Counseling went awry... - 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 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Counseling went awry...

My wife and I have a decent to good Professional Counselor helping us navigate through our issues. She was originally my personal counselor for marriage related issues but I decided to give that up for couples therapy with my wife. Now, my wife feels that she is being attacked anytime the therapist asks her to work on something... Even though, the therapists asks me to work on things too... My wife is just hesitant to talk in therapy and I can manipulate the conversation simply because my wife never says anything. I just feel like this good Therapist is giving me solid advice and my wife and trying to get us to face our issues... I don't see her as favoring me in anyway because she goes out of her way to correct me at times. My wife just doesn't want to change any of her behaviors and when the therapist calls her out on things it's all of a sudden because the therapist is taking my side our out to get my wife... It's not based in any type of reality and its frustrating... Also, I don't wanna quit this therapist because I feel like she is good for both myself and my wife and our relationship...
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 12:55 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

If you're going to have MC you need a therapist you're both comfortable with.

Use this one for your IC but find a new one for the two of you.

Your wife feels like you have an unfair history with this one.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Counseling went awry...

Okay, I'm not against finding a new therapist but it feels like my wife will dodge the real issues regardless of who the therapist is???
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:16 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

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Originally Posted by lifeistooshort View Post
Your wife feels like you have an unfair history with this one.
Yup. This is what I think, too.

Your history with this counsellor means the counsellor has more of your perspective in mind than your wife's. Whether this actually affects the counsellor's advice is irrelevant, because your wife needs to feel like she's being treated equally (it's her feelings that matter, not the reality).

A show of good faith would be to let your wife pick a new counsellor, and continue to try your best even if the new counsellor isn't as good in your mind. The most important thing isn't the advice you're receiving, but rather, the willingness of both you and your wife to communicate and improve your relationship.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:16 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

Maybe, but until you try you're speculating.

It's reasonable for her to want a say in who you see together.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:26 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

I agree with most of the posters above that your wife feels that this therapist has a history with you...so your wife is at a (however slight) disadvantage. Try your best to find someone else who hasn't heard one side or the other and can be totally fair with both of you. Honestly I'm kind of surprised that a counselor who has seen you exclusively would then see both of you for marriage therapy. They usually frown upon that for just the reasons that posters are stating.

That being said, IF your wife is still unwilling to admit to her side of things, that is another issue. But I think she would be more willing to listen if she thinks she has a fair chance going in.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:34 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

You can't use your personal therapist as your marriage counselor for reasons that should be obvious.

A good therapist with your best interests in mind will know this.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Counseling went awry...

It wasn't something I really wanted to do initially having my personal therapist become my relationship therapist but my wife was unwilling to do the looking on her own and I just trusted my personal therapist... Basically, its something that fit our insurance and she was the initiator... So, I went along reluctantly... You guys have good points though...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:54 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

I've generally seen that MC is basically women based and focuses on making men do all the adjusting to their wife's whims. I guess when the shoe is on the other foot and the finger of blame point to both partners, women don't like to much. It's much easier to quit and divorce rather than put some work into the marriage and save it.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 03:21 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

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I've generally seen that MC is basically women based and focuses on making men do all the adjusting to their wife's whims. I guess when the shoe is on the other foot and the finger of blame point to both partners, women don't like to much. It's much easier to quit and divorce rather than put some work into the marriage and save it.
A lot of people say this, but I doubt very much it's the case.

I think what happens is, it's usually the woman who suggests counselling to begin with and who picks a counsellor. So it's easy for the man to see the situation as being focussed on the woman and biased towards her. It was her idea, and she's the one going into the counselling with an agenda. It's also easier for a counsellor to come up for a solution for someone who's presenting concrete issues - as opposed to the person who's just agreed to come in and is following along.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 04:05 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

I am not a believer of marriage counselling mainly because I have not seen it work for family and friends who tried it. it seems to be just delaying the inevitable. A last gasp for air before it is over. Try it if you gives you hope.

My personal opinion is that if you are in love with each other, you both will overlook each other's faults and want to please the other. These are emotions and not things you can do with thought. Either you have it or not. No one can make you love someone you don't love. At best you can learn to live with each other civilly. You cannot show anyone how to feel love. For me, the need for a marriage counsellor is the end of my marriage. It means we are not in love as I know it.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:01 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

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A lot of people say this, but I doubt very much it's the case.

I think what happens is, it's usually the woman who suggests counselling to begin with and who picks a counsellor. So it's easy for the man to see the situation as being focussed on the woman and biased towards her. It was her idea, and she's the one going into the counselling with an agenda. It's also easier for a counsellor to come up for a solution for someone who's presenting concrete issues - as opposed to the person who's just agreed to come in and is following along.
The complaint that counselors are bias is common by men in England and does not really happen from men in Denmark. If your conclusion is right, then Englishmen in Denmark would have the same complaint, my experience is that they rave about being listened to and understood.

I do not think it is as extreme in the US as in the UK, but it is certainly there.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:02 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

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I am not a believer of marriage counselling mainly because I have not seen it work for family and friends who tried it. it seems to be just delaying the inevitable. A last gasp for air before it is over. Try it if you gives you hope.

My personal opinion is that if you are in love with each other, you both will overlook each other's faults and want to please the other. These are emotions and not things you can do with thought. Either you have it or not. No one can make you love someone you don't love. At best you can learn to live with each other civilly. You cannot show anyone how to feel love. For me, the need for a marriage counsellor is the end of my marriage. It means we are not in love as I know it.
I think it can be very useful for couples where they are both trying but lack some basic social relationship skills. Generally, if a marriage gets to counseling, either at least one is not really trying or they are not compatible.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 09:50 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

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The complaint that counselors are bias is common by men in England and does not really happen from men in Denmark. If your conclusion is right, then Englishmen in Denmark would have the same complaint, my experience is that they rave about being listened to and understood.

I do not think it is as extreme in the US as in the UK, but it is certainly there.
Scandinavia is different in general than the UK (and the US, and Canada where I'm from) in the sense that marriages function a bit differently. Men and women are a lot more equal. Fathers are more likely to take leave to raise their children. It's nearly always the case that both the man and woman work full time and both participate equally in cooking and other chores (interesting you mention Denmark as half my extended family lives there). There's less focus on gender roles.

So, it makes sense that men and women may be equally likely to suggest counselling and equally likely to feel they are being listened to.

Are the Englishmen you mention in Denmark because that's where their spouse is from?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 10:29 PM
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Re: Counseling went awry...

I went thru 7 counsellors with my now exwife. Some women and some men. Didn't matter. She "attended" counseling as tho she was attending a play, as a member of the audience rather than a participant. Number four fired us and I give him credit for professional honesty. I quit counseling and filed for divorce the next day after she snickered and laughed at a criticism the last counselor made toward me. I do recognize now that counseling was simply entertainment for her and should have ended it much sooner. But hope springs eternal.

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