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IC for WS expectations

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TwoDozen posted 2/23/2021 06:16 AM

So my WGF has her 1st session of IC this week. And I want to kinda prepare myself for what I might see afterwards and in the coming weeks.

N.b this is also my IC, the same IC who in only a matter of weeks has taken me from passively waiting for WGF to “get it” and do “the work” to me telling WGF what my needs are to consider continuing with R. The 1st of those needs was IC for her.

My fear is telling me that WGF will attempt to convince the IC that this was my fault. I don’t think IC will accept that but it could be a battle of wills for a while if she keeps up the sessions.

I’m conscious that she hates herself over this and her self defence will kick in if the sessions become too tough.

So what can I expect in the first weeks of IC can I expect anything positive from a single session or should I be actually be preparing for a step backwards at the start?


Chaos posted 2/23/2021 06:22 AM

TD - if she's not going willingly, if she has no real desire to change, if she's only going to get you to STFU, this does not bode well.

If she tried to put this on you, it does not bode well. If your IC accepts any of that- find a new one.

I’m conscious that she hates herself over this and her self defence will kick in if the sessions become too tough.

You aren't her keeper. That all on her. And if she is using her strong self defense instead of her inner integrity - again, that doesn't bode well.

Bottom line - her lack of self esteem should not be your problem. And if she's using infidelity as a way to boost it - again, this doesn't bode well.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I am trying for blatant honesty. I won't sugar coat it. The last thing you need is more dishonesty.

I find it interesting that you are more concerned about what you will see in the next coming weeks than she is.

TwoDozen posted 2/23/2021 06:47 AM

Chaos. Thankyou for your feedback I really appreciate it.

My positive side says - hey I’m a better human being than I was 4 weeks ago (I was pretty fucking awesome beforehand) because not only am I a decent person but now I stood up for myself. So my positive side says maybe she can “improve” herself like I did if she engages in the process. Even if the process leads her to “hey I don’t actually love 2D I was just staying to save my reputation or because my plan A failed” then that would still be a step forward.

My negative side says the worst possible outcome is some but not much improvement. I often feel like the wayward (like mine) that makes some positive steps after dday but not all of them is essentially worse than the one who won’t do anything, it’s almost like a form of control over me, I’ll do just enough, to keep you from walking today but not enough to put us on the path for the optimum healing cycle.

A lot of this is down to me. Being an asshole does not come naturally to me. But I refuse to live in limbo for the rest of my life so starting from last week we make steps to do ALL the things WE didn’t do in the 1st 12 months and see where that leads us.

grubs posted 2/23/2021 08:14 AM

Don't expect anything from the first session. That's more of an introduction than anything else. If she does the work, you should see some movement after a few sessions.

Unhinged posted 2/23/2021 09:09 AM

Way back in the 20th Century--when the world was normal--there were lots of "light bulb" jokes going around. For instance, how many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? The light bulb has to want to change, first.

Your WGF might very well find the world's greatest IC and make absolutely no progress at all. Unless she truly wants to change, she's not going to change.

The best advice I have for you is to rid yourself of any expectations, including whether or not she'll try to convince the IC that it's all your fault. Let go of your fears and expectations and focus on you, your recovery and healing.

There's absolutely nothing you can do or say that will in any way influence, cajole, encourage or force your WGF to own and fix her shit. The only thing you can do is to decide for yourself whether or not you want to remain in a relationship with her.

TwoDozen posted 2/23/2021 09:32 AM

Grubs, thanks for the input. I wasn’t really expecting to see anything from the 1st session. I know for me with both my ICs the 1st session was cathartic if nothing else but it relieved the pressure a little.

But with regards to positive or negative outcomes what should I be looking out for in the coming weeks?

I know with myself, that it takes me a couple of days after each session to let the conversation sink in, usually I don’t say anything about it to WGF until at least a couple of days after. So I might expect the same

She may decide, unlike myself to keep the content of her sessions to herself entirely, that I’m afraid won’t be something that works for me, she is of course like everyone else in this world is entitled to her own thoughts and entitled to keep the conversation between herself and the IC strictly between them, but I’m done living with blind spots, what ifs, trying to second guess what she is thinking. I’m looking for a hell of a lot more openness, willingness to engage in uncomfortable conversations, and apologies. I’m hoping through this process she develops the skill set to see all of the things she did (it’s not just about sex) and articulate that she is sorry for those things.

