First MC appointment - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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First MC appointment

After trying someone a year ago who was HORRIBLE and finding that we keep going in circles alone, we went to an MC last night to try again.

We were both really tense and unsure what to expect but the counselor seemed to be really good at putting us both at ease and listening to both of us.

Hubby is normally very reluctant to discuss his emotions and I was really shocked to see him open up and be really frank about everything that happened and how badly he was still really hurting. He was extremely forthcoming disclosing how when he went through his surgeries, he literally withdrew from our marriage and just shut me out.

Our assignment for this week is to spend time with each other (at least 30 - 60 minutes a day) actually talking. Sounds simple but I have to say we really still don't do this on a regular basis.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:13 AM
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Re: First MC appointment

I am glad you are in MC. I assume you are the WS in this case. I opened up a great deal as well and I am a very private person about my pain. I had to talk with someone. Whatever you do please be honest about everything.

When it came to the A my wife trickled truthed everything even with the MC.

Your husband is having mind movies play about you with someone else. It is hard to shake, it took me about a year to not dwell on this on a daily basis.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

marriagebuilders has tons of good advice on how to re-built and sustain happy marriages.
Quality time together is a must. You need a plan to sustain a certain amount each week with no fault.

Hope more members who used them can give you advice to implent it.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 12:26 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

We are going out to dinner to have conversations. It keeps us calm and no one yells in public.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First MC appointment

It's just so odd. I don't know when we really stopped spending time together so it just feels strange to consciously focus on that.

I can say that after the appointment yesterday, we really talked about how we both felt about the counselor and if we liked him, etc.

My husband was my friend for years before we dated so I'd love to recapture that dynamic in our relationship and be able to do things together again.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:27 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

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Originally Posted by TCSRedhead View Post
It's just so odd. I don't know when we really stopped spending time together so it just feels strange to consciously focus on that.

I can say that after the appointment yesterday, we really talked about how we both felt about the counselor and if we liked him, etc.

My husband was my friend for years before we dated so I'd love to recapture that dynamic in our relationship and be able to do things together again.
This won't happen until you can prove yourself worthy of his friendship.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First MC appointment

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This won't happen until you can prove yourself worthy of his friendship.
Very true. Right now, it's a matter of where to begin. It was really awkward when the MC asked about simple things like, 'So, what do you talk about over dinner?' and we had to admit that most of the time we don't even eat together. Or, if we do, we'll sit in the living room (him on the couch, me on the loveseat) while the t.v. is on - no real conversation.

I mean, it can't be me, that's weird, right? We sleep in the same bed, still have sex, take care of the baby but really don't spend time together just talking or doing something.

He has access to everything - we've had some discussions about some of that and questions that he had about some of the emails between me and another male colleague (not the xOM). It's taking a lot of self-awareness from me to realize I've been a HUGE flirt which has really caused a lot of the problems.

I do have to admit that much of this past year hasn't been spent focusing on repairing this marriage. It's been since our son was born 4 months ago that I'm realizing if I don't work to fix this, it's going to go back to what it was pre-EA.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 02:54 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

Red, as someone said of your post on another thread. You're self-awareness and sense of right/wrong are so acute and level headed it's kinda scary!

Your marriage may or may not survive. Of course you understand your role in that, but if it doesn't you'll still come out a better person. Perhaps you should continue to strengthen your husband's ego and sense of self-worth. In doing that the marriage, with the help of the MC, will have a chance to not only survive but thrive.

Peace to you, your husband, and your child. Sending strength to both and hoping your MC puts all skills into helping guide you.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First MC appointment

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Originally Posted by walkonmars View Post
Red, as someone said of your post on another thread. You're self-awareness and sense of right/wrong are so acute and level headed it's kinda scary!

Your marriage may or may not survive. Of course you understand your role in that, but if it doesn't you'll still come out a better person. Perhaps you should continue to strengthen your husband's ego and sense of self-worth. In doing that the marriage, with the help of the MC, will have a chance to not only survive but thrive.

