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Interesting counselling conclusion

(109 Posts)
Mosman Wed 27-Feb-13 02:12:25

DH has seen a male counsellor twice now and the general conclusion seems to be that i have made all the major decisions in our marriage and at times rail roaded him into doing things he hasn't wanted. Getting a dog is one example, i wanted it he didnt.
Bottom line is though if i didn't kick his arse with various things we'd spend every weekend sat watching him play grand tarismo whatever so yes i have forced him to be a family man it certainly doesn't come naturally to him.

So are they saying this is my fault he's had these affairs ? It's escapism DH has said that all along.

Lueji Wed 27-Feb-13 11:27:08

Is he doing anything else to gain your trust, other than counselling, and then using it to blame you?

Twattergy Wed 27-Feb-13 12:34:40

If by 'success rates' you mean the ability of a counsellor to radically change the character and life outlook and behaviour of a grown man in time to save a marriage that is on the brink of collapse then that rate would be 0%. Not possible.sounds like the whole counselling thing is just making you more angry. If he wants to have it, fine but its not going to give you what you want (a different kind of husband).

Branleuse Wed 27-Feb-13 12:38:19

counselling isn't about trying to save a failing relationship. its about working out what the client wants and working through issues. They won't tell him he's being a shit.
you should probably go to counselling too xx

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 27-Feb-13 12:42:09

If you want to fix this surely you should be going to couples counselling, rather than just him?

DewDr0p Wed 27-Feb-13 12:45:15

Fwiw I don't think the counsellor is saying you are resp for your dh's affairs. As someone else said, 2 sessions in is really very very early in the counselling process. I would expect a decent counsellor to question your dh at some point about why you pushed ahead with decisions.

It's interesting that your dh is seeking counselling alone. Was that his idea, yours or a joint decision?

onefewernow Wed 27-Feb-13 13:01:22

Railroaded him?

Maybe that is what he heard. Maybe the counsellor was summarising back to him that he was indecisive, or not assertive, or not willing to engage in stuff unless required.

That wouldnt be your fault. If his counseling leads him to see that he is someone who avoids taking open action and responsibility, then good. He can either change that, or use it as a reason to walk away. Maybe your partner is confusing power with responsibility, and still thinks he can have one without the other. He cant, of course.

If he doesnt want things which you do, and the decision needs to be a joint one, let him argue his case. And if he does want things- and he did want an affair- then he could ask for that openly, and not sneak around. And then you could get a divorce.

There is a relationship here between power and responsibility, and between assertive and unassertive behavior.

It is a version of the blame game. If he is pushed into what he doesnt want, that is not your fault but his. It is also a version of the 'you controlled me so I had to....' post affair thing, which all of us have been served up after infidelity.

newbiefrugalgal Wed 27-Feb-13 13:11:00

Hope you are ok Mosman.
Do you want to save the marriage?

Is he still living with you?

Charbon Wed 27-Feb-13 13:13:08

Couples counselling in the initial aftermath of an affair is often a very bad idea. It is far more helpful for both parties in the relationship to have some individual counselling, because their objectives and needs are different. One of the common mistakes made by couples counsellors with this issue is a default assumption that the reason for the infidelity lies with the relationship. Issues in the relationship might be partially causative of unhappiness and dissatisfaction, but they cannot be responsible for an individual's choice about how to resolve matters. Hence what's really insightful and where therapy can add value is to focus on why an individual made that choice instead of others that were available and potentially less destructive.

Two sessions is too early for any conclusions to be drawn at all and it is not unusual for a client who is grappling with guilt and loss to draw inferences from a counsellor's questions that seem to offer valid reasons for bad choices.

In fairness to the counsellor, I am hoping he is exploring a familiar couple dynamic where one of them is outwardly passive and the other, outwardly decisive and dynamic. This is a common setting for affairs because that passivity often masks passive-aggression and controlling behaviour that comes from the child ego-state. Having secret infidelities are passive-aggressive acts which are sometimes used to silently punish a more dynamic partner and to assert dominance in a relationship without having to act out that desire for dominance in an open way. An easier way to explain this is to imagine a child who likes the safety of parental control but occasionally resents it too. So he will commit acts or rebellion in secret, or lie about his activities. This gives him the feeling that he is an individual who is 'having mum over' while not having to incur her wrath and any consequences.

Mother-child dynamics are often found in relationships and are a risk factor for affairs, so I'm hoping that the counsellor is exploring whether your husband acts from the child ego-state more often than the adult ego-state.

Mosman Wed 27-Feb-13 14:28:55

I honestly think if we went to ouples counselling it would be an hour of me shouting you lying bastard at him and I can do that from the sofa so there's no point at the moment.
I think I need counselling to get over the shock that somebody else is prepared to fuck him, god knows I've struggled with the idea over the past few years.

It is shock and humiliation though, certainly not heartbreak, we are divorcing and then if by some miracle time heals or whatever I might be prepared to date him and co parent from arms length maybe. All sorts of things are going around my head right now about how to not ruin the kids lives.

