Boundries with Counselors - Talk About Marriage
Experiences in Counseling Have you been through professional marriage or relationship counseling? Are you considering it? This section is for topics related to seeing a therapist.

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Boundries with Counselors

My wife and I have had a tough year with teenage kids, moving, life stresses, wife's medication changes, work challenges, etc. In an effort to help, my wife started going to counseling with my daughter to improve their relationship. This was a man who my wife met at church and has a back ground in counseling, but only does it on a very limited basis. At first I really enjoyed him and the help he was providing my family. It was though he took a personal interest in the overall well being of our family, especially my wife. About two months into counseling I started to feel a little uncomfortable with some things. His unorthodoxed approach consisted of gifts, Hugs, and open access of availability for my wife. She would come home with jewlry he made for her as well as many CD's with XXOO on them. My wife is a very good looking 41 year old and this guy is 57 and not a threat attractive wise but he can turn on the charm and speak her language and my wife absolutely loves it. At first I just chalked it up to "this is his style and she seems to be benefiting from it", but now I am extremely threatened. I feel constantly compared to his compassion and communication skills. I have tried to talk to her but she downplays their relationship and has no plans to stop seeing him. What is worse is he is an author and she has now started to do work for him in exchange for fee's. Her cell phone records show her talking to him more than me. I don't know what is work and what is counseling and she has become more distant from me than any other time in our 20 year marriage. There is more to the story but I will leave it at that and simply ask the question, "Am I just a jealous husband or have some serious boundaries been crossed"?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:26 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

What you are describing is entirely inappropriate behavior for a licensed counselor. If the counselor is licensed, check with the licensing body to see what their guidelines for misconduct are. You may also be able to file a complaint with them, but you should prioritize your relationship with your spouse by discussing these issues with her before filing any type of complaint.

I can tell you that purely from a "boundaries" standpoint, the gift giving, amount of after-hours communication (outside the of the scheduled session), and employment he is providing, are not appropriate for a client-therapist relationship. Those are big "red flags." I would be surprised if this person is actually licensed.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:46 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

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Originally Posted by moe View Post
My wife and I have had a tough year with teenage kids, moving, life stresses, wife's medication changes, work challenges, etc. In an effort to help, my wife started going to counseling with my daughter to improve their relationship. This was a man who my wife met at church and has a back ground in counseling, but only does it on a very limited basis. At first I really enjoyed him and the help he was providing my family. It was though he took a personal interest in the overall well being of our family, especially my wife. About two months into counseling I started to feel a little uncomfortable with some things. His unorthodoxed approach consisted of gifts, Hugs, and open access of availability for my wife. She would come home with jewlry he made for her as well as many CD's with XXOO on them. My wife is a very good looking 41 year old and this guy is 57 and not a threat attractive wise but he can turn on the charm and speak her language and my wife absolutely loves it. At first I just chalked it up to "this is his style and she seems to be benefiting from it", but now I am extremely threatened. I feel constantly compared to his compassion and communication skills. I have tried to talk to her but she downplays their relationship and has no plans to stop seeing him. What is worse is he is an author and she has now started to do work for him in exchange for fee's. Her cell phone records show her talking to him more than me. I don't know what is work and what is counseling and she has become more distant from me than any other time in our 20 year marriage. There is more to the story but I will leave it at that and simply ask the question, "Am I just a jealous husband or have some serious boundaries been crossed"?

Moe
This is so wrong in so many ways. I think it is unethical.

So this is not a real counselor. He does it as a hobby. What is his regular work? For all you know the reason he does not do it much is because he was unethical. This is crazy. It needs to stop right now and she needs to go NC.

You should not have agreed to this.

BTW, the jealous reflex is natural. It is your body telling you another male is after your wife. He most certainly is. The longer you wait this worse this is.

Him being 57 is not a factor. He is a real threat to eventually bedding your wife. For sure this is an EA and impactng your relationship.

$5 says he is not currently licensed. Not sure what a counseling background really describes. It is ambiguous.

Last edited by Entropy3000; 08-08-2011 at 11:57 AM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:47 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

Yea, this is very inappropriate. She needs a new counselor.

My therapist is a woman. I did this on purpose because I know that when I'm vulnerable, I can attach myself to the person I am opening up with.