Peace to you, your husband, and your child. Sending strength to both and hoping your MC puts all skills into helping guide you.
Thank you - if I'd only had that self-awareness PRIOR instead of further damaging his ego and self esteem.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 03:56 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

I completely agree with walkonMars. Please let us know how things go. Telling from your messages, you are definitely going the right route!

Your posts are helping more than you think, thank you for that.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:04 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

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Originally Posted by TCSRedhead View Post
Very true. Right now, it's a matter of where to begin. It was really awkward when the MC asked about simple things like, 'So, what do you talk about over dinner?' and we had to admit that most of the time we don't even eat together. Or, if we do, we'll sit in the living room (him on the couch, me on the loveseat) while the t.v. is on - no real conversation.
Did you know that you are JUST the kind of person I enjoy talking to? Know why? Because hey--NO ONE is perfect, and in your case you did something awful that you regret and you have the guts to look at yourself and say "Darn what did I do? What can I do different now?" See in this quote how you're not saying "Hubby never talks to me!" or "He ignores me".... it's "WE don't talk" and "WE don't even eat together!"

Red, in real life what I find the gigantic, vast majority of the time is that people meet each other, like each other, grow to love each other, get married...and then being young and naive-ish they sort of play "grown up house" and life really gradually throws in things that little-by-little tear you two apart. In real life, the one spouse goes to school to have a career and the other "puts them through school" by working at the 7-Eleven for nights while watching the baby during the day. He works graveyards...she works days and they never see each other. A couple more kids and the bills pile up so he works longer hours. Pretty soon, she wants to go back to school to get her career going and they can't afford it so she's resentful... and he wants to have a wife who understands him and sympathizes with how hard he works, but his secretary spends more time with him and works on the projects with him! Add boy scouts, soccer practice and work seminars...and can you see how they spend no time together, aren't even friends, and sort of gradually drifted apart?

Soooo...you find yourself looking at your hubby and realizing "My god we don't really talk to each other about anything!" wondering where to start, right? I suggest quizzes, cuz you can ask the question ... you answer for you--he answers for him...and you can discuss why you picked that or how surprised you are at his answer or whatever.

Here's a bunch: Marriage Quizzes « For Your Marriage
This page has some under Relationships and Sexuality, and a few more under Personality: Psychological Tests and Quizzes
And finally not to boast but I like the page on my site for assessments: Assessments « AFFAIRCARE

Hey...it's a start and pretty fun!

Quote:
I mean, it can't be me, that's weird, right? We sleep in the same bed, still have sex, take care of the baby but really don't spend time together just talking or doing something.
Nope it's not just you. ZILLIONS of married Americans do just that and it is kind of weird. Not unusual at all...but weird It is so much better to be married to your best friend.

Quote:
He has access to everything - we've had some discussions about some of that and questions that he had about some of the emails between me and another male colleague (not the xOM). It's taking a lot of self-awareness from me to realize I've been a HUGE flirt which has really caused a lot of the problems.
I will be you money you're an EXTROVERT!!!!! with a capital E...and he's either an introvert or a extrovert with a lower case e. Bear in mind that those are just natural differences in personality, not one of you being "right" and the other being "wrong"--you just are not the same! The thing to being married, though, is that in every action you do and everything you say you've promised to consider your spouse and include them in everything. Every. Thing.

Quote:
I do have to admit that much of this past year hasn't been spent focusing on repairing this marriage. It's been since our son was born 4 months ago that I'm realizing if I don't work to fix this, it's going to go back to what it was pre-EA.
It sounds like prior to all this you were thinking that marriage would coast along and not really get better or worse...just be. And now you're realizing that if you want to have an emotionally and physically close relationship with each other, you have to actually put effort into being a good partner, studying him, and being a wife. Cool! Nothing personal but that is a HUGE life lesson. Marriages that truly recover and are intimate means you show your True Self to your partner, warts and all, and make the effort to see all their warts and both of you promise to keep working at loving the other.