Charbon Wed 27-Feb-13 14:33:00

It can feel counter-intuitive to have sex with someone you're used to parenting, but I'd be interested in how long that dynamic prevailed or whether it's always been there in your relationship.

AgathaF Wed 27-Feb-13 14:42:00

Mosman - is that your decision then, to divorce? It sounds like the right one from what you have said. I hope it goes as smoothly as it possibly can do.

Mosman Wed 27-Feb-13 14:44:13

I think it's always been there, from day one we were more or less pregnant and that continued for 12 years, it was easier for me to just crack on with the domestic stuff despite having four children and my own career it's always fallen to me to steer the ship, booking holidays, organising house moves and I thought I was allowing him to manage his career and succeed in that because I was lightening his load so to speak.
I'm probably outing myself a bit here but of course it didn't pan out that way, he ended up redundant in 2008, I thought he was having an affair in 2009 and posted a lot about it on mumsnet then because I was 12 weeks pregnant when I kicked him out on Christmas eve after finding out he'd lied about his whereabouts over night - claimed he'd slept in the car because he wanted to go on a night out we couldn't afford - and so he bloody well did what he wanted anyway and to hell with my feelings.
I supported him throughout his redundancy, not working for nearly 4 years, moved to the other side of the world so he could find work and he's repaid me by looking for casual sex in Perth angry to top off the affairs.
He must really hate me tbh

Lueji Wed 27-Feb-13 14:50:11

I think the point with these men (people, really) is that it doesn't matter how much we bend over backwards to support, they are too absorbed to even thank.
On the contrary, they will abuse you.

Much better to tell them to get a grip, really.

All this going on between the parents can't be healthy for the children, let alone you.
Perhaps a clean break is much better.

Are you working?
Would you go back home or stay?

Mosman Wed 27-Feb-13 14:54:36

I cannot leave Australia with the children and I cannot divorce him until we've been separated for 12 months.

Why can't you leave Australia with the children?
You know this needs to end.
I'd start the separation process now.

Oh - why do you have to be separated for 12 months.
If it's adultery then you have grounds for divorce!
Who is advising you on this stuff?

LOL! 'Railroaded' is another word for 'doing all the bloody work'. H and I discussed this with our counsellor - basically we all agreed that it was damned unfair on me and H was a lazy arse. I like our counsellor wink

<whispers> I also had to own up to my crap too.

Lueji Wed 27-Feb-13 16:16:50

Sorry if said before, but I hope you have actually separated, then.

TheOriginalLadyFT Wed 27-Feb-13 16:23:50

I'd be taking the children home for a "holiday" and not coming back. What a total arse he is

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 27-Feb-13 16:26:32

I presume Mosman cannot leave because they are his children too..

Charbon Wed 27-Feb-13 16:29:41

I doubt it was 'easier' to do it all yourself. It sounds like an enormous workload actually. Easier for him, sure. It always is when we let others take the responsibility for getting things done. What you perhaps mean is that you felt that if it was left to him, nothing got done - or if it did it would be a ham-fisted effort that would need to be rescued or re-done. You might have had counter-accusations about perfectionism, controlling behaviour or since you're a woman, that ghastly gendered term 'nagging'.

It's helpful to analyse that dynamic and see how you both enabled it, but the mistake that's often made is not noticing that the one who does least actually has the power in the relationship. It looks the opposite to the casual observer.

AnyFucker Wed 27-Feb-13 18:02:55

Unfortunately Mos cannot take her children out of Australia without his permission, and she cannot divorce on the grounds of adultery because more than 6 months has passed and they are still together

Mos, love. You have hamstrung yourself at every turn, it seems. You must have really had to put a lot of effort into making your life so very busy you didn't have to examine what the fuck was happening to your life.

Time to get off the roundabout now.

Separate from him. You will start to think more clearly.

(I hope you don't find what I just wrote too harsh for you x)

akaWisey Wed 27-Feb-13 18:33:44

Oh this is painfully familiar to me.

my ex went to counselling, I'd bet my life he didn't tell her about the affair he'd already had but she apparently told him that i was a like 'an empty vessel' who he'd never be able to fill with his love.

So he walked out of counselling and straight into his second affair. Which killed our marriage.

Get rid mosman. The marriage may be dead but you're not and you have a life to live, free in the knowledge that he won't be doing that to you again no matter what pitiful excuses he can come up with.

Good luck.

izzyizin Wed 27-Feb-13 19:18:02

If Mos were resident in England/Wales, she would have 6 months after the date she discovered he'd been romancing an ow rather than the date he did the deed to decide whether to petition for divorce citing his adultery.

If she remained living with him for 6 months after her discovery. the law would assume she'd reconciled not just to him but also to his infidelity.
However, providing she'd been married to the sleazebag for one year, there would be no bar to her instituting divorce proceedings citing his unreasonable behaviour at any time.

Given that it appears Mos has not long relocated down under, it may be that Oz law doesn't apply to her situation. Is the scumbucket he an Ozzie?

Lueji Wed 27-Feb-13 20:26:27

It would be a good idea to get legal advice both in Australia and the UK.

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