How long do you give counseling?
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How long do you give counseling?

Here's the skinny....been married 14 years. My wife and I have slowly lived separate lives last number of years. She has her own business. I felt I was showing responsibility by taking care of the kids on weekends and nights. However even though I started pulling my weight with chores and kids (an old complaint)...it still didn't win her affection. We have two great kids. She treated me bad...trying to push me away (which she admitted). She would distance herself from me emotionally and mentally. We would go to parties and she would go to the other side of the room. I respected her independence....but had enough. Looking at her family...the women in her family to me with some reading had attachment issues.

In Oct I confronted her and gave her some books saying our marriage was in bad shape...if its not too late let's work on it. She said "yes" we were in dire straits. She said I was great guy, a stand up guy, and a great dad....however she didn't love me....and she couldn't see going to a counselor would change that. She was (imo) predetermined to divorce, but agreed to counseling for the kids sake. She said she knew she was going to disappoint everybody....

We have had two months and there are no signs of her trying. She is pretty apathetic to the marriage, however she still attends. We had assignments and she admitted she couldn't put pen to paper. I slightly see her letting go of her anger...but then I wonder if she is coming to this...knowing separation and divorce is near.

She has sworn up and down in therapy and to me there is no one else.

So like the Spartans I have gone into the pass knowing the fight might be hopeless. I come from old school values...where divorce is really shunned and you work through the issues. Its tough living here...where every day I feel rejected. We do have conversations but it focuses on her business. She does not care about my stuff. That's the bottomline she does not care. I approached it like a guy....read all the books...looking for a magic bullet. Therapist has told me "patience". We are doing our separate sessions now.

With my guts and heart put through cuisnart...I try to take it one day at a time. Try to be happy old self that is usually optimistic, but its tough when you think this is the last xmas as a family etc.

So how long do you go with therapy when the other person is not budging???? Please let me know your thoughts. happy Holidays.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

I am on the opposite side as you, as I relate to your wife. But my H and I are doing IC right now and plan to separate in Feb. and our counselor said that once we are separated she will be able to see within 60 days whether there is any positive movement and then she would suggest an exit plan if not. Doesn't your counselor say anything about how she/he feels it is going between the two of you??

How old are your children, mine are 8 and I was just curious.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

My kids are 9 and 12.

Counselor has not passed a judgement yet...since she is still exploring our past histories with family of origin background.

What frustrates me....(and maybe your wife)...is that reading the books I see our dynamic clearly spelled out there. For example my wife is a big controller and I am Mr Pleaser (to the point where its painful for me). And there are remedies. All couples go through this. I remember an old guy I met long ago who was married three times said ultimately the same issues came up with every one of his wives. And he wished he worked it out the issues with his first wife.

Again maybe I old fashioned but tthe greatest gift we can give our kids is for us to be a couple. I don't won't it if she is miserable in the relationship. We can survive a divorce. But there is not abuse, gambling, or other real nasty factors in between us.

Do you see your dynamic in the material you are reading?
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

You can't really give a time table to counseling. There are too many factors involved and they differ for each individual. Perhaps the most important is the willingness to change and the realization that it's not the counseling that changes you. It's the desire to change. The counseling, assuming it's competent, just provides a possible road map. It took 14 years for your relationship to get to this point so it sounds as if the two of you took years to drift apart. This process will test your patience.

For the first 4 or 5 months after my wife and I started counseling I felt that she wasn't putting forth any effort whatsoever. It took a new counselor and several more months for me to realize that my timetable was not my wife's timetable. I could either be patient, or I could walk away. But I could not force her to change. Now, at 16 months, I am still occasionally frustrated. But I look back at where we were a year ago and realize that there have been changes. We are in a better spot than we were.

We were attending marriage counseling twice a month and my wife saw an individual counselor on the off weeks for over a year. So it was pretty intense for a while. We recently moved and stopped seeing our counselors but have agreed that if either of us feels the need we would find a new marriage counselor. I guess I mention this to make a point: counseling is a tool; it is not a fix. Use it when you need it. But ultimately the results have to come from within.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Marriage counseling fails 70% of the time or more. Generally they do more to prepare a couple for separation than to bring them together.

