Re: Post your experiences with professional counseling
I started to see a counselor as soon as my wife pulled away from me emotionally and I sensed I was losing her. I would cry in an isolated room in our house, for example. I knew she was pulling away. That's when I first contacted a counselor. She told me the following: "Let my wife be the person she wants to be." In other words, don't argue with her, don't whine and give her the freedom she wants. And so, I followed that advice. My wife continued to pull away from me. I no longer complained. I let her be the person she wanted to be and do the things she wanted to do. When she asked one Christmas for permission to start yoga classes, I said "sure, why not. And you really don't need my permission. If it makes you happy, please do it."
In reality, the yoga sessions allowed her to start having some hot and steamy hidden experiences with the man she was interested in. Her anger at me for giving her permission to do the things she wanted just continued to grow, as did the hostile treatment. She went to counseling with me once, where she announced to the counselor that there was "no one else," and she was "totally committed" to making the marriage work. But both responses were uttered in anger. I could tell. So did the therapist. I stopped seeing the therapist in February of last year. Three months later, my wife owned up to the affair I had long suspected and sliced my heart into tiny ribbons that night. She left the next day, never to return. I moved out of the house we shared three months later.
When my wife left, I texted the counselor to let her know that my wife's statement about "marriage commitment" was a sham, and the affair I had long suspected was true. I started to see her again. I still see her every other week. She helps. She helps a great deal. She doesn't have any magic answers. But she does help. She's helped me see my wife, or ex, for the person she truly is. I couldn't see it at first. Now I can. It was so simple, really. It doesn't mean we will ever reconcile. I've given up hope for that. But it does give me a clearer idea of why my ex did the things that she did. I stopped wondering why. I began to understand. We always want to look at who is at blame for the end of a relationship or marriage. Sometimes, there is no blame. There is no one thing. There is no "several things." It is simply this is the way it was, and this is what happened. No blame -- just answers.
Some people take a lifetime to experience the life-changing events of loss of a spouse, loss of family, loss of homes and job loss. I'm one of those unlucky turds who decided to cram all four experiences into a six month period. Talk about getting hit with a pile of bricks! More like a baby grand piano! Dropped on my head from the height of the International Space Station!
But, bottom line, counseling has worked for me. I'm better today because of the help I received. I still continue to see her too. I think I will keep this activity up for quite some time. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. There is something wrong with needing help, and not seeking it out.