I suggest two things:

#1--take a small vacation. I know, I know. I've heard this a thousand times: "We just can't right now. Money is tight! I have to work. No babysitter. (Insert excuse here.)" Can you afford a divorce? Can you afford to lose half your time with your children and half your income? Then find a way to take a small vacation. Just the two of you and it doesn't have to be a trip to Europe. Do a cabin in the woods...or a long weekend at a fancy hotel...whatever is your thing. And during that vacation you don't have to be lovers and all romantic. The point of the vacation is to change the scenery just for the break from it all, and to do ONE THING you both like to do. For example, get tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert, get a hotel room the night before the concert, go out for nice dinner, and then just have a blast at the concert WITH EACH OTHER. Or go to a car show. A dog show. A tennis tournament. A ball game. An amusement park. Whatever it is that you two BOTH enjoy...go do that for once, and have fun like he is your friend from college whom you could tell anything.

#2--Do the quizzes and things to get some topics to talk about, but while you do them remember that honesty is something you want to ENCOURAGE and reward. If he's honest and then you yell at him and screech, you will have taught him it is not safe to tell the truth! So if you're doing a quiz and he's honest...and it hurts, memorize this: "Thank you for being honest. I really do want to hear the truth but that last part hurt. I'm going to ask for a time out to think about what you said." Then whatever you were talking about, just stop for about 15 minutes and go get ahold of your feelings. Remember when he's honest,even if what he thinks or feels is "factually inaccurate" it is still what he thinks or how he feels AND he just opened up and shared with you like you've been asking.

Helping couples recover and reconcile after an affair or keep their marriages affair-free at Affaircare.

The 180 * Coping With Infidelity Newbies--Please read this! * Weightlifter's Evidence Gathering Post for Newbies * The Man Up Nice Guy Reference

Last edited by Affaircare; 11-01-2012 at 06:31 PM.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:18 PM
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Re: First MC appointment

Affaircare....thanks for the ideas......I have only shared with a couple of folks here....but right now I am really struggling to reconnect....you posted some info that I will also be trying soon

and TCSRedhead, I really need to spend some time looking over your posts, because all my issues are from built up resentments and a very inappropriate friendship on my part.....I hope you have great success with your efforts.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First MC appointment

Thank you AC - I am really trying. You nailed it on the head talking about including him in everything. I am a compartmentalizer so I unintentionally exclude him from things that I view as unimportant or unnecessary for him to know. This has been a lifelong habit for me so it's something I'm working on in counseling to address.

We are definitely both Extroverts to the extreme so it makes for a very interesting relationship. The flirting was always a part of who we were, I just shut that down in my life right now because I don't feel confident that I know where the boundary should be anymore.

It's very hard sometimes but I really do feel it's worth it. The last two days since the MC appt have been really good. We've had some difficult conversations but just sitting down each night and talking (about us) seems to be helping rekindle feelings and affection (even sex - yay!). It doesn't feel forced or awkward and we both seem more relaxed and happier. It's still early but I feel really hopeful.

I am going to plan for some time together. It IS tough (we don't live near any family or friends currently) to find someone to watch the baby but I am thinking that we can get away for a night or two during the holidays when my daughters are here.

OneMOreguy - Resentment is a terrible thing. I wasn't realizing how badly it had eroded my marriage. I resented him greatly for shutting me out and being absent when I really should have recognized how damaged he was and helped him to get help.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 10:30 AM
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Re: First MC appointment

What are your husband's emotional needs in your marriage?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First MC appointment

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What are your husband's emotional needs in your marriage?
That has been the tough answer to get in this picture. He's just now starting to talk about that. So far, he says he needs me to be open, to include him in all parts of my life. He says that during the course of our marriage, he felt left out a lot when I'd spend time hanging out with my daughters (they've since gone off to college).

I've given him email passwords, FB password, Amazon passwords, Kindle password. I'm really working on changing my habits to make that happen for him.

It's really hard to get him to talk about his feelings and emotions - it's just not something he does naturally. I'm definitely open to suggestions on how to get to that information though. Anything that will help is welcome.
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