She's awesome I have no attachment.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

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Yea, this is very inappropriate. She needs a new counselor.

My therapist is a woman. I did this on purpose because I know that when I'm vulnerable, I can attach myself to the person I am opening up with.

She's awesome I have no attachment.
This makes sense. Kinda like a personal trainer. This is actually more intimate and more easily turned inappropriate.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

Thank you all for the advice and feedback. The tricky part for me is how to stop it concidering her emotional bond. I have discussed this many times with her and she contiues to down play the relationship or justify it based on my so called "inability to communicate with her on this level". I have told her that that line of rational is like me having a sexual affair because she isn't satisfying me in a certain area? Not trying to compare an emotional affair to a physical affair but I do feel I am being cheated on.

Not sure if he is licensed or not but I do know he see's very few people. He has written 3 or so books on relationships and marriage and also does some speaking. I dont want to send the impression that I have not appreciated the many things he has helped my family with but even that has had it's repercussions because my wife feels indebted to him. He has also suggested that he help her write a book together. He certainly feeds her ego and I am sure he gets a rise being the savior figure to a smoking hot 41 year old.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:41 PM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

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Thank you all for the advice and feedback. The tricky part for me is how to stop it concidering her emotional bond. I have discussed this many times with her and she contiues to down play the relationship or justify it based on my so called "inability to communicate with her on this level". I have told her that that line of rational is like me having a sexual affair because she isn't satisfying me in a certain area? Not trying to compare an emotional affair to a physical affair but I do feel I am being cheated on.

Not sure if he is licensed or not but I do know he see's very few people. He has written 3 or so books on relationships and marriage and also does some speaking. I dont want to send the impression that I have not appreciated the many things he has helped my family with but even that has had it's repercussions because my wife feels indebted to him. He has also suggested that he help her write a book together. He certainly feeds her ego and I am sure he gets a rise being the savior figure to a smoking hot 41 year old.

Moe
She is in an EA. She has to stop contact with him because she has this emotional bond with him. He knows enough about relationships then to be highly skilled at seducing her. You are in over your head. he is holding too many cards.

What the topic of his new book that she is writing with him?
Are they going to be role playing for this book?

I think you need to stop having gratitude to the man who is seducing your wife.

Why in the world are they writing a book together? Does your wife have some professional background with this or is her being smokin hot and willing fit the bill.
Maybe his wife should be writing this book with him.

The more you describe the relationship the more over the top it gets. I guess they will need to be spending a lot of time together alone without your daugther or you being present. Has this started yet?

If you are unable or unwilling to tell her this relationship is unacceptable to you then she is already gone. Maybe she will stay with you of course for financial support and cake eating but she will emotionlly be his and sorry they will at least play with a PA. The hugging is just a first level of breaking down boundaries. There will be longer hugs and some kisses and maybe a neck / back massage or two as they work hard and long hours on the book. And frankly who knows what other tactics he can employ to break her down. Probably dressing more casually ... Maybe working the book around the pool. Again some role play to test out feelings and reactions. All in the name of science and research. There will be working through the night. No point in her coming home. She will stay at his place so they can hit things first thing in the morning. He probably has a place where he does his writing. A cabin somewhere ... Yeah I have a wild imagination but this lends itself to this type of speculation.

I am trying to imagine a better cover for an affair than this and it eludes me. They can text and email about love and sex and emotions and be plausibly working on the book.

She is already saying that he is meeting some of her needs that you are incapable of doing. Total fog talk here. She may be too far gone already so you better put your foot down and stop being so wishy washy. She is past rationally discussing this with you. In fact she is talking down to you. That is disrespect. She admires and respects him which is a major guy need. The only thing left above that is Sexual Fullfillment. It can get there based on what is being said. He is pushing all the buttons. He has probably done this before.

Last edited by Entropy3000; 08-08-2011 at 04:26 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:35 PM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

The counselor needs to refer your wife to someone else and you need to file an ethics complaint. This really should be done immediately. Don't drag it out, try a different approach, or just gloss over the issue. This is serious.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

Great feedback! I have some decisions to make. We have five kids 11 to 21 so any hard ball tactics will have possible damage to them, however, if we do not have a healthy marriage than everyone suffers. Hoping this is just a temporary phase but with no plans of giving up this friendship and counseling I am affraid our relationship will continue to spiral.

