforgotme posted 10/17/2013 10:04 AM

Just make sure they have experience with infidelity. And if you get there and they don't have an "SI attitude", move on to the next one.

I really think MC can be helpful, especially if you are at an impasse and the C is good.

LA44 posted 10/17/2013 10:06 AM

You know matt....if that IC wasn't working for her there will be someone who does. She needs to start demonstrating some HCB - High Cost Behaviour for you as per Janis Springs book, After the Affair.

If she is not willing to work on herself then you need to ask yourself why MC would even work. I am sorry if that sounds harsh but it pains me to see people who have been hurt right to their core and then further disregarded by a spouse not actively working to repair the damage.

This is YOUR life, matt. Your time is precious. Be good to yourself.


sisoon posted 10/17/2013 10:09 AM

What are your goals for MC?

That stopping counseling has me concerned - it smacks of not taking responsibility for her actions, and unless she does that you can't even begin to R, IMO.

I sense you do a lot of thinking, but healing from being betrayed needs a lot of work with your feelings, and that often means IC. What have you been doing to heal yourself instead of IC?

Have you done/are you doing the 180? The 180 is built expressly for BSes who want to R with WSes who don't.

Being betrayed really sucks. Not having a remorseful WS makes it even worse. But there are good ways out of the mess.

mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 10:41 AM

Heforgotme, thank for the reminder. I knew that but didnít recall it. I had planned to ask about familiarity with ďNot Just FriendsĒ.

LA44, I think the problem is that my wife is having trouble forgiving herself, preventing her from really facing everything that has happened and blocking her from moving forward. As I canít be certain of that, I thought that a marriage counselor might be a last resort. If that doesnít work, it may be time to give up and divorce. My issue is that we HAD a great marriage. My goal is to get it back together or end it.

sisoon, my goals are to break the current impasse and stasis, address what happened and why, evaluate, clarify and resolve our marital problems (prior to her affair, and after), and either restore or end the marriage. For myself, I read, in detail, ďNot Just FriendsĒ and now use it as a reference guide when I feel stuck, talk with confidants, fight my ingrained impatience, occasionally come to this forum, etc. I have taken in the 180 and other advise and suggestion and applied what I think is right for me and my marriage. My wife is remorseful. I donít think she understands what I need from her for me and us to fully reconcile Ė hence the idea of a referee (i.e. marriage counselor).

bionicgal posted 10/17/2013 10:44 AM

We lucked out and got a great MC. I disagree with many here in that I think most MCs are skilled enough to handle infidelity -- it is their bread and butter. (Like hernia surgery to a surgeon.) Of course, you can get a dud like any profession.

We just had MC this morning, and it has been a godsend for us. I strongly recommend it.

mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 10:50 AM

Thanks, bionicgal, for encouraging example.

LA44 posted 10/17/2013 12:43 PM

Hi matt, for what it is worth, my H has not forgiven himself but there is no doubt in my mind that he is remorseful and will do whatever it takes to work on our marriage. At some point I realized I had to do the same - work on myself and our marriage (thus IC for me).

Perhaps a MC will help with some breakthrough - but I believe that IC is where her work really begins.

On a positive note. I really did like our MC and I do recommend seeing one. It's just that after 8 sessions and a lot of work, I wanted a reprieve and I wanted him to dig deep. On his own stuff. His FOO issues have always concerned me.

One of the first exercises she had us do in MC was jot down our Wants + Needs. What is the difference? he asked. MC said, "Needs are deal breakers, Wants you can live without."

What your deal breakers for this M? For R? Let her know, matt.

mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 13:20 PM

LA44, Iíve expressed in detail my wants and needs. I donít know that Iíve got the same from my wife. That sounds like a good suggestion for me for a goal. Iíve asked, but I donít think Iíve gotten a complete answer.

Iím not well versed with all the shorthand. What is ďFOOĒ?

To all the responders, this is why I come here. You are all very helpful in providing comments on your experiences and suggestions.

LA44 posted 10/17/2013 14:20 PM

FOO is Family of Origin issues. That one took me a while bc I didn't see it at first under Abbreviations!

It was interesting when we compared wants/needs. My #1 need was, "Honesty in marriage". Without that you have nothing IMO. His was wanting me to be "friendly and warm" towards him. That is totally possible for! But while he was in the A, he was "missing" and so he was basically getting back what he was giving. Very little.

Yes. Ask her to write down her wants/needs. Let her know you would like that by Monday. Would be a good thing to bring to MC.

Do you read the stuff blakesteele posts? A good guy w thoughtful posts. He works hard at trying to R but it has been work. Take a look!

mattg1958 posted 10/17/2013 18:28 PM

LA44, thanks for the feedback.

Where do I find blakesteele posts?

blakesteele posted 10/17/2013 19:02 PM

Hi mattg1958. I am glad you found this site, but am sorry you had to. This is a tough journey.

My wife and I started MC the same week of my DD....BIG MISTAKE! My wife was still in her A...I didn't know it, but she was. In fact she took her A from EA to PA after 1.5 months of weekly MC and some IC sessions. She fooled me and our counselor.

And then the fog was thick...lasted for months after NC, which my wife broke via an email to her AP. Her affair ended when he did not respond to her email. So I have some painful experience that I am afraid you can relate to.

I have gained some experience since then. I hope that will help you.

I see Sisoon posted to this post....honestly, he has been a guide of sorts for me.

I have had some tremendous struggles....still do....we are R but slower then most I think. No guarantees our M will make it, no guarantees I can help you.

BUT, I am very willing to try. I have a no PM policy to female SI members, and there are not a lot of male members on here...probably why I am so fond of Sisoon and Bikingguy.

