What is Counseling or therapy? - Talk About Marriage
Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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What is Counseling or therapy?

Probably seems like a ridiculous question but i'd like to hear peoples opinions or experiences. I'm seriously considering a separation and possible divorce and will start both individual and couples therapy this week. I don't know what to expect. I guess i wonder if it's possible to actually grow and change with the help of a professional if i've been reluctant to do anything without one.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:21 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

It was a waste of time and money for me. I hated my wife at the time and was just using it to make her happy so i could sleep in my comfy king bed. We saw 3 different therapists in our 8 year marriage. We were on the 3rd and 4th visit when I decided to leave her. I'm pretty sure she's still in IC once a week. I don't need therapy. I needed peace and quiet, far away from her.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:27 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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Probably seems like a ridiculous question but i'd like to hear peoples opinions or experiences. I'm seriously considering a separation and possible divorce and will start both individual and couples therapy this week. I don't know what to expect. I guess i wonder if it's possible to actually grow and change with the help of a professional if i've been reluctant to do anything without one.


What's the problem with the marriage?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

Communication/meeting each others needs. I'm a narcissist so that's a problem.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:32 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

Counseling is good for learning to see a point of view that differs from your own. It is generally hard for a narcissist to do that, but if you are paying someone $150/hr it gets a lot easier.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:57 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

Counseling helped my husband and me a couple times during our marriage. The first time it helped us to realize that I had suffered from clinical depression for the first several years of our marriage, and helped heal the wounds that had formed between us during that time. We went to that therapist for about 10 weeks.

A few years ago we went again for about 8 weeks, and figured out that 99% of the stuff we argued about was pointless, and the therapist taught us mechanisms to put in place to stop things from escalating. The result of that is that my husband and I become friends who rarely argued. Did it result in us becoming a successful married couple? No, but it helped reduce the stress of walking around on tenterhooks wondering when the next fight would arise.

I'm convinced that second batch of therapy is what is allowing my husband and I to mutually agree to legal separation and remain amicable about everything thus far.

Once we tell the kids, we both want to take them to family therapy sessions should the kids need/want it. If I reach a point where I feel like I need it during the separation process, I'll certainly seek it. I think it can be helpful if you invest in it and really take advantage of the tools they give you.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:00 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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Communication/meeting each others needs. I'm a narcissist so that's a problem.
It will take a LOT of work on your part. A LOT. It's hard for narcissists to change, or realize that they need to change their behavior, and it will require constant vigilance on your part, long after therapy is over. But if you want to save your marriage, that's what you have to do.

A good childhood friend married a narcissist, and he almost destroyed their marriage. Somehow, he realized what he was doing, and they went to really intense therapy, and they're quite happy now.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:01 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

@JTL it will also help your wife (? sorry, don't know your gender or orientation, I'm making assumptions) learn how to better handle being married to a narcissist.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:28 PM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

I honestly don't think that you'll get any benefit at all. You are paying a therapist for their opinion, not always right or appropriate, and there's no guarantee that they will help you. There is a guarantee, however, that you pay them. Therapists really are nothing more than conmen / women. I suggest that you don't do the counseling, it will be an additional large bill that you don't need.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 10:51 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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I honestly don't think that you'll get any benefit at all. You are paying a therapist for their opinion, not always right or appropriate, and there's no guarantee that they will help you. There is a guarantee, however, that you pay them. Therapists really are nothing more than conmen / women. I suggest that you don't do the counseling, it will be an additional large bill that you don't need.
Have you been to therapy yourself? If not, then you are not qualified to make this kind of judgment. If yes, then it seems you had a bad experience. Also there is no guarantee in ANYTHING in life... if only...

You will only get out of therapy what you put into it. If you both are not 100% up front and honest with everything, and open to the suggestions of the therapist, then you would be wasting your time. It is most certainly worth a try in order to help save your marriage.


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 11:15 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

I've seen two individual therapists and two marriage counselors. My opinion...

1 - Unless you both are going for the purpose of making changes and saving your marriage, marriage counseling is a waste of time. You both have to be on the same page with this.

2 - Open and complete honesty is necessary when going to counseling. In marriage counseling you want to address ALL the issues you are having. You can't spend months talking to a marriage counselor and then one day say to your spouse "I hate when you..." and it's something you never addressed in counseling.

