What to Expect in Marriage Counseling - 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.

User Tag List

 2Likes
  • 1 Post By EleGirl
  • 1 Post By SunCMars
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 13
What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Recently under "Talk about Divorce and Separation," I shared the fact that separation was a possibility for my husband and me. To summarize the problem, two years ago my husband started to change after some tough things that went on. At first I sympathized and excused his anger and the way he would take things out on me (a big mistake I realize now) because I thought with time, he would go back to being himself. He never did and it has gotten to the point where I feel smothered and anxious not just from how he acts but how others have witnessed it as well. The cycle is exhausting. He will act irrationally, say mean things he ends up taking back, and then expects me to forget when he apologizes the next day overwhelming me with constant future plans (ex: selling our house, going on a luxurious vacation, buying new furniture, etc.) as if nothing happened.

Since his last episode on a trip, I just haven't been able to get over his insecurity and out-of-control behavior. He shocked me by seeing a counselor, something he swore he would never do. While I knew one session wasn't a solution and he hadn't committed to another, I had to admit he was better about things, but it is almost like I reached my intolerance point after that trip because the anxiety won't leave me. He doesn't make it better by constantly talking things to death and again, planning for the future as if things are perfect.

The other day when for the billionth time he brought up going away sometime in July, I had a panic attack and he told me while he admits to all the horrible things he has said and done including his last episode that he cannot handle my anxiety. He wants to go to a marriage counselor, which I had no problem saying yes to. Something needs to be done about us and I want to feel normal again, not with my stomach intermittently in knots and having so many restless nights. I honestly feel crazy, which is so not me.

We found one, but are exploring others because preferably we would like one that takes our insurance.

I was just curious as to what I should expect when we go. What kinds of a question will the counselor ask? How often do we have to go?

A fear I have is marriage counseling not being enough. Would a marriage counselor ever suggest a trial separation? I only ask because as in my other post, I considered it and sadly a couple of people in our lives that have witnessed how my husband gets have privately told me that he and I may have passed a point of no return and just go separate ways.

KiwiTeawi is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 02:17 AM
Moderator
 
EleGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 33,002
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

If you find a good marriage counselor, they can help you a lot. But not all of them are good and/or are mismatches for you. So if you start with one and it's not working for you, try another one.

How to Get the Most From Your Couples Therapy - Couples Institute Couples Institute

I like to use good self help books as well. There are a few that I think are better than months worth of marriage counseling. Instead of focusing on what's wrong. They focus on what you want your life to look like and then helping you get there. Constant talking about problems solves nothing. Behavioral therapy focuses on what you want and how to get there. Some books that I suggest you read.

"Divorce Busting" this book is for you to read.

"Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs" These two books are for you and your husband to read together and do the work that they say to do.. together.

If you end up wanting a separation with the idea of using the time to fix your marriage, then find a counselor who will help you with a structured separation. A structured separation has rules you live by. You write it up and sign it so that both of you know your goals and what's allowed. For example, can you both date while separated? Non-structured separations seldom work for couples... they lead to divorce. It's not even worth doing a non-structured separation, just get a divorce.

Here is an example of a structured separation agreement that would be part of a plan with your counselor.

==================================
Structured Separation – A temporary, time-limited separation conducted with clear and appropriate guidelines for the purpose of rebuilding the marriage. It is understood that at the end of the separation, one or both spouses might choose to end the marriage if the separation is not successful. It should be done under the leadership of someone like your MC with weekly MC Sessions.
1. Length of separation: Set a time limit, preferably 3-6 months.

2. No attorneys: It is agreed that neither spouse will file for divorce during the specified time frame. Both parties have to feel safe and that they will not be blind sided with a divorce filing.

3. Terminating the contract: Decide whether one spouse can terminate the contract or they both have to come to agreement. But neither party will unilaterally terminate the contract and not inform the other.

4. Living separately: Spouses decide which one will move out of the home. If at all possible the spouse with the larger income.


5. Financial Decisions: All monies should be split in a fair and just manner. Pay all bills first. Then split what is left 50/50. If one parent has the child more, then figure out child support according to state guidelines and agree to pay this on an informal basis.

No large purchases (over $200) or debt will be incurred without the express knowledge and agreement of the other spouse. No joint assets will be sold during the separation without the express knowledge and agreement of the other spouse.

Some couples will decide to continue joint checking accounts, savings accounts, and payment of bills. Other couples will completely separate financial aspects of the relationship.... If there is any chance for [significant] disagreement, each person could take out half of the assets and open separate accounts.

6. Confidentiality: An agreement as to who is told and who isn’t. What are you both going to tell other people? Make sure your message is agreed upon by both of you.

7. MC Sessions: Agree to only talk about all the hard stuff and the bad stuff at weekly MC Sessions. Here is where you sort out problems that have occurred during the week as well as going back over the old stuff that got you to this point.”


8. Quality Time to Be Spent Together
1-2 weekly dates, just the two of you. Start with no more than 1 hour each. Expand the time as you both feel safe.
1 weekly family date that includes your son. Again start with the 1 hour each and expand as time goes on.
Separate the irritation of your issues and daily life from your selves as former loves. You need a list of taboo subjects.. no talking about marital problems/issues, the affair, money, etc. Only positive fund things. The point is to do something that is fun and enjoyable, and to end before the good time gets ruined.
9. Chat time: If you want schedule chat time to spend together during the week. The time and length of each call would be decided in advance. Again, the point is to eliminate opportunities for arguing.

10. Administrative Time: Weekly schedule to talk: administrative calls, where you only talk about business or kids-stuff. The time and length of each call would be decided in advance. Again, the point is to eliminate opportunities for arguing


11. Intimate relations. Whether or not to continue with the sexual relationship.

12. Personal Growth Experiences: You each can include as many personal growth experiences as feasible, practical, and helpful.

13. Relationships and Involvements Outside of the Relationship: No social involvement, romantic, and sexual relationships outside of this relationship.

14. Child Custody/Time-Sharing. Establish a joint agreement who your son will be with on which days with as close to a 50/50 split as possible. How/where/when exchanges will take place.

15. Motor Vehicles: Ownership and titles not be changed until a decision has been made about the future of the marriage.

16. Privacy and Issues of Trust:

• Both must agree about what the children will be told about this separation and the marriage relationship.
• Access to the others’ mail, email, voicemail, accounts, other’s places of residence, etc.
• What is the level of transparency needed to help rebuild trust. This must be the same for both parties.
• Are unannounced spontaneous visits allowed?
• Is monitoring/tracking the other part allowed?
EleGirl is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 13
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Thank you so much for all this information. I never thought to turn to books and appreciate the recommendations. You actually mentioned something I have felt strongly about in my own marriage. My husband has a tendency to talk about things to death, particularly problems even after they have reached a solution. I have tried to explain to him that when he does that it makes me want to explode.

I never heard of "structured-separation," but if we do go that route I think that's what I would want to do after having read the regulations.

Another question that I thought of that I forgot to as in my OP. I honestly think that my husband really needs to see the counselor that he went to once regularly to address certain things that he has not come to terms with that have nothing to do with me, but led to making him somebody who cannot control anger or deal with things. Would a marriage counselor ever recommend additional personal counseling to him?
KiwiTeawi is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 11:02 AM
Moderator
 
EleGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 33,002
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiTeawi View Post
Thank you so much for all this information. I never thought to turn to books and appreciate the recommendations. You actually mentioned something I have felt strongly about in my own marriage. My husband has a tendency to talk about things to death, particularly problems even after they have reached a solution. I have tried to explain to him that when he does that it makes me want to explode.
I like good self-help books. Counseling can be good if you get the right counselor. But there is not enough time in counseling for them to teach you a lot of things that none of us were taught growing up. I’ve been to counselors who suggest books as part of the homework that they give.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiTeawi View Post
I never heard of "structured-separation," but if we do go that route I think that's what I would want to do after having read the regulations.
I really like the idea of a structured settlement because it defines what you are up to. Too often couples separate with no plan and before long one of them is seeing someone else, they are arguing over who pays what, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiTeawi View Post
Another question that I thought of that I forgot to as in my OP. I honestly think that my husband really needs to see the counselor that he went to once regularly to address certain things that he has not come to terms with that have nothing to do with me, but led to making him somebody who cannot control anger or deal with things. Would a marriage counselor ever recommend additional personal counseling to him?
You can talk to the counselor about this, I think that most counselors would suggest that a he get into individual counseling.

So here is another book that might help you.


Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft


.
EleGirl is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 11:36 AM
Forum Supporter
 
SunCMars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Coast Nationalist-burg, U.S.A.
Posts: 2,620
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

He need to get his impulse control module replaced. It is located under the flap of his left ear lobe.
.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ..
ON a serious note:

He is acting flighty and way too anxious.

By buying things and going on trips, he is subconsciously avoiding life, its tough decisions and consequences. He is running from being responsible.
His impulsiveness is geared toward short term gratification. He is self-medicating on buying stuff and buzzing around the place.

I would get him on Anti-Anxiety medications..or better ones.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
SunCMars is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 01:10 PM
Forum Supporter
 
arbitrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Central Texas/Brazos Valley
Posts: 11,516
Cool Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Whatever you do, absolutely refuse to use any counselor who has heretofore been either of your IC's on some prior occasion!

My RSXW employed this tactic and together, they ended up shipping my sorry a$$ down the river!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html
arbitrator is online now  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 05:50 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Where u from I want to meet ure husband sounds like we r identical twins thanks

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
bikermehound is online now  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 13
Re: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Impulse control module hahahah I like that one.

I always, too, felt like he was avoiding reality by wanting to constantly skip forward. I like your concept of self-medicating. It makes a lot of sense. I hope the counselor recommends he sees maybe a psychologist who can offer him anti-anxiety meds.
KiwiTeawi is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Tags
anxiety, expectation, separation

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome