Why men avoid marriage counseling... - Page 2 - 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 #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 01:34 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

When my H and I went to MC we had a really good experience. Our counselor seemed to really have a gift for addressing both of our needs and also to call out the areas that needed work with straightforwardness and humor. She had been doing it for 30 years though so I think we were blessed or lucky that we found her.
She helped us both a lot. (We were dealing with my EA and H didn't want to D but he didn't know how to get through it.)
That was 4 years ago and we are doing well in our R. We give her a lot of credit for helping us see things we needed to see.
But I personally give H even more credit for being willing to stay with me and work things out!

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 04:30 PM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

Men avoid marriage counselling as they assume they will be blamed. Women like it for the same reason.

If you cannot make it work, that chances of the third party being able to help. I recall from relationship break-ups, you could talk and talk, but once she was dumped she would want to listen. Of course, had she been willing to listen in the first place we would not have broken up.

MC was great for me, but only because we did it in Denmark with a Danish counselor. They have the same expectations of men and women, so my wifes assumptions made her jaw drop on occasion (and she promptly closed it again to look neutral). That reassured me that I was the sane one.

We briefly went with a an English one afterwards, who was keen to declare me the devil himself as my wife felt pressured to contribute to the marriage.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:12 PM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

Went once with my wife, but the counselor really didn't have anything useful to add. We were there over a disagreement on whether or not to have children and the counselor really did't have much to suggest - we were both being rational, just disagreed.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:56 PM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

I think counseling can be great but at the right time and for the right reasons. When one person wants a divorce and seeks therapy as a last stitch resort I don't think it's very helpful. I think therapy is good when you sense problems arising and want nip it in the butt and address it there.
Many people tell me that they wish they went to MC sooner, that maybe then their marriage was fixable. When you don't fix problems and fine tune things they grow and become huge problems. Resentment sets in, and one person just gives up because there are just too many issues to overcome it's not worth it. But at one time, the couple was happy and the issues were less. So to go from that to divorce perhaps means that there wasn't enough fine tuning along the way. Who knows.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:57 PM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

I don't want a divorce, my husband doesn't want a divorce. But I am requesting MC because we don't communicate well, and my goal is that we can find someone that can give us the right tools and understanding to help us communicate better. Before it gets any worse.
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 02:19 PM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

My experience was I just paid to have my STBXW tell me all my issues and give me no chance to talk and then refuse to go to another session, she has told me since she is sorry for her part but never actually told me what her part was.

I think there comes a certain point where its too late and some spouses just go to say "i did everything i could' or I tried so hard' to help there conscience or to be able to show other people they 'tried'.

If you are having some communication issues and both want to work it out then maybe it could be a good thing, but I have not had a good experience.

M - 12
Kids - 2
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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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Originally Posted by Almost-Done View Post
We've all been there. However, my wife never openly threatened divorce. I did, however, tell her if we cannot work things out and act like husband and wife, a divorce is most certainly going to happen. I commend you (and your wife) for seeing that she was causing the issues and is working on herself and the marriage to try and repair it. It's very rare that a woman in crisis will realize there part of the marital breakdown and attempt to fix it. That is a huge sign. Wish I had that instead of a cold, resentful angry woman.

All in all, you have hope in saving your marriage.
Oh my wife threatened divorce but instead of chasing her like I used to it was OK with letting her go. I was willing to work things out but I was done feeling like I was the only one that wanted it. After 9 months of in home separation, which I think was easier on my than it was for her, she came back we had a looking talk and we've been working on repairing our marriage ever since. I don't feel like the only one that wants to be married anymore. It's been over a year since we decided to reconcile and we're still working on repairing the damage but we're finally working together and I'm ok with it. If she stops and I have to start basically begins her to work with me then I'm calling it quits. I think she knows this.

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 08:59 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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marriage counseling is a total crock. it's all about catering to the woman and trying to force the man to conform to her "needs"
Experiences will vary. Back before I got married, my wife and I received counseling from an older couple in our church working in the marriage ministry. While this is not "professional" counseling, I think what happened to us is very explanatory of the perceived usefulness (or uselessness) of professional counseling.

In a nutshell, the couple agreed with me on most things and it really pissed off my future wife. Not only did she discount all of their advice and labeled it as useless, but also, she accused me of vilifying her. To me, the lesson seemed pretty clear:

If a counselor takes a side, and the person on the opposite side isn't receptive to the idea that he or she is wrong (at least in part), it will lead to his or her discounting of the advice. If furthermore, the person on the opposite side disagrees with how his or her spouse represented the marital conflict to guide the counselor's opinion, it will lead to the premise of vilification.

