Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

So seriously dumb question here. When undergoing MC, and you start thinking about things that were brought up and you want to talk about them later, or more accurately, expand on them, move the conversation along... but it's a source of pain... better to wait until the next session? I feel that she feels, heck, even I feel, "safe" in our counseling sessions, bringing painful stuff up. But it's kind of strange keeping things bottled up until the next time.

The very act of engaging a MC would seem to be partly about establishing safety for the painful stuff. So does it go against the grain, perhaps even negate the benefit of MC when you have that painful conversation separately, with your husband or wife?

Thanks-

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 11:20 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

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....better to wait until the next session?
Yes.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 11:50 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

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Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
So seriously dumb question here. When undergoing MC, and you start thinking about things that were brought up and you want to talk about them later, or more accurately, expand on them, move the conversation along... but it's a source of pain... better to wait until the next session? I feel that she feels, heck, even I feel, "safe" in our counseling sessions, bringing painful stuff up. But it's kind of strange keeping things bottled up until the next time.

The very act of engaging a MC would seem to be partly about establishing safety for the painful stuff. So does it go against the grain, perhaps even negate the benefit of MC when you have that painful conversation separately, with your husband or wife?

Thanks-
You are the only one on this web site that knows how you and your wife communicate. It seems like you want to work on things and move it along. How will your wife respond to that? Will she feel the same way? Will she feel attacked? Will she feel safe discussing these things?

Being in MC might indicate that you and your wife are not communicating effectively. In which case it is probably best to wait.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 11:55 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

I'm wondering if IC for you would help you deal with painful information in a way that would not interfere with MC. It will be hard to ignore what is consuming your thoughts,

Seems you need to talk about this. You could set up appointments to fall after MC visits. Your therapist could advise on proceeding.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

OK to delete; put all comments into one reply.

Last edited by Casual Observer; 09-15-2019 at 03:02 AM.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

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Yes.
Looking back at my post, pretty sure I came to this conclusion myself. :-)

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You are the only one on this web site that knows how you and your wife communicate. It seems like you want to work on things and move it along. How will your wife respond to that? Will she feel the same way? Will she feel attacked? Will she feel safe discussing these things?

Being in MC might indicate that you and your wife are not communicating effectively. In which case it is probably best to wait.
My wife responds far better, and seemingly with more honesty, in the MC setting.

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I'm wondering if IC for you would help you deal with painful information in a way that would not interfere with MC. It will be hard to ignore what is consuming your thoughts,

Seems you need to talk about this. You could set up appointments to fall after MC visits. Your therapist could advise on proceeding.
TAM is an outlet for "talking" that helps reduce the over-talking/over-thinking in discussions with my wife. Regarding IC specifically, it was my IC that suggested MC would be more beneficial, because her IC wasn't creating the sort of shared accountability that would be seen with MC.

Conclusion: Best to save the tough topics for MC. Let the MC decide what to "take home" with us and talk about. Makes me not seem like the bad guy, and a less-defensive posturing on my wife's part definitely helps with discussion.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 04:01 AM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

Yeah, this question is a good one to ask the MC. My opinion is wait.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 12:53 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

Casual,

Your question is not dumb at all. It’s an excellent question clearly framed.

What I’ve learned from M2 during my thirty years with her. All conversations directed at your partners behavior have a temporal (past, present, future) component. For example:
1. You (are not a very good partner) because you did or did not do xyz in the past. I call this style: you suck because
2. The present - I break these into two buckets,
a) security related such as the real example of: (sharp voice) Babe, step back (from the giant possum) that just crawled out of the wood pile we were moving. Followed by (disapproving voice): Rabies
b) emotionally sensitive topics: I want to talk about this emotionally loaded topic now
3. It would be nice if: For example... It would be nice if we got to a place where we could discuss X or Y or Z, when it’s just the two of us.

All that said, M2 has mastered a remarkable economy of speech. She is easily able to clearly express her point in a sub thirty second sound bite. I have discovered ‘the joy of brevity’ when you are on the receiving end of a: personal improvement plan (PIP) request. Brevity plus future tense can be very powerful.

Past tense comes dangerously ****ing close to asking someone to apologize for who they are.

Future tense - framed properly - is asking someone you love to try to take an intentional step towards you and deeper into the marriage.


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Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
So seriously dumb question here. When undergoing MC, and you start thinking about things that were brought up and you want to talk about them later, or more accurately, expand on them, move the conversation along... but it's a source of pain... better to wait until the next session? I feel that she feels, heck, even I feel, "safe" in our counseling sessions, bringing painful stuff up. But it's kind of strange keeping things bottled up until the next time.

The very act of engaging a MC would seem to be partly about establishing safety for the painful stuff. So does it go against the grain, perhaps even negate the benefit of MC when you have that painful conversation separately, with your husband or wife?

Thanks-
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

An important component to the answer is how much you think the discussions in the office lead to changes in your regular lives. If the office is like a separate world were the discussions happen in isolation and then your normal lives never change, then I would probably discuss things out of the office. But making the day-to-day life of your spouse contentious can be a problem all by itself. If instead the day-to-day is happy (even if it's phony because you're waiting until therapy), it can help the times at home be a lot easier and more fun.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 01:15 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

And I forgot one important point.