PM me, post to my old posts, however it feels comfortable.

If you don't contact me, no big deal...don't feel bad. this is tough enough without added feelings of guilt or obligations.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is what is posted here many times and I was slow to own because I had this false thought that somehow my experience was different, unique. It is not. Yours is not. I know I haven't heard your story...but I have literally read 13 books on infidelity...many with case studies. Ours was textbook....and looking at members on here, theirs is text book too.

My advice...own the thought that your wifes A is not about you. Her decision to commit adultery, to continue to do so even as she sees you hurting, is not about you. You could not and can not love her more, hold her more, make love to her better, buy more flowers....nothing you can do could have prevented her from having her affair. Nothing you can do now can make her get anything out of counseling.

God knows I fought this fact for months, wasted soooo much energy and money on this insane course of actions. I am glad you have insurance that covers the cost of counseling. Mine does not. Counseling was still worth it...but my wife did not get anything out of it until she repented from her A (admitted it was wrong AND turned away from it) and had the courage to look inside herself and see parts of her that was ugly....that she did not want to face. MC was a total waste for months. IC was for her for a bit too. A person has to want to change before that change takes place.

For the record, MY change didn't start to occur until I stopped blaming my wife for ALL of my pain and hurt and our broken M. This takes TIME. You will learn to hate that word, but then find comfort in it.

I am also very wordy...especially when I get anxious. I am projecting a lot onto you....but sense you are doing a lions share of the work on your M now. There will be time for that IF your wife wants it too. Until she decides that, please focus on yourself...grieve the loss of the M you thought you had. I tried to skip that...doesn't work.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:06 PM, October 17th (Thursday)]

LA44 posted 10/17/2013 20:33 PM

Matt, you are welcome. Great post by blake.

Btw, if you ever want to find a member's posts, ie: Sisoon or blake, click on My Profile (top right). From there you will get a page that allows you to search for members. Type in blake, etc and then you will want to click on "see recent posts". From there you can read all night long!

I will be watching your story and hope good progress comes your way.

sisoon posted 10/18/2013 09:27 AM

I definitely think a decent MC can help get a message across to your W, but your W has to make the decision to resolve any issues. And an objective 3rd party could help your W open up a little.

bionicgal posted 10/18/2013 11:20 AM

Also, a good MC can help defog your W as well. Ours said a couple key things right off the bat that helped immensely, because they came from a third party.

mattg1958 posted 10/19/2013 10:54 AM

Thanks, blakesteele. I learned that my wifeís affair was her choice and not my fault from this forum long ago. While I am doing most of the work on our marriage, my wifeís view is that itís much more than necessary. I disagree with her meaning that we are not understanding each other (not the clichť). Thatís why I thought an more objective third party (i.e. marriage counselor) could possibly help.

Sisoon, thatís kind of one of the points I have been making throughout this ordeal. This was an idea I learned a long time ago by reading ďThe & Habits of Highly Successful PeopleĒ. Unless someone is physically forcing you to do something, everything you do is a choice. Even if someone were pointing a loaded gun at you, it is still your choice as to how to respond. A year ago, I was away for three days on a work trip. I came home to an ďemptyĒ house and a printed note that revealed that she had left to go live with another man and that she had been in an affair for the prior 3.5 months. I called her that night. One of my wifeís comments was that she didnít look for an affair and that it just happened. That set off my angry response that it didnít just happen. It was her conscious choice. As our attempt at reconciliation proceeds, she will make choices on how she participates. The only issue about choice is that it will require both of us to choose to fix and continue our marriage as each of us has, essentially, veto power over that decision.

mattg1958 posted 10/19/2013 11:00 AM

I have been instigating exchanges with my wife through e-mail as that has been more effective than face to face discussions. Here is my latest. Her prior comments are prepended with a ">". Should I post this as a new topic and seek responses that way?

-----Original Message-----
From: <me>
Sent: Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:52 AM
To: <my wife>
Subject: Another follow up

I'm not addressing everything from your response, but a few things that I think are very important.

>This is exhausting

Why is this exhausting to you? I think that exploring and understanding this is very important. I think that needs to be understood and overcome for us to make progress with less pain and more quickly.

Did you explore this topic when you were in counseling?

>I came back to see if we could work things out. ... When I continued to speak with him, I figured it was easier if you didn't know.
>... I don't think you and I discussed 'rules' about it.

As we've heard at recent events Ė a wedding and 25th anniversary party - I thought the rules about fidelity and honesty didn't need to be explicitly stated. You should have obviously known that continuing contact with [the other man] would violate those rules. Concealing doing so from me confirms that.

To me, that means that you continued to engage in the affair. Concealing that from me was deliberate deception. Of course it would be easier for you. Understand that it accentuated my mistrust of you. As you still seemed compelled to be in contact with him at least as late as May, what that means to me is you aren't over that relationship and that is damaging to ours and blocking to our reconciliation attempts.

>... you seem obsessed. It is overwhelming to me and it must be to you too. I asked you before, does it really help to know these things? To me, it feels damaging, not healing.

I am obsessed. I have been obsessed with you since our second date. I want to know everything about you. That wasn't a problem until you walled off your affair from me. As you can't explain why you had the affair, I want to know everything I can to try to make sense of it and apply whatever I, and we, can learn from that.

It is not overwhelming to me. Why does it feel so to you? Again, this is something that is important to understand why it is so resolve it so we can effectively reconcile.

This process is helping me tremendously. The pressure I feel of wanting know as much as possible lessens with every step. My asking for your story and you asking for more time set expectations for me. Waiting all this time and feeling resistance to you revealing as much as I want to know and now your claims of poor recall frustrate me. I'm trying as much as I can to not turn that frustration into anger.

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