If both husband and wife go into counseling with the right attitude (both people accepting some culpability), if they both believe the counseling will help (are ready to work and think the marriage is salvageable), and if the counselor is not overly partial to either husband or wife, I think counseling can actually be helpful. But only under these conditions, few of which are known a priori.

My wife and I just went to a preliminary session with a "professional" counselor, and I'm predicting doom. The wife is already signaling she doesn't think she needs counseling and I'm the one mostly at fault; she's already is fierce disagreement with my perspective of our conflict; and she's labeling me (in advance) as a vilifying wretched man (her words are less harsh, but idea is the same). Oh, and she hates the counselor.

For apparent reasons, I predict utter failure, and I assume given the wife's state most MC would result in the same. If people don't have the right attitudes going in, failure is almost guaranteed. But MC is not a complete waste of money. Anyone who goes reaps benefits in the long-term, should their marriage crash and burn. It's a check in the box of "I tried".

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house ~ Solomon
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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:21 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

I agree, @_anonymous_. Whether or not it works really depends on the two individuals. If they both enter with the mindset that no one is to blame, but they both bear some responsibility for their problems and want to improve upon their unhealthy behaviors and fix the marriage, I think it can work.

But if one person isn't open, or has an agenda, or thinks that all the blame lay with the other person, then it's over before it's begun.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

We did marriage counselling. Several times, with different counsellors. But it never really helped us.

Because, as we eventually realised, post D-Day, that WE weren't the problem. It took IC, rather than MC, to figure out our own issues, which were where the problems affecting us lay.

THEN we were able to try working together again. Successfully.

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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:39 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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Originally Posted by _anonymous_ View Post
Experiences will vary. Back before I got married, my wife and I received counseling from an older couple in our church working in the marriage ministry. While this is not "professional" counseling, I think what happened to us is very explanatory of the perceived usefulness (or uselessness) of professional counseling.

In a nutshell, the couple agreed with me on most things and it really pissed off my future wife. Not only did she discount all of their advice and labeled it as useless, but also, she accused me of vilifying her. To me, the lesson seemed pretty clear:

If a counselor takes a side, and the person on the opposite side isn't receptive to the idea that he or she is wrong (at least in part), it will lead to his or her discounting of the advice. If furthermore, the person on the opposite side disagrees with how his or her spouse represented the marital conflict to guide the counselor's opinion, it will lead to the premise of vilification.

If both husband and wife go into counseling with the right attitude (both people accepting some culpability), if they both believe the counseling will help (are ready to work and think the marriage is salvageable), and if the counselor is not overly partial to either husband or wife, I think counseling can actually be helpful. But only under these conditions, few of which are known a priori.

My wife and I just went to a preliminary session with a "professional" counselor, and I'm predicting doom. The wife is already signaling she doesn't think she needs counseling and I'm the one mostly at fault; she's already is fierce disagreement with my perspective of our conflict; and she's labeling me (in advance) as a vilifying wretched man (her words are less harsh, but idea is the same). Oh, and she hates the counselor.

For apparent reasons, I predict utter failure, and I assume given the wife's state most MC would result in the same. If people don't have the right attitudes going in, failure is almost guaranteed. But MC is not a complete waste of money. Anyone who goes reaps benefits in the long-term, should their marriage crash and burn. It's a check in the box of "I tried".
Case in point, marriage counseling is mainly a woman oriented way to pass blame on men for all martial ills. I think it has little to do with attitudes, more with the agenda of the woman and counselor going in. It's more like a "kangaroo court". It's a pretty expensive, but at times necessary "Yeah, ok we tried but didn't help " check box exercise. The counselor has nothing at stake. He/she gets paid irregardless of what happens. What is the motivation of the counselor, then, to be helpful?

"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 #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 10:04 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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The counselor has nothing at stake. He/she gets paid irregardless of what happens. What is the motivation of the counselor, then, to be helpful?
Typical principal-agent problem. I trust that counselors have chosen the profession to help couples, but to your point, there is questionable motivation.

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house ~ Solomon
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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 10:46 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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Typical principal-agent problem. I trust that counselors have chosen the profession to help couples, but to your point, there is questionable motivation.
When I was going to college (sometime back in the Jurassic Age) I heard many people wanted to go into marriage counseling solely based on how much money they make.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"

Last edited by jb02157; 05-05-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 11:17 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

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We did marriage counselling. Several times, with different counsellors. But it never really helped us.

Because, as we eventually realised, post D-Day, that WE weren't the problem. It took IC, rather than MC, to figure out our own issues, which were where the problems affecting us lay.

THEN we were able to try working together again. Successfully.
I think MC works much better when done in conjunction with IC. Because problems in a marriage are frequently due to personal issues and behaviors that can't be resolved in MC alone.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Why men avoid marriage counseling...

Why men avoid marriage counseling...


... the same reason we don't like asking for directions I suspect
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