Anxiety is:
- not easily concealed
- highly contagious
- extraordinarily likely to distort both transmission and reception of messages
- often auto-converts into irritation or anger

Being genuinely calm at the outset of a partner conversation and remaining that way - is essential - unless you want to create a strong negative emotional response to you topic....


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEM2020 View Post
Casual,

Your question is not dumb at all. Itís an excellent question clearly framed.

What Iíve learned from M2 during my thirty years with her. All conversations directed at your partners behavior have a temporal (past, present, future) component. For example:
1. You (are not a very good partner) because you did or did not do xyz in the past. I call this style: you suck because
2. The present - I break these into two buckets,
a) security related such as the real example of: (sharp voice) Babe, step back (from the giant possum) that just crawled out of the wood pile we were moving. Followed by (disapproving voice): Rabies
b) emotionally sensitive topics: I want to talk about this emotionally loaded topic now
3. It would be nice if: For example... It would be nice if we got to a place where we could discuss X or Y or Z, when itís just the two of us.

All that said, M2 has mastered a remarkable economy of speech. She is easily able to clearly express her point in a sub thirty second sound bite. I have discovered Ďthe joy of brevityí when you are on the receiving end of a: personal improvement plan (PIP) request. Brevity plus future tense can be very powerful.

Past tense comes dangerously ****ing close to asking someone to apologize for who they are.

Future tense - framed properly - is asking someone you love to try to take an intentional step towards you and deeper into the marriage.


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

Yesterday something came up, as we were driving to Home Depot, that fits nicely into the category of something I shouldn't discuss with her until we see the MC again. Out of the blue, she tells me about this close childhood friend of hers from grade school, a boy, that later went to a different school and then when she was 12, they crossed paths again. She went over to his house and they played some card games and watched TV (she had very strong memories of it), absolutely nothing sexual (her words, and I believe it) as this was before her "awakening" to boys, which was about 15. She invited him to come over to her place sometime, and was a bit sad he never did. She might not have seen him again. OK... then she tells me she saw his name somewhere 20 years ago and that he was now in Ohio (we're on the left coast). So she writes him to see if it's actually the same person. At that point we'd have been married 20 years. He didn't write back.

I just went along with it as being an interesting story, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking what the heck? First, here's my wife talking about something from the way back days where she remembers every little detail, which is generally the case for everything for her from the way back days, with the exception of anything having to do with the guy she left out of her narrative, the guy immediately prior to me. So my wife has no recollection whatsoever of plans to lose her virginity with that guy, but remembers everything about everything about everybody else. But second, why would she try to connect with this guy, what was going through her mind back then? It's odd. I wouldn't have felt comfortable doing the same thing myself; I'd be questioning my motives at least, and maybe/likely mention it to my wife first to get her support. Then again, is it that much different from Facebook?

It's also the case that, according to my W, 20 years ago was the center of our "dark" years in which she was actively building up resentment towards many things in our relationship. I was paying too much attention to the business, and she was raising an 11 and 6 year old. I didn't become a very highly-rated "dad" for another 7 years I think.

So this is something I don't think I can talk about separately with my wife, in a constructive fashion. But with the MC, yes. There's a certain peace that comes from knowing we see her Wednesday. Otherwise I'd really be over-thinking this one and letting it get to me.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:50 PM
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Cool Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

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Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
So seriously dumb question here. When undergoing MC, and you start thinking about things that were brought up and you want to talk about them later, or more accurately, expand on them, move the conversation along... but it's a source of pain... better to wait until the next session? I feel that she feels, heck, even I feel, "safe" in our counseling sessions, bringing painful stuff up. But it's kind of strange keeping things bottled up until the next time.

The very act of engaging a MC would seem to be partly about establishing safety for the painful stuff. So does it go against the grain, perhaps even negate the benefit of MC when you have that painful conversation separately, with your husband or wife?
Thanks-
Serves no real advantage to do a "dress rehearsal" prior to seeing the MC!

Digest it, make copious notes, then if it's bad enough, slam her with it with the MC!

And feel no shame in doing it!

She'd do the same thing to you!

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

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:54 PM
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CO, is it possible that this could be a passive aggressive by your wife what do you think? Trying to get your goat?

If your not the object of your lovers heart, then your just an object.
If you think the grass is greener on the otherside it's not, what you see are the weeds.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:54 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

did she say that they corresponded at all? or did the story end there?
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:17 PM
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Re: Wait to bring up until MC session, or talk in-between?

My recommendation would be to first ask yourself what is it that you want to get out of the conversation? What truth are you seeking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
why would she try to connect with this guy
I think this is the key question, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, you have a good working hypothesis here:

Quote:
20 years ago was the center of our "dark" years in which she was actively building up resentment towards many things in our relationship. I was paying too much attention to the business, and she was raising an 11 and 6 year old. I didn't become a very highly-rated "dad" for another 7 years I think.
Beyond that what is it that you want to know? If she thinks it's ok for her to connect with this guy now? Or was it because of what was happening at the time?

And then once you get the answer, what are you going to do with it?
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