3 - Go in with a plan with goals and timelines. Be flexible with both. Otherwise you just become billable hours to the counselor... the more you go the more you pay. Stick to the goals and know when you've achieved them. If you can never achieve them then perhaps counseling isn't going to work.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 06:02 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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Originally Posted by jb02157 View Post
I honestly don't think that you'll get any benefit at all. You are paying a therapist for their opinion, not always right or appropriate, and there's no guarantee that they will help you. There is a guarantee, however, that you pay them. Therapists really are nothing more than conmen / women. I suggest that you don't do the counseling, it will be an additional large bill that you don't need.
Agreed.

And part of their 'expert knowledge' is to usually throw over-used self help books at you as 'homework.'

This is huge business for therpists today since everyone thinks the magic bullet to cure a cheater is counseling. And these fools don't disappoint - they'll pull some magic excuse for the cheater right out of their ass - like the cheater's mommy and daddy neglected them, or they'll pull up some ridiculous childhood event that was SURELY the cause for why the cheater crossed the line, blah blah blah. And foolish BS's are sucking this stuff up, desperate to self-soothe themselves with a "why" for their WS' cheating. There's always got to be some deep, dark 'why' for these people, and it's always got to come from some charlatan shrink.

And now, some of these UNQUALIFIED con-men and con-women therapists are 'diagnosing' men as sex addicts every time these guys get caught with their pants down. Talk about getting a get out of jail free card. All the cheater has to do is walk in off the streets into some 'sex addicts' meeting and wifey is all happy they're 'recovering.' Unreal.

So yeah. I have little to no respect at all for 'therapists.'
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 07:47 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

It is if your counselor is good.

I have some deeply held beliefs. Some of them are healthy...Some not.

My first therapist mirrored what I said and used active listening. He did not challenge me in how my beliefs affected my circumstances. I only went to him for a couple of months and moved on.

My current therapist I see about every 3-6 months now, and he is good at challenging me, which is exactly what I need.

The MC we used was very much the same. She occasionally brought out 2x4's to get my wife to realize what her beliefs were doing to our marriage, and what my actions in response to her beliefs were doing.

If they do not challenge you, they are likely a co-pay collector.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:58 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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Agreed.

And part of their 'expert knowledge' is to usually throw over-used self help books at you as 'homework.'

This is huge business for therpists today since everyone thinks the magic bullet to cure a cheater is counseling. And these fools don't disappoint - they'll pull some magic excuse for the cheater right out of their ass - like the cheater's mommy and daddy neglected them, or they'll pull up some ridiculous childhood event that was SURELY the cause for why the cheater crossed the line, blah blah blah. And foolish BS's are sucking this stuff up, desperate to self-soothe themselves with a "why" for their WS' cheating. There's always got to be some deep, dark 'why' for these people, and it's always got to come from some charlatan shrink.

And now, some of these UNQUALIFIED con-men and con-women therapists are 'diagnosing' men as sex addicts every time these guys get caught with their pants down. Talk about getting a get out of jail free card. All the cheater has to do is walk in off the streets into some 'sex addicts' meeting and wifey is all happy they're 'recovering.' Unreal.

So yeah. I have little to no respect at all for 'therapists.'
Wow there's someone who actually agrees with me on this!! I definitely like what you say here. These so called "therapists" are not required to have a degree and no qualifications at all in some states, making them, in my mind, nothing more than high priced soothsayers. It's totally revolting to me that some people prey off people who actually think talking to them is helpful as they joyfully deposit their prey's money in their account. They always seem to come up with the "reason" for the cheating having to do with some childhood experience that justifies it. What bull****! The reason they did it, face it, is because they lack any type of moral responsibility they have to their marriage. But no, these people are justified as sex-addicts by their "therapist" and the BH or BW is encouraged to continue the marriage while the correct "hocus pokus" magically will cure their spouse.

Naa, that's not dealing with the problem.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:02 AM
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Re: What is Counseling or therapy?

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It was a waste of time and money for me. I hated my wife at the time and was just using it to make her happy so i could sleep in my comfy king bed. We saw 3 different therapists in our 8 year marriage. We were on the 3rd and 4th visit when I decided to leave her. I'm pretty sure she's still in IC once a week. I don't need therapy. I needed peace and quiet, far away from her.
Did the therapist pick up on your "I'm done" state of mind and try to communicate this to your erstwhile wife.
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