Furthermore I have a list of questions, that I know today she isn’t capable of answering, that I havnt given her yet, because the wrong answer will set me on a course that I’m not 100% ready to start. So I’m hoping I see signs in the next few weeks that she has the gumption to get herself to a place where I can give her that list of questions.

FYI for me wrong answer = not the truth, minimising, blameshifting. I am prepared for more pain more hurt and open to forgive things that are new (to me) but I will no longer live with lies or omissions (there are many things I already know that she does not know that I know)

Finally I need to know that she knows why this happened.....and how she is working on the route causes.

So back to my question, what positive or indeed negative early indicators might I see after the first sessions that this process is either helping Or alternatively just delaying D.

Happy to hear from any Waywards that have been through this, especially if you may not have been an overly eager participant or if there was some time between dday and when you finally got on board with the process

For the purposes of clarity, starting IC was actually WGFs suggestion following my insistence last week that she has not convinced me she understands why she had an A and therefore cannot promise me that she will never do it again. It was not a demand from me, it was coming but this was essentially her idea. She is finally coming round to the fact that we are not special, we don’t get to shortcut the process, and that her A is just like everybody else’s As, just like all the As she was so judgmental of before her own.

hikingout posted 2/23/2021 09:42 AM

WS here, I did a lot of IC and am currently doing it again.

The first appointment should be treated like you are interviewing the person for the job. You are determining fit, and beginning to state goals of the therapy. Not all therapists align with our values - for example my first one advised me not to confess. This didn't feel right to me and I got a different therapist.

A good therapist will challenge your thoughts on things, but since this is her therapist it will be their job to figure out how best to treat your wife - not you or the relationship. For a long time, I imagine to you it will sound like a lot of unrelated nothing.

Most therapy will spend a good deal of time in the beginning talking about FOO issues. Please do not interpret this as looking for something to blame. In order to treat your wife, the therapist needs to understand how she was formed, where her past trauma has been, what her coping mechanisms look like, and also listening to her about all those things will tell the IC a lot about her thoughts, attitudes, etc.

I would say for the first many sessions the therapist is just doing some mapping. They may give her homework sometimes. Go with the experiments that they recommend even if it makes no sense to you. For example, mine had me try and separate my "coulds" and "shoulds" making me cut back on anything that was a "could". Going home to a man I had just cheated on and saying to him I have to stop doing all these things for a while was not the easiest conversation to have. I was even skeptical of it. But, I did learn a lot about myself and life from that activity and it unblocked some of my blind spots about things I was blaming him for. I just promise you some of it will sound stupid but it's a process and you have to trust it.

Therapy is beneficial, but I do think it takes months before you are going to start really seeing progress. If she is resistant to it, or only does it for you and not herself, she won't get as much out of it. Personally, I was at rock bottom and willing to do anything I could to get better. I couldn't stay where I was any more. I had no choice but put my faith in the process and work hard at it.

So, overall, it takes time and is a process. There are no quick fixes here. I would say I was in a much better place in a year and was able to use the skills I learned to continue my own healing and modifications.

TwoDozen posted 2/23/2021 10:25 AM

@hikingout thanks for the advice

One point you may have missed is this is my IC too, someone I trust, and someone it seems my WGF is willing to try and trust. That may be a mistake but honestly we’re in last ditch attempts now. She either learns how to communicate what the hell happened, why it happened or I live in the dark eternally which I know I cannot do.

I am fully aware that the IC has a responsibility for the client in front of them, if that means during my WGFs session that WGF comes to understand that she is not happy with the journey we are on, then sobeit, that is a sad but positive outcome of the process and something it is better to know now than later, if of course she also develops the skills to tell me that.

Edited to add that WGF has been taking part in my “homework” for the last few weeks. This it seems has cultivated her enthusiasm for giving IC a try.

[This message edited by TwoDozen at 10:27 AM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]

This0is0Fine posted 2/23/2021 10:32 AM

I don't really understand all these people that find ICs that are willing to be ICs for both spouses, and/or the MC for the couple.

I don't think that this is a good way to figure things out in therapy.

The benefits of IC largely rely on finding someone that you think is a good fit and that has your best interest in mind. When there is massive conflict between two people, it's hard for at least ONE of those people to believe such a person has their best interest in mind.

TwoDozen posted 2/23/2021 11:46 AM


Totally understand your thoughts on this but as mentioned above this is kind last chance saloon.

The IC may advise either WGF or myself to seek another therapist I won’t know till I have my next appointment I guess.

But ultimately it works or it doesn’t work.

I guess my question was really to try and understand how I gauge that in the early days.

Thanks for your thoughts, they are really appreciated.

MrsWalloped posted 2/23/2021 12:24 PM

Another thing to consider is whether you want to discuss her sessions at all, and whether she feels comfortable sharing them with you.

I didn't share my sessions with my BH (he didn't ask and I probably would have if he did). He knew I was going to IC and he saw me doing the worksheets and exercises and reading various books but we didn't have conversations about what I was learning or doing. And that's okay. It's not MC it's IC. It's for her.

I would be prepared to give it time. I imagine every therapist is different but it wasn't a quick journey for me. Her willingness to work on herself is a big part of it, but there also could be a lot to uncover and deal with. There isn't a quick fix. If you think after 2 or 3 sessions you're going to start seeing changes then you're having unrealistic expectations and setting yourself up for disappointment.

TwoDozen posted 3/4/2021 03:24 AM

Not a great session with IC last night. My 1st since WGF went.

She said that she spoke with my WGF that her story was exactly the same as mine. That WGF says she was unhappy with the relationship and now that I’m super Twodozen she loves me more than ever.

I said that’s not good enough, firstly there was nothing wrong with the M and even if there was this is not how heathy people deal with their problems. So how about dealing with “why” this was her “solution”

IC said fundamentally it’s a communication issue, WGF didn’t communicate her unhappiness 🙄 and that’s why it happened. IC wants to focus on communication skills.

So she says we should focus on the future and build better communication strategies (basically so WGF can air her future grievances) and that we can have a good relationship and take all the benefits.

So basically she wants me to roll over and eat the shit sandwich.

She doesn’t agree I need anymore reason “why” it happened, that that has been established and we should stop looking at the past.

Took WGF one session to let this IC know she’s a tough cookie to crack.

I’m standing firm, I’ll move to MC only when my list of needs has been dealt with and that includes knowing “why” and if IC and WGF want me to spend the rest of my life blaming myself for WGF actions, that isn’t going to happen. That’s a recipe for hell. Where does my ability to build trust back come into it? So every time in the future when WGF “tells” me she’s unhappy am i supposed to “jump” so she doesn’t have another A?

IC is not going to hold her feet to the fire, in fact it kinda feels like she’s holding mine to it...

Edited to add: I’ve spent a year digging myself out of the “what did I do wrong” rabbit hole and I have no plans to go back into it.

[This message edited by TwoDozen at 4:38 AM, March 4th (Thursday)]

grubs posted 3/4/2021 05:50 AM

Might be time to find another IC. Stand your ground. Saying it was due to the waywards unhappiness means the wayward can never be a safe partner.Happiness comes from within. You can't make someone be happy from the outside.

TwoDozen posted 3/4/2021 06:14 AM

@Grubs, This is my third IC

1st (only 1 session) told me to wait it out whilst WGF got it out of her system 🙄

2nd basically couldn’t understand why I would want to consider R but got me through the worst of it.

3rd and I’m 6 weeks in now, gave me the strength to tell WGF I’m done unless she starts taking action and then after 1 session with WGF is talking about putting the A behind us and looking at how to make a new / better M but without digging into why we are even here.

I think potentially my best solution would be to go back to IC 2. He was probably right 😂

DIFM posted 3/4/2021 06:47 AM

Ditch this IC. As grubs noted, WGF did not cheat because of bad communication. I had this same conversations with my fWW at the beginning and a counselor. You cannot budge from your position or there will never be a time you feel safe. Every relationship has problems of all types, especially the infamous "communication" one. How people feel is a roller coaster over the span of a lifetime. Personal boundaries and character and self love are supposed to be your guiding compass to bring you down and lift you up as needed. Communication skills don't serve as a stand in for boundaries and character.

As you know, we all know, cheaters break vows, discard fidelity, manipulate others, and avoid ownership because of a deep broken something that, if not uncovered, owned, and dealt with, just lies latent under the surface waiting for the next "we don't communicate and it made me sad" reason to explore their wobbly boundaries. Nope, her cheating had no association with your communication in your relationship. Yours is not a couples issue, even the "bad communication" sounds to be one of her issues. She could have spoke up, and didn't. She could have communicated.

First, she is broken and unsafe in ways she does not own, and if that ever gets resolved, she second needs to fix her communicating problem. Doing the hard work to own and work on both of these, may make her safe. But it sounds like she is still in denial and far from the much needed "get it" place you need her to be.

HardKnocks posted 3/4/2021 09:21 AM

I'm such a strong proponent of IC, it hurts to see you struggle to find someone competent.

But please keep trying.

Unhinged posted 3/4/2021 09:26 AM

Pfft! If communication issues were a leading cause for infidelity there'd be nightly orgies in the streets.

hikingout posted 3/4/2021 09:55 AM

IC said fundamentally it’s a communication issue, WGF didn’t communicate her unhappiness 🙄 and that’s why it happened. IC wants to focus on communication skills.

Can I interpret this for you a little differently? I do see this a little differently having been where your WGF is in her counseling.

This is a process, an unraveling. It took me 6 months in IC to be able to articulate ALL my whys. What I found in the process is that the IC person chipped away at things one thing at a time. Why one thing at a time?

Because each one had to be looked at and integrated into my life. And each one was completely a revelation to me and overwhelming. We would work on one and it would really show me another. It's like a puzzle.

"Communication issues" translated to me as SHE has communication issues. ME TOO. I held everything in and it turned into a resentment. This is a great place to start, and is exactly where my IC started. It dovetailed into my people pleasing, the role I thought I needed to play to meet expectations, etc. Her communication issues are a big part of how she became unhappy. Unresolved issues become resentments, resentments become entitlement, entitlement is dangerous.

A good IC will basically start looking at one thread to pull at and it has a domino effect.

What I don't like is her response to you. She should say something more like "we are going to work on this thing and then that will lead to another thing" rather than shutting you down completely on it.

I think she is trying to get you not to push so hard on the whys because it takes the focus off of working on this one thing very well. I actually still work on this one, it's the biggest of all my issues. It is directly related to my self-worth. I never wanted to rock the boat and become unlovable. Not speaking up or being fully me was the root of my cheating. I do not see this as blaming my husband or our relationship.

Take this for what you will, but I think it sounds like your WS's sessions are off to a good start. What I don't like is that this person is treating both of you, my IC would not do that. Between that aspect and how she is acting towards you, I can see why you are not happy with this one. At the same time, I can also see that she wants you to let the process run it's course and not question it at every turn.

I mean this to be helpful. It's exactly why I said some of this will sound like non-sense to you in my other post on this thread. I saw Mrs. Walloped say they didn't talk about all her sessions, we didn't either. I think early on it would have infuriated my husband, but what we did worked very well.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:04 AM, March 4th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 3/4/2021 10:13 AM

Also, another thought -

The why always boiled down to "because I wanted to", so when you look at "why she wanted to" it was because she was unhappy.

You are taking responsibility on some level still for her "unhappy" and that's why you feel defensive. We are responsible for our own happiness. That means a healthy person will do things to ensure our happiness. That means things like communicating and working on our relationships, finding hobbies or interests that keep us excited and engaged, self care, self actualization, self love, self worth, etc.

WS are people asleep at the wheel. Look at her other relationships - aren't they kind of messy too? I had no girlfriends at all. That's a red flag. I was too lazy to tend to the friendships but disguised that by overdoing and being overly busy. At the same time that meant I leaned on my husband for more needs that could have been met through my friendships.

I was conflict avoidant.
I was always hustling to prove my worth.
I was exhausted from holding it all in and from all the hustling.

Instead of taking accountability I blamed my husband and had resentments I didn't even know I was holding. Those resentments were really because I assumed what expectations he had. Those assumptions were formed by what I assumed being a good wife meant. Simple communication would have fixed that, instead it got bigger and bigger and I didn't see it happening.

These are the things I learned in IC, but it took a long time to see all of it. I had worked so hard at being perfect, I didn't know I wasn't showing up vulnerable and authentic. I literally blocked receiving love as a result.

I am elaborating on all of this because I think it's helpful to see when the IC says "she has communication issues" that you get a deeper understanding of what that means and all the places it touches. Communication issues can be relationship based, but that's not how you are phrasing it.

Also, I had integrity issues. When I learned about all the ways I was keeping myself unhappy, that one came up too. I now realize that any time I do something I know is wrong, that impacts how I feel about myself and creates feelings of unhappiness. I have learned bending the rules to feel good is never in my best interest. Integrity to me is about doing the right thing when noone is looking, and people who cheat need to find a way to be accountable for that in all siuations.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:17 AM, March 4th (Thursday)]

TwoDozen posted 3/4/2021 10:15 AM

Thank you all for your insights, it is very much appreciated.

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