Counselors: Trust?

Some time back, my wife briefly saw a counselor about our intimacy problems, at my urging.  The counselor specialized in "female problems",  and is well regarded in the field.  The program did not include my input in any way.... not even a single interview.  

In short, the advice from this professional was that I needed to "back off, way off", and be much more considerate of my wife's state of mind.  I did my best to put on a strong game face, and be as positive and supportive as I could.  Any "lapse" into bringing my own needs into the discussion met with a fierce response, invoking the counselor's directives. 

Shortly after, I read two books by Michelle Weiner-Davis about trying to re-introduce intimacy into a failing marriage.   According to the author,  one member of the marriage can quite often unilaterally get things back on track, if they are careful and persistent. 

I've tried.  I swear, I've tried.  How do I measure whether I tried sincerely or hard enough?   The whole exercise has been  another failure, and compounds the horrible feelings of failure I get from the constant rejection which is "our relationship". 

This is killing me.

I, personally, do not trust counselors, psychiatrists, or any other P. T. Barnum certified voodoo priest or priestess who deals in unmeasurable and unaccountable "science".   **** them all, I'd put as much trust in a palm reader. 
grendelan grendelan
46-50, M
11 Responses Jun 3, 2007

Your wife may have been lying to you about what the counselor said. Or the counselor could be a quack who's beloved by women looking for excuses to not have sex with their spouse.

Its all in the mind... Why don't you believe that your wife doesn't love you enough? She could be a control freak and her reasons might be sound for the counsellor... But you know how people can play impressions... I now believe that my wife doesn't love me... All this is just eyewash... Its easier for I have started refusing now! :-)

I am married to a loving wife who has no interest in seducing me, & would rather we not have sex at all if she has to work at it. I make her *** with my fingers, & vibes, but she has 0% interest in stimulating me. Spouses forget that sex is a 2way street.

So.... the counselors plan is to introduce, even if subconsciously, the idea to your wife that she gets to use physical and emotional intimacy as a tool of control in the relationship to force you to behave in a way she wants and become someone you aren't? Yeah... great advice sounds like... after that just forget completely about your individual needs and personality and just become a doormat emotionally for her to walk all over whenever she feels like it. sheesh...

I agree with what the others are saying about counsellors who don't want to see both parties. I agree even more with the people above who said that if only you see it as a problem and/or if only you are prepared to do something about it, then it shows that the other partner isn't operating in good faith whether it's about sex or something else that's important to you.

I've been to similar places as you. My wife and I went to marriage counseling close to a year ago, and it got nowhere because she operated in full throttle defense mode.<br />
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I think there are some relationships where the standard counseling mantra of "more communication" is not enough. <br />
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If you're up for a long read, go check out my blog. It's been going for about a year now, and it chronicles my own experiences with this.<br />
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Maybe it will give you some insights into your own situation.

Counselors and wives. My experience is that if they don't side with the wife right from the start or try to tell her that it is actually a problem with her - the wife never goes back. That happened in my first marriage, over and over again. Yep - we ended up divorced, she has since married and divorced a second time.

And this counselor is a professor at a very, very big name college... I wish I could say more without compromising my anonymity.

My husband is a counselor and there is NO WAY he would EVER have a session w/o both's input. that's just crazy!! ... so very soory your experience was horrible. Good luck!

I have a problem with ANY therapist that doesn't want councelling to comprise of BOTH partners! I think each person should have a few sessions by themselves with the therapist, and then I think they should bring it together as a couple. That way each partner can have their say without feeling defensive, and then hopefully the councelor can bring them together with the touchy subjects.

me neither. Only if both are really willing it can honestly work. But one partner´s efforts it is too much burden for the partner that works hard if the thing, at the end is other miserable failure.<br />
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I am not against therapy per se, but some of the approaches.