Any feedback or outcome of the counseling? I feel we will probably end up there with the mess that I am in. It is a far different situation than yours, but I was interested in your perspective from someone who has gone thru counseling.
We've had four sessions so far and have our fifth on Monday. (See my post in the "Considering Divorce or Separation" section for our problems.) Our first three sessions seemed more like a get-to-know-you for the counselor so he could learn about our history and personalities. I completely understand the merits to that, but it was a little frustrating not being able to dive right in. Our last session was a lot more cathartic, though, because I felt like I could finally just say what I was feeling, no matter how sad or upsetting the truth was. Maybe counselling will get better from here, but so far, I haven't seen many changes. To be quite honest, I think things have only gotten worse since we started, but I really think it's because of us and not because of the counsellor or counselling in general.
When we first began counselling, we had to write down what the objective was. I wrote that I wanted reconciliation. I know that's not a certainty, so I guess part of my goal is that, if our marriage does end, counselling will have helped me realized that it's the healthy thing for me and will at least be helping me deal with and move past the anger I feel toward my husband so I can be a healthy, happy individual.
Huh--I guess I've never articulated that before.
I'll post again next week after our session to give you an update.
Do you think counselling would help you, no1.daddy2kids? Is your wife up for it?
Well, from my perspective, I would think it would. Read my post in the considering divorce section. We have a situation of my withdrawl for years. Earlier this year, I really started a soul searching, I feel drawn from faith. However, by the time I got it all figured out, she had enough and started seeing someone else. Since we have been together for 9 years and have 2 kids, plus I think of marriage as a life long thing where we have to work through issues, not just dump it when it is tough, I am ready to work at it. I think we are so quick to go to anger and frustration that we have forgot to be civil and don't work at conversation and communication. My hope is to have someone between us to keep things civil and communication high so that we can express our feelings truthfully and communicate or goals and needs to each other. I think then we will realize that we are not far apart from each other. Forward we can work on communcation and problem solving issues and start being happy again. Maybe it sounds stupid, but we missed that part in the beginning of our marriage. It was approached more like two individuals living together supporting themselves, rather than two people coming together to have common goals and dreams supporting each other. I would hope that my wife can see the things she will lose in a divorce and will realize that it will not be any easier being separate (more details in other thread).
I hope things work out for you. How many sessions is this counseling? I'm new at all this.
just for me personally, i would never rely on marriage counseling. what a complicated dynamic to take all the problems between the two of you, and then involve a third party. just for me, its too complicated.
my approach is that each person be accountable for the dysfunction they bring to the relationship, first. that's why i would only go to individual counseling. i havent been going so im getting in the habit of pointing my finger, but i think the only way for a relationship to survive the hard times is for each person to be accountable for their own part and drop the blame game.
of course it is important to address the dysfunction the other spouse brings, but not before addressing one's own problems.
so if the counseling isnt working, just try something else, or a new counselor.
I agree with what you say. In my situation though, someone else in the room for a while to facilitate a better type of discussion would be a big help. When W and I have a discussion, it starts to get messy too quick and frustration comes in too quickly. I would hope a 3rd party would be able to diffuse this. As I mentioned, if we can break thru that, I think things would be better, as I think we are more compatible than we care to issue, its just too hard to admit when we are angry.
I agree too on admission of adn responsibility for ones own problems. In the talks we have had recently, we both have been doing that. It hurts to hear though.
Remember counseling is a process in which you have to work at...it takes time! Many times there will be anxiety leading up to the session. Also, some times after the session you feel a slew of emotions (anger, frustration, relief, etc). All of these emotions are normal.
My opinion: If 2 people go into marriage counseling and only 1 person is doing the work, then it will NOT be successful. This is my opinion. If only 1 person wants to save the marriage and the other person is there for other reasons (kids, convinced, guilted) than it won't work. I've experienced this first hand.
Hi, all. We had our fifth session this past Monday, and we talked about our parents' marriages--our marital models. I don't think this was that helpful, though, because we both know that my parents have a healthy marriage and that his parents had a very unhealthy marriage (and are now divorced). I didn't learn anything new, and I don't think my H did either.
I think we have a pretty good idea of what our problems are, but we're gridlocked on how to work through them. No discussions we have on our own do any good; we just end up angry and no better off--probably worse, in fact--than before the conversation.
I agree that both people need to want the marriage to work and that a counselor can be a good mediator. One thing I'm frustrated about, though, is that I have wanted this marriage to work all along and have worked SO hard that I'm exhausted--I feel like I have nothing else to give right now. To see my H make no effort even now is, well, depressing and infuriating. Also frustrating is that I feel like our counselor is moving at a snail's pace. I know these things can take time, but the situation is getting worse with every week. I'm going to tell him I feel this way and that we need to move on to the present instead of dwelling so much on the past.
If nothing else, I need to do this because my failing marriage is affecting my physical health (heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, headaches, nausea, etc.) to the point where I'm thinking of asking my H to leave for a couple weeks just so I can try to recover physically.
Sorry for the downer post--I've felt really depressed and anxious this week.
Is it possible for you to change counselors? After five sessions, it doesn't sound like this one has been much of a help to you guys. Remember, not every counselor is a good fit. Sometimes you have to "shop" around for a good one.
We must assess the credentials of the therapist? MD, PhD or a MSW (Masters in Social Work). I may be biased, but there are different lenghts to each. How many years experience does this counsellor have? If the counsellor is not a good fit, bring it up with them, refuse to pay them further and find something that will save your marriage. I mean if someone is taking your money and isn't really helping you, that's awful!
Thanks for posting, my significant other and I may need counselling or may benefit from it. Your posts are nice, hang in there. I hope it all works out. You seem quite altruistic.
Jane and Airee, I suppose we could change counselors. (At this point, I feel exhausted just thinking about having to explain all our problems to someone new.) Our current counselor has these credentials: MSW, LICSW, LMFT, LADC. I'm not sure if it's him; it's entirely possible that our marriage isn't salvageable.
At our session last week, I said that we needed to pick up the pace because I don't see how the marriage will ever work and if there's something we can be working on, I need to know right now. I then asked my husband to leave for a couple weeks, and our counselor was very supportive; he said that most separations end in divorce because most couples don't separate soon enough. We talked about boundaries during our time apart and what we hope to get out of it. I felt so much relief just taking action instead of sitting back passively and letting the counselor lead all our discussions. I guess I don't really know how counseling works. Does the counselor have a plan of action, or are you supposed to take charge? I initially assumed it was the former, but I now think it should be the latter.
Airee, it's not going to hurt to try counseling, even if you're not sure you need it right now. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. And thanks for your well wishes. I hope things work out too. I'm realizing, though, that my altruism is coming back to haunt me. . . .
IMHO, a good practioner has the plan for you. Although, there are different counselling styles, my background has been to always tell the patients where they are headed and what the plan is. I think you did good at stepping forward. I'm a little surprised though, doesn't your counsellor have you guys do little exercises together, like sit opposite each other in a chair and tell each other what it is you don't like and do like about each other.
Next session, consider asking what his plan is, what is the next steps. Ask him if there are any exercises y'all can work on together?
My hubby and I are reading a book together on relationships. We both have experience in the field and are kinda counselling our own marriage and have little exercises set out that we do.
So, I dont mean to strike a cord with anyone the wrong way, but the MSW usually has the least training in comparison to the MD and PhD candidate...there is a difference, IMHO.
MSW: Masters in Social Work
MD: Medical Doctor
PhD: Doctor of Philosophy
LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
I bet you could google the acronyms to find out if you're not sure.
Airee, yeah, I'm really surprised he hasn't given us more exercises either. We've had two: writing about our first date and then the parents' marriage thing. Neither has been at all helpful, and I have no clue what direction he's going to take this. The more I think about the counselling, the more frustrated I am. So I try not to think about it because I have plenty of frustrations in my life right now!
You mention MSW, MD, PHD and I see others that are listed by the names. Where can someone find out what these mean?
Hmm, not certain I understand what you mean. If you mean how can you find out what the therapist is, ask straight up. If not google their name.
MSW=masters of social work 2-3yr program
MD= 8yrs of college + 4-7yrs of residency - this is a psychiatrist
PhD= 8-10yrs of college - this is a psychologist
I humbly think there is a difference with what these 3 can give you. More years = more experience, IMHO, better therapy.