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To detest our marriage counsellor?

(156 Posts)
Discobabe Thu 14-Apr-16 08:29:45

Apparently when I say my husband should/could have put our relationship first in certain situations, it's authoritative. Where did I learn those words? No one wants to be bossed around, if they are they might want to know why they should xyz. Am I seriously meant to spell out to my husband why our relationship should (oops, there I go again) come first?

If I disagree with anything she says we sit in long, stony silences until I speak again. I feel like I have words put in my mouth or I have to agree or i'll face the silence......We actually sat for about 5 mins in complete silence.

I've been sent away to think about my daddy issues, on a non cognitive level I have them because he worked away a lot when I was little and I must have missed him and felt neglected by him (hence why I react so strongly when I feel 'neglected' by my husband)....I was never close to my dad when I was little and didn't give a toss that he wasn't around often. Am I.supposed to pretend I was to fit the cliche?

Or am I just horrendously in denial about stuff?

All I can think.is if I had what I though was a fairly normal and good childhood and I'm as fucked up as I am, my kids stand no chance sad

Twitterqueen Thu 14-Apr-16 08:32:43

Oh sweetie. You need to change your counsellor! I have no experience but common sense dictates that you need to at least respect and trust a counsellor - and the onus is on them to gain that trust before any progress can be made.

You don't sound fucked up to me btw, just understandably pissed off! flowers

DerelictMyBalls Thu 14-Apr-16 08:36:24

She sounds terrible.

MLGs Thu 14-Apr-16 08:36:41

She doesn't sound great tbh. Try for a different counsellor?

We went for marriage counseling and I didn't think ours was up to much either.

LittleMissUpset Thu 14-Apr-16 08:37:11

It's the counsellor not you!

I went to one last year who was awful and sucked up all my husbands lies, and I now realize from being on here he is emotionally abusive.

Please find a different one flowers

Pebbles16 Thu 14-Apr-16 08:38:29

DH and I hated our marriage counsellor so much that we made a pact to prove her wrong (she thought we should split up). Nine years later we're still together and (hopefully) our counselling days are long past us.
Honestly though, you do need to change your counsellor because you should be able to trust them

MrsSteptoe Thu 14-Apr-16 08:39:04

No comment on most of your post, but I can tell you I had a total tit of a marriage counsellor for my first marriage. Ditched him immediately. (Ditched DH1 too, but in fairness that would have happened anyway - doesn't alter the fact that the counsellor tried to side with me, weirdly, over financial issues with my husband in a way that I thought was completely sneaky and unprofessional.)

Teacaddy Thu 14-Apr-16 08:40:15

You need to decide whether you simply think she's wrong for you and escalates your problems in sessions because you don't like or trust her or her advice/interventions, or whether you dislike her because her job involves asking awkward questions and making you think about uncomfortable things...

It sounds as if you think she is taking the focus off your marital problems by suggesting the problems are yours?

Zaurak Thu 14-Apr-16 08:41:51

Counsellors often have very few qualifications.

I work alongside some very highly qualified medical/psychiatric peeps in one section of my job. It's a standing joke among them that it attracts people with issues of their own ;)

Find another one. It won't work unless you have a productive relationship

horizontilting Thu 14-Apr-16 08:42:24

Having a counsellor you both feel comfortable with is essential - hard for the process to work otherwise! Switch. You don't even need to go to see her again. That you don't feel she's a good fit is more than enough reason even on its own. Talk to your husband, find another one and let her office know you no longer wish to attend. Hope it goes well.

Lweji Thu 14-Apr-16 08:48:33

Offering a possible different perspective, could she have a point about your dad? And you not giving a toss about him a defence mechanism?

Could the silences be to give you time to think about what you said and explain it? Not necessarily force you to agree with her? And maybe what you see as disagreeing with you, simply question it?

None of us can say from your OP if you're right about putting the relationship first. Does that mean not going off playing golf the whole day on Saturday, or never going out alone?

Mishaps Thu 14-Apr-16 08:49:46

I think you should change counsellors.

If a new counsellor is sending you the same message, then you can use that to improve things.

Fourormore Thu 14-Apr-16 08:52:24

Is she perhaps angling at you to own your statement? I'd say she's right, there are no shoulds. Would she be more receptive if you were saying "I want my husband to put me/our relationship first more than he currently does"?

MrsSteptoe Thu 14-Apr-16 08:53:14

I work alongside some very highly qualified medical/psychiatric peeps in one section of my job. It's a standing joke among them that it attracts people with issues of their own ;)

Off topic for the OP, but I'm not sure this is the issue (though I completely accept Zaurak's comment, I've observed it many times just from my circle of friends, many of whom have gone into counselling). I think the issue is when the counsellor's issues and the client's clash. If you didn't have the empathy that comes from a bit of baggage, I'm not sure how effective you'd be. Depends how much faith you put in book learning versus intuition or insight, I suppose. I realise that too much reliance on what you suppose to be your amazing