Take a look at the books in my signature block about building a passionate marriage. They would probably help you more.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Blakeeddie, I am the wife who is not sure she wants to be married any longer. My issues are different than yours and the books that I read tend to point me in the direction of leaving. You can look up my threads to find my issues if you would like, alike in some ways but very different in others.

It is hard on both sides of the coin. I am sure it is hard for your wife knowing that she may want to end your relationship and tear apart your family.

What dynamics are you referring to? Communication problems, Lack of intimacy, Rugsweeping for YEARS are the dynamics of our marriage....
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

I am the controller and he is very passive-aggressive too which is another dynamic I suppose.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Blakeedie,

I can relate to your situation. My wife walked out on me 7 weeks ago today. Prior to that she had shocked me with news she wanted to Divorce, 9 months before. We worked on it for months, tried a MC who was not very good, then tried some other things.

It was obvious she was hardly trying through this whole process. As the typical guy, I tried everything to fix it, but her heart was not in it. We are currently doing MC and IC both. She is still in the blame game mode, but I am hoping our MC can get her to look inside herself and see she needs to change if this will ever work. I am determined to change, now she needs to also change or we will fail.

She blames me for her unhappiness and have become the justification for her walking away, but I think deep down we both know it is something she is struggling about internally with aging. Having read up on MLC, she hits every point. What I have learned is that "Patience" is a must, which could take months or years. In the mean time I will continue to improve myself for her if she re-engages in a once very good marriage, or for my next lover.

We never had children which a makes seperation and divorce much easier, which is a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time.

The bottom line is I did love her very much up until D day, but since this seperation, I can see my love for her is starting to fade.

If you want to save it be patient and be the best you can be.



BTW: I disagree with any counsellor who calims 60 days is all that is needed to decide the future. I didn't know crystal balls work.

Last edited by This is me; 12-23-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

You need to begin the 180 immediately. You also need to set your own time table. If her heart is not in it and she is only going through the motions, it is already over. Do the 180 for yourself. Work on YOU and let the chips fall where they may. After 90 days of the 180. I would go for separation with the intention of divorce and hope things got better. Sorrow, man. I feel for you

If you want to feel better about your situation, read my story. How would you interpret this message. Not for the faint of heart ;-)
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Marriage counseling can work, but both partners have to be willing to do the work. It does not sound like she's doing the work. It also sounds like there is another man in the background....maybe not physically with her but emotionally with her. Can you investigate this further?

I ageee with KanDo. Time to do the 180. Work on yourself, get your own life going. If she can't value you what you bring to the marriage, that is her loss....and that is the attitude that has the most chance of getting her back.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

What's the 180? I am working out 5 days a week. I have a band that I playing with for a two years with some old friends. Its great therapy.

I will investigate if there is someone else more.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Her going to counseling is not the solution to your marital problems.

Basically, what happened is you allowed your wife to mentally leave the marriage. You allowed her business and her children to become the primary focus of her life. YOu allowed this because you were conflict avoidant. So how on earth is her going to IC going to fix that problem?

You have to work to shift her focus away from her independent life and motherhood and towards you and her marriage. You have do things that will attract her into doing this.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

Start reading here:The Man Up and Nice Guy Reference

and here:The Healing Heart: The 180

It sounds like you are your wifes doormat and she doesn't like door mats. She needs a man not a wimp. Actually maning up probably won't be that difficult for you. Many men here have done it and saved their marriages.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

I agree that counselling hardly ever works. And the fault is that the counsellors are usually no good. Remember youre paying her and the longer she can keep you the better. Dont believe that she has hundreds of customers and is doing you a favor by finding time for you.
How long has your wife got her own business. Do you also have.
Most likely not. She sees herself now as above you. You may have taken care of her for years but thats all forgotten.
Do you help her in her business or does she rather you keep out of it.
For your future it really depends on your wifes upbringing and family. Is divorce there also frowned upon.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long do you give counseling?

You are absolutely right on the respect dynamic....it takes two to play and I let myself get disrepected. I have ordered one of those books. It might be too late...where she has abandoned the marriage.

Her mom had left her father when she was 14 but they did get back together. I don't think they divorced. Divorce is not as frowned upon.
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