Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

Our MC has been spending way too much time on trying to get us to be better by ourselves and not work on rekindling the intimate side of our marriage. He tells me that I've not yet become comfortable with feeling alone or dismissed. I keep telling him that if I wanted to feel that way I wouldn't be in a marriage, I'd be single. And then he says "so you want to take the easy way out?". I wouldn't be in MC if I wanted to be single.

It seems that my wife always has another issue she needs to work on for herself and he is always on board with that and says that I can see your marriage is about to turn the corner. I'd really like to think he isn't just doing all of this because he knows she is the one scheduling the next appointments so we can then continue on in counseling?

She says she has to get her life in shape and things will come into place on the intimate side of our relationship. She states that it took a while to get us to where we were, and it will take some time to get back and get our marriage to a better place than where it was and to be patient and not bring up my unhappiness with the lack of intimacy, and our MC is totally on board with this and tells me to get over my issues and figure out how to deal with them. We've been in counseling for 13 months now. I think he should name the addition to his office after us.

Am I wrong in my thinking here? Her current issue is my anger, and she says she needs to figure out how to handle it and not make it about her. She tends to think if I'm angry it is about her all the time. For instance, this weekend she was giving me stuff to hold from her car and I had a coke can in my hand that dropped on my toe and I yelled out Son a *****! Then aplogized for my outburst. I honestly yelled because it HURT! Not because she gave me the can. I don't have an anger problem, I get angry from time to time, and I honestly think some of it stems from this waiting game and lack of intimacy. They don't see it that way. I've been on edge lately due to the "waiting game", and sometimes i'll get upset over little things, just upset, not rages of anger or anything.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 08:40 AM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

The mc to me is just making you two his personal annuity. If she wants to go let her he sounds like he is feeding you bs.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

I agree with you. The only problem is if I let her go, she will see it as me giving up and we won't get anywhere. The problem is that he won't push her to move on with the marriage, only to better herself and supposedly myself. I am not allowed to express my feelings to her, because that offends her and dismisses her making her think I only want her for sex. I've gone the last 2 weeks without mentioning a word of it. Where has that got me? Nowhere...

She says she doesn't have a timeline, but she brought up my couple small anger outbursts from this past weekend, and nothing about the week and a half before when I didn't metion the lack of intimacy or even get angry.

I've even gone as far as having an individual meeting with him before our last session to try and figure out what else is needed. He saw this as me still being needy and not comfortable being dismissed. He stated I need to get comfortable and figure out how to live with being dismissed and she needs to figure out how to live with other peoples anger. I think this is total BS!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 11:04 AM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

MC is invalidating your feelings as a man and sounds like it's not helping her connect with you, either. If she insists on going, go to someone else.

I highly recommend the book The Secrets Of Happily Married Men. There is a counterpart for women, too, but your wife may not read it.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

Thanks MSP. I'm actually currently reading (listening) to The Secrets of Happily Married Men, for probably the 3rd time or so. I don't think that she will read that book since it sounds like "how to help your relationship" instead of how to help "ME". I'm going to give the counterpart for women a listen to and see what it is about and see if it would be something she would read. Something different than the "erotica" that she currently reads all the time now.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 01:24 PM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

My hubby and I had seen a counselor a few years back who asked us to seek individual counseling before seeking it as a couple. unfortunately, we both ended up with people who were not helpful at all. We have been seeing a new counselor and we have found her to be VERY helpful. She tells it like it is and we like that, even if it pisses off hubby. Now that we have had around 7 sessions, I find we talk about Hubby more than myself, but know his upbringing is the reason for this. I am ok with this as I know a lot of his issues are from the way his father controlled and treated him, thus why he seems to treat me bad at times. I feel it all depends on the person you are seeing and knowing what you are looking to get out of all of this. For my Hubby, he found it hard to talk about things that have happened to him and now that he is more open, its helping and I have seen a difference.

I don't understand why your counselor would want you to be ok with being alone and dismissed. What kind of marriage is that if you feel that way? That's ridiculous. Can I ask why you are seeking counseling? I am assuming it was your wife's idea.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

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Originally Posted by imhisbeautifuldisaster View Post
My hubby and I had seen a counselor a few years back who asked us to seek individual counseling before seeking it as a couple. unfortunately, we both ended up with people who were not helpful at all. We have been seeing a new counselor and we have found her to be VERY helpful. She tells it like it is and we like that, even if it pisses off hubby. Now that we have had around 7 sessions, I find we talk about Hubby more than myself, but know his upbringing is the reason for this. I am ok with this as I know a lot of his issues are from the way his father controlled and treated him, thus why he seems to treat me bad at times. I feel it all depends on the person you are seeing and knowing what you are looking to get out of all of this. For my Hubby, he found it hard to talk about things that have happened to him and now that he is more open, its helping and I have seen a difference.

