Dead Ends

Feeling a little down today.

I spent some time last night reading some of the literally thousands of stories posted here - mostly rooting around in enna30's treasure trove of goodies. Anyway, one of her stories in particular really struck a chord - it was the one about Refusers where she broke them down into different groups, etc - I know there has been a lot of discussion and analysis on here about that. of the Refuser categories fit my wife to a T (because, you know, she is one) - and it got me thinking about all the time (and frankly, money) we've spent in counseling. My wife told me yesterday that the counselor was suggesting we do some intensive sessions to clear resentment (I posted about this in the comments on enna's story - forgive me for repeating myself) - and while I didn't agree to do it, I found myself wondering about whether it would be worth it. Then I read the Refuser story - and realized it would be a waste of yet more time and money.

I really do believe counseling is worth doing...but only if it gets you where you want to go. In our case, I'm now realizing these kinds of avenues are dead-ends. The expensive and time-consuming exercise proposed by our therapist won't make my wife want to have sex with me any more than any of the other things we've tried - why would it? The problem between us isn't relational - it is my wife's issue, not mine.

Right? Or am I missing something?

AMusicalMind AMusicalMind
46-50, M
6 Responses Feb 8, 2013

I think after 10+ years you are a large paycheck to the therapist... Why would he/she ever want to fix your problem? are ready to retire.. Just my thoughts... Good luck

<p>For what it's worth, I believe you have this bit - "I really do believe counseling is worth doing...but only if it gets you where you want to go" - completely wrong.</p><p>Clearly, you'd like the marriage changed into a fulfilling union. That's where you'd 'want it to go'.</p><p>But the truths, as you uncover them, are likely to be pointing you in a different direction, say in the direction of you getting out - and that might NOT be 'where you want to go'.</p><p>The counselling value is in uncovering your truth(s). Then, the truth takes care of the outcome.</p><p>Tread your own path.</p>

Yes - I understand what you're saying - thanks...

I'm a bit anti-counseling for relationships.... I mean, if you're going for your own personal benefit over your own personal issues, then you're likely motivated to take the counselor's outside opinion to heart and make some real changes. But for relationship counseling... It seems to usually be about how do I make YOU change, not ME. Or at least one of the partners is likely going in with that idea. If you were both willing and ready to make real and meaningful changes, you wouldn't need to pay someone to tell you about it.

Maybe I'm cynical there, but I can think of many better ways to spend my time and money.

omg thank you (the light dawns) YES!!!! "....relationship seems to usually be about how do I make YOU change, not ME."

i so totally agree.

my h, years ago when i realized we were having problems, i asked him to please go for counseling.

his reply was something along the lines that he thought if we had to go for therapy then the marriage was already over, we should be able to communicate and work our issues out ourselves. he went on to say he'd gone that route before and his experience was he felt the counselor was on his ex-wife's side, and it wasn't therapy, it was the two of them telling him what was wrong with him.

OMG. that's a memory. i must've buried it. what a giant sign pointing to "leave. now. he's never going to change because he's convinced it's not *his* problem."

....forgot to say: now that i have already told him i filed for divorce, all of the sudden he wants to go for therapy.

probably so that *i* can be convinced that i need to work on it. not him.

how ironic!

It's amazing how those hidden memories start popping back up... I've been having quite a few lately myself. Ha, yeah, I'm waiting for my hubby to ask for counseling (which he has also adamantly refused to consider up to now) once he realizes what is up.

My h. has agreed to go to individual therapy, although he looks at it as couples' therapy. In one joint session I laid all my cards on the table. I want him to be honest with himself. So far, so good, although it's just been a handful of sessions. I'll go back for an individual session every 6 weeks or so. I don't know if this exactly qualifies for relationship therapy, but I think it's the best approach we've got. The therapist triangulates in the positive way and acts as witness to the dynamics. The guy has also been around the block enough to cut through the crap. Very effective for a no-nonsense, don't b.s. me with Rogerian/reflective listening, couple.

1 More Response

Just keep reading here - both the stories and the forum. The more you read, the clearer things will become.

It sounds like you are starting to differentiate between what Bazzar defines as "me" thinking and "we" thinking. You might consider reading the stories that refer to this dynamic.

No you're not missing anything.

You express yourself very well in writing so I'm going to assume that you effectively communicate your relationship concerns/needs/wants with your wife. Pile counseling on top of that and I'm curious if you have seen any REAL and consistent positive changes from her? If not, what in the world it take?

Thanks lohla. Yes, over the years I HAVE seen real, positive change - mostly to do with how we communicate. We do "Imago" therapy (this explains what that is:, which gives couples a lot of skills and tools. We fight less, get triggered into our unconscious material far less than we used to, and have found ways to resolve issues that at the time seemed utterly impossible. However, in the area of our physical relationship, this form of counseling has never produced any results, I'm sorry to say.