Thanks for this forum. It feels good just to be able to verbalize my issues and have people understand. Probably a good idea for me to see a counselor.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:57 PM
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The counselor needs to refer your wife to someone else and you need to file an ethics complaint. This really should be done immediately. Don't drag it out, try a different approach, or just gloss over the issue. This is serious.
If he makes his living speaking and writing on marriage repair, I'd threaten to expose him to the world. Nice counselor - wife stealing rat bastard!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

I Just found out from a mutual friend that this counselor's wife is suspicious and struggling with all the counseling given to my wife. The friend is going to have a little chat with him and we will see what happens. My wife knows nothing about his wife's concerns, even though I have wondered aloud to her about them. Hopefully the fantasy will be ending soon or I will be the one having a little chat with the counselor.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 10:39 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

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I Just found out from a mutual friend that this counselor's wife is suspicious and struggling with all the counseling given to my wife. The friend is going to have a little chat with him and we will see what happens. My wife knows nothing about his wife's concerns, even though I have wondered aloud to her about them. Hopefully the fantasy will be ending soon or I will be the one having a little chat with the counselor.
Don't wait too long. An affair can heat up very quickly.

How long are you planning on waiting to see this play out without doing anything else?

I suggest at the very least you eat up your wifes calendat this week. Make sure she has not time for this guy.

You did not say. Does she work? Is she a Stay At Home Mom? Is she spending time with him while you are at work? if so you should not wait. In fact when this person speaks with him he could react by escalating the relaionship. Just saying you need to act on your own and not put your hopes on someone else chatting with him.

Being afraid of conflict is not going to be attractive to your wife. She is attracted to him. He is dominating you by his actions. It is better for you to act now and have the problem addressed by multiple directions. She will have to go through withdrawal from this EA. There will need to be verifiable NC. Complete NC. They will both back slide and without monitoring they will just fall back deeper into this. What if his wife assumes you will man up and stop this? And she does nothing.

Actually, even if this gets temporarily resolved you still look weak. It is best for you to be part of the solution. Your wife will wonder why you let this go on. She will seek another Alpha male. She has just experienced excitement for another man. You have to fill that void. Not by being lovey dovey but by being an Alpha male who acts and shows he loves his wife and shows he will not be dominated this way. Willing to fight for her. That is attractive.

Last edited by Entropy3000; 08-09-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 10:42 AM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

Wow. Did your wife and him plan this to disguise their relationship as "therapy"?

Sorry, that's just where my brain goes...Sucks to be me LOL
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

I still don't think that this has a physical risk attached to it but more of an emotional relationship. He's a little chubby and not very attractive but can sure speak her language. I guess anything is possible and maybe I am naive, but I think the risk is low. We are moving out of state soon so distance will take care of some aspects of things, however my wife has a part time job that will bring her back once a month for a few days. She also has said she will continue to speak to him over the phone and Skype and even plans to write a future book with him(she loves that attention and any talk from me questioning this she takes as a personal offense to her new found independence and confidence). I certainly don't want to worry about the "emotional hookup", especially when she comes back for work.

Even if there is no physical aspect of this it sucks sharing my wife's heart!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:17 PM
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Re: Boundries with Counselors

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I still don't think that this has a physical risk attached to it but more of an emotional relationship. He's a little chubby and not very attractive but can sure speak her language. I guess anything is possible and maybe I am naive, but I think the risk is low. We are moving out of state soon so distance will take care of some aspects of things, however my wife has a part time job that will bring her back once a month for a few days. She also has said she will continue to speak to him over the phone and Skype and even plans to write a future book with him(she loves that attention and any talk from me questioning this she takes as a personal offense to her new found independence and confidence). I certainly don't want to worry about the "emotional hookup", especially when she comes back for work.

Even if there is no physical aspect of this it sucks sharing my wife's heart!
Yes, you are being VERY naive. It has very little to do with appearance and is all about telling the person what they want to hear....and counselors are skilled at this. I also would not draw a huge distinction between physical and emotional relationship.
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