Short Update

I'll try to keep this short today...

Yesterday afternoon we had our first couple's counseling session since I started posting here on EP.

While I understand that some of you have strong opinions about my therapeutic history, lets just assume for the moment that I have reasons for wanting to continue with my present couple's counselor, and that I'm still finding the experience to be worthwhile.

That said...I started the session by saying that I had been doing a lot of thinking and writing, and that I had come to believe that I was doing both myself and the marriage a disservice by not taking good care of myself. I explained that I was making a new commitment to acting first and foremost on my OWN behalf, and to making choices that are good for ME and reflect the things I want, need, and believe in (thanks Baz and others!).

I then went on to reiterate how deeply troubled I am about the lack of physical intimacy in our marriage, and that from this point forward, I need us to keep that issue front-and-center. I also said that while I was still committed to continuing our couple's work, I would only do so as long as I felt there was hope of turning things around.

At one point, my wife did something she often does - she jumped in and started negating everything I was saying about myself ("that's not what he really believes, he's just trying to make me look like the bad guy" etc). For the first time, I saw everything really clearly - that not only doesn't she see me accurately, but for whatever reason she also really wants/needs me to conform to HER definition of who I am. Our counselor really took her to task for it (and by the end she was able to see what she had done) - but it brought a lot of things into sharp focus for me. the end of the session, I felt that I was in a much better place in terms of being on my own side than I have been in a very long time.

Here's where I am today. While I'm not ready to call it quits, I am starting to gather my strength and imagine what it would be like to live my life in a different direction. Maybe I'm not in the endgame just yet - but yesterday I definitely put us a couple of moves closer. You've all been a great help.

Wish me luck...I'm probably going to need all the support I can get in the weeks and months ahead...
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7 Responses Feb 7, 2013

Some people will be impatient, hostile towards you because they have been long through the stage of self-learning that you are presently at. It may seem to you that they are saying you are just wasting time, emotional energy and money to no avail. And they might be. But nevertheless, just interpret what they are saying as meaning, "Prepare yourself, you may have to eventually accept that it is as bad as this".

Just like having a unique gait, a natural walking pace, you have to find your own way to your solution, your own conclusion. Most folks here will respond to you with the best of intentions even if it does not appear that way. Otherwise why would they bother?

You are on your way, even if it is still uncertain where you are going or when you will arrive.

You are not quitting anything, or giving up for that matter. You are accepting the situation for what it truly is, and you will decide whether to stay or leave once you've completed your awakening. Speaking of my own experience: I have felt like I am in a lose-lose situation, however, my friend who has survived a dysfunctional relationship and sub-sequential ugly divorce tells me that it is definitely a "win!" Best wishes as you pull your way through the mire.<br />
p.s. since you have a musical mind, I'm wondering what your song of choice is right now...

<p>Hi MM:</p><p>Good for you! Keep working on you.</p><p>My counseling started over one year ago. I remember my first session and after some small talk, being asked "so, why are you here?" I said "for marriage counseling". The counselor then pointed to an empty chair and said "I can't help with marriage counseling with only one participant". So, we worked on me! Now, I have filed for divorce and I'm finding peace and looking forward not backward. At least your wife is there....that counts for something!</p><p>Seek the truth as others have said....then you will know what to do.</p>

With a decent counsellor, much value can be had from that process.

The best thing counselling can do is to help you uncover your core truths.

If you have been engaging in the process with a mandated aim of "saving the marriage" that ain't so good - because the core truths you uncover may mean that such a result ain't going to happen - and you can stay engaged in the counselling process beyond a time that it is useful.

Your counseller sounds half decent. That's a BIG plus. You seem engaged in the process, that's another big plus. Your missus ?? Assess that one on her actions, not her words.

Tread your own path.

I personally found a combination of ILIASM and Counselling worked very well for me. Prior to ILIASM I would not even TELL my counsellor I was in a sexless marriage because I was so profoundly ashamed. And I believed I was the only woman in the world in such a situation. (I like many others bought the myth that "all men want sex all the time".)

By using my newfound ILIASM knowledge in my counselling sessions, I made great strides forward that were previously not possible.

You sound as if you are on a similar journey. I can see nothing but GOOD coming from this. But do recognise that the GOOD maybe for you personally, not for your relationship.

Some people here are bitter about marriage counselling, saying it "didn't work". I think they fail to see that it DID work, it just didn't give them the result they hoped for! I am sure you have had quite enough experience with counselling to be able to see exactly what I mean . . . !

Every best wish for you to continue on your current trajectory and to continue to see your wife's actions more clearly in context. All of this will lead you to where you need to be -wherever that is!!

Good luck!

Best of luck!