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What does a good MC need to do?

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Katz13 posted 2/17/2014 16:46 PM

So far we have been to the MC 5 times. 2 of the sessions consisted entirely of FOO questions. The session after that he didn't discuss any findings from those questions and we just talked about my emotional state. Shouldn't we be discussing my WH mindset to get into the A that he had with a COW? Shouldn't we be discussing depression, selfishness, deceit? The MC has also assigned us to a book to read but this book is called "Fighting for your Marriage" and doesn't address affairs.
My H seems to be doing everything right since Dday. He quit his job and established NC immediately. I can access his phone etc at any time.
I guess I don't know what to tell our MC. I really think we need to address my WH thought processes before and during the A before we can work on marriage issues like communication and divvying up the household workload .
What has your MC discussed that has been helpful?

mainlyinpain posted 2/17/2014 17:05 PM

In our first MC session, where she knew we were there because of the A, she discussed with WS if he really wanted to R. She told him if he did it would be a lot of hard work, he would have to lay everything on the table, he would have to have his own IC and discuss there any feeling he had of loss of the AP, not in our sessions. She told him that he would have to recognize that for the immediate future I should be in the driver's seat and what was most important was what I needed. She told him he would have to answer all my questions, that I should bring a list to the next MC session. She said it would not be until all this was reconciled/resolved that we would work on any other marital issues. She said we would also talk about triggers and what to do about them.
I had had a visit with her alone before this first visit where I laid the whole story out so we did not have to spend time doing that.
It sounds like your MC might not realize that the marriage has the almost fatal wound of the A to deal with first and exclusively before anything else.

peoplepleaser posted 2/17/2014 20:07 PM

Our first MC was horrible. We had read Not Just Friends and had more information about how to reconcile from A than she did. She focused on the marriage problems rather than the A and made me feel like my emotional responses to the A were inappropriate. After stopping that and doing some research, it seems that many therapists are unaware and unarmed with the information needed to address the issue of infidelity in couples counseling. We have our first appointment for a new one this Friday and I am anxious about it for that reason. Our communication issues are so bad that discussing the A among ourselves isn't good for us, so I really need these sessions to express my hurt and anger. If we end up in the same situation it won't be good for us.

I will say, though, that discussing personal issues of his reasons for the A in couples counseling alone seems a set up for failure. WS will need IC to uncover, explore and process those issues in order to bring them to MC. IMHO processing those personal issues with you in MC (in the absence of IC) might not be the best situation for either of you. WS ability to be vulnerable enough to do that in front of you is suspect, and you probably shouldn't be a part of that process or a witness to it. From what I've read and experienced, those issues tend to start with placing blame on the BS for relationship problems and gradually move toward focusing on baggage the WS brought to the relationship and eventually how the interaction between the two of you contributed to problems in the M. It's only when WS gets to the point of recognizing how he contributed to the problems in the M that good couples counseling centered around fixing the problems in the M can occur. Until then, it seems that couples counseling should focus on the BS hurt and anger and ways to regain trust so that the vulnerability needed to repair the M can occur with emotional safety.

I feel the need to point out, however, that Shirley Glass (Not Just Friends author) warns against IC occurring simultaneously with MC. It is her assertion that IC therapists are focused on the individual and can lead to unraveling progress made in MC. So far I disagree with that, both from what I've seen in my own life so far (not having had successful MC yet) and from what I've read on here. However, I mention as a word of caution because of my limited experience to bolster my opinion.

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