I don't understand why your counselor would want you to be ok with being alone and dismissed. What kind of marriage is that if you feel that way? That's ridiculous. Can I ask why you are seeking counseling? I am assuming it was your wife's idea.
Yes, it was her idea. We were in counseling because she felt I was being dismissive of her needs. I worked on that and things really didn't get better between us. It was still all about what SHE needed/needs. Nothing about my needs, which were reduced down by our counselor to my "wants", not needs. He felt at the time that I needed to be happy for myself, not for my marriage. In other words, my wife shouldn't be the one to make me happy. I didn't and still don't get that. If I'm in a relationship where my needs are not getting met, how and why should I be happy with that?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 02:58 PM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

So its ok for your needs not to be met, but not for hers? Makes no sense! Your needs and wants are just as important as hers. I want nothing more than for my husband to be happy, in all aspects of the word. I could not imagine going to see a counselors and making it all about me. She should be ashamed of herself for not taking your feelings into account here. Maybe she needs to seek help on her own and see if that is helpful. What do you think the "issue" is? Sounds like your wife needs to stop thinking about herself and think about the US. Marriage is about 2 people, not just one.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 03:51 PM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

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She says she has to get her life in shape and things will come into place on the intimate side of our relationship. She states that it took a while to get us to where we were, and it will take some time to get back and get our marriage to a better place than where it was and to be patient and not bring up my unhappiness with the lack of intimacy, and our MC is totally on board with this and tells me to get over my issues and figure out how to deal with them. We've been in counseling for 13 months now. I think he should name the addition to his office after us.
If the reason she has lost interest in sex is because she has piled up resentments during the course of the marriage, then yes, she very likely does need to work through those before she's going to want to have sex with you. So it may seem like a constantly moving target...work through one issue, but there's another, and another. It depends on how deep those resentments go. As she said, this didn't happen overnight.

At the same time, 13 months is a long time to not have made any progress on the intimacy front. That should be worked through in parallel, IMO, while also working on the other issues. Small things like adding date nights to your schedule, being more physically affectionate with each other outside the bedroom, etc., are things that can get the ball rolling and help prevent creating more distance between you, and that sort of work should be happening concurrently.

Would she consider going to a different MC?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

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So its ok for your needs not to be met, but not for hers? Makes no sense! Your needs and wants are just as important as hers. I want nothing more than for my husband to be happy, in all aspects of the word. I could not imagine going to see a counselors and making it all about me. She should be ashamed of herself for not taking your feelings into account here. Maybe she needs to seek help on her own and see if that is helpful. What do you think the "issue" is? Sounds like your wife needs to stop thinking about herself and think about the US. Marriage is about 2 people, not just one.
She sees my need for sex and intimacy as me just wanting her for her body, not for seeing her as "her". This is because I've actually got a sex drive I guess. Things started to get better and she felt that meeting my needs once a month was OK, as long as I met her emotional needs all the time. I brought this up, and things went a bit downhill again after that. I got the whole "you don't see me for me, but only for my body" speech again. I'm supposed to be happy having my needs met when she is in the mood once a month or whenever it is. She won't seem to make an effort to try and get in the mood when I'd like some intimacy or want to.

I'm going to try and talk about this again and hope it doesn't blow up into the same old thing it always does.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 04:42 PM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

Try and stress to her that you feel unloved when she rejects sex, and that you aren't actually just after sex but need to feel desired by her.

A lot of women don't really understand that, which is why your pleas for more sex sound to her like all you care about is sex. A lot of women also don't see it as rejecting YOU when they reject sex, but a lot of men do see it as rejection of themselves.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 04:48 PM
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Intimacy, that's the key. If there is no physical intimacy how are you supposed to feel like you are together? I always tell my husband sex is something I can only get (and only want) from one person and that's you. I have chosen to marry you and be with you ONLY. I really think there is something else going on with your wife. I mean you have been together for a while so I don't see why she would think you only want her for her body.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

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At the same time, 13 months is a long time to not have made any progress on the intimacy front. That should be worked through in parallel, IMO, while also working on the other issues. Small things like adding date nights to your schedule, being more physically affectionate with each other outside the bedroom, etc., are things that can get the ball rolling and help prevent creating more distance between you, and that sort of work should be happening concurrently.

Would she consider going to a different MC?
Oh, Date Nights is one of the things that was a key issue with her. We've now had date nights for the past year and a half at least once a month. She won't open up to being physically affectionate outside the bedroom much either. Kind of hard to cuddle and watch TV when she sits in another chair instead of the couch (makes her back feel better.... ) So I do try for Non Sexual physical touch, but the only time that is possible is when we go to bed, then she thinks I only want sex. I try and tell her that is not the case, but then again, when it has been 3-4 weeks, it isn't like I'd turn down sex either.

Trying to stay emotionally connected to her is tough when you got shot down all the time for your desires.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

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Try and stress to her that you feel unloved when she rejects sex, and that you aren't actually just after sex but need to feel desired by her.

A lot of women don't really understand that, which is why your pleas for more sex sound to her like all you care about is sex. A lot of women also don't see it as rejecting YOU when they reject sex, but a lot of men do see it as rejection of themselves.
I've tried this tactic. I'm going to try and reword things tonight I think. Bring it up a first instead of in the middle of the "you only want me for my body" fights. See if she (and I) can be a little more open minded and actually discuss OUR needs together.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 08:33 AM
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Re: Am I in Marriage Counseling or Individual Counseling with my wife?

How did your talk go last night?
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