Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards

So, we've been going to MC for a year now due to my being dismissive and non empathetic. Before we started she started to withhold any affection to me in hopes that I would see the light and join her in counselling. I did, and was pushed very hard to "let it go" and put her affection off the table for a while. It wasn't easy and I did bring it up from time to time which made her feel like I was pushing her towards a time table. I have been trying my hardest to not dismiss her or her thoughts and give empathy where I could, even though from time to time I'd miss the boat. I could go for a while doing good and one time where I didn't give her empathy and that brings everything crumbling down. I felt/feel like I had/have to be perfect or I'll never be forgiven.

Well, today our Counselor finally started pushing my wife to see that I've been trying and that nobody will be perfect and to forgive me. He finally told her (after a year of counselling) that her way of not giving any affection back to me is obviously not going to work and that she needs to get over this and forgive me. This obviously made her quite uncomfortable and she was actually silent for the last half of our session (either thinking about it or dismissing him). She said at one point she was just thinking about what she was being asked to do and wouldn't elaborate or share any feelings which is quite unlike her and opposite of what she has been wanting me to get better at. It wasn't an easy session and he told her he has been pushing me and it was time for her to do some hard work and she would feel like she is "giving in" when in essence the forgiving and moving on will actually help her feel better about herself and me.

I guess this was more of a way to write out my thoughts and ramble than to actually ask a question. But, has anyone actually had one of these tough sessions actually help to bring them closer together? She literally walked out of the office without even stopping to say bye at my car as she walked off to hers. I went back in and asked my counselor if I should continue asking about talking about our thoughts this week and was told it was probably best to leave it alone for a week unless she brought it up.

Thanks for reading if you made it all of the way through the end of this. It gets harder and harder when you keep trying and it isn't good enough and you see no change from your spouse showing you that things are actually getting better.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 01:42 PM
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Re: Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards

Resentment is a hard thing to let go.

I resented my husband for a number of awful things he had done over the past 20 years. I was convinced that most of the problems in our marriage were his fault. I held onto that resentment tightly even as my husband worked hard and made many positive changes in his behavior. It wasn't until after one of those "tough sessions" that I realized we were never going to move forward until I let go of the past. Like you said, nobody's perfect.

Give your wife some time to digest what your marriage counselor told her. It takes two to make a marriage succeed or fail.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards

Thanks LIAJ. I'm going to back off now and give her some time to digest this. She has been using the "I'm not ready" for a long time and that is what scares me. But maybe now that the counselor is finally pushing her she will see some light. I haven't pressed the lack of physical affection issue in a while and decided it was time to bring it up again in a conversation we had last night which is what led to this session. She was upset that I missed my cue over the weekend to be empathetic about something and I told her I've been trying and that I guess sometimes it is hard to stay in the proper frame of mind when you live life trying to do better and have this feeling all of the time nagging at you that you are unloved and not desired.

I'm going to keep doing what I can in the empathetic realm, and not try stir anything up this week.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 02:56 PM
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Re: Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards

I don't think nobody wants to be tell what to do, what to feel and what to say.
I truly believe that all actions should come from you, not your counselor.
Just put yourself in her shoes for a moment...Would you like to be told that what you are doing is wrong?
...no...I don't think so.
Did you ever hear of Relationship coaching? Certified coaches don't give advises or opinions. They are not going to tell you what to do or how to do it. With powerful questions, all solutions and answers will come from you. You will be empowered; your coach doesn't have that power. You are in the driver seat.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2013, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Making Progress while feeling likea GIANT step backwards

Quote:
Originally Posted by growtogether View Post
I don't think nobody wants to be tell what to do, what to feel and what to say.
I truly believe that all actions should come from you, not your counselor.
Just put yourself in her shoes for a moment...Would you like to be told that what you are doing is wrong?
...no...I don't think so.
Did you ever hear of Relationship coaching? Certified coaches don't give advises or opinions. They are not going to tell you what to do or how to do it. With powerful questions, all solutions and answers will come from you. You will be empowered; your coach doesn't have that power. You are in the driver seat.
Check this article out:
How relationship coaching can help me!?
Thanks for the insight, but the counselor is the one who supported her actions in the beginning and made it known from the start of our sessions that he will push each of us to do what is right for the relationship and not just ourselves. This is the first time he has pushed her to do something for both the marriage and ourselves. I was/am not in the position to tell her to "let it go" because she will feel that is dismissing her thoughts if it comes from me, but if it comes from our counselor then it is his experience and expertise that she is hearing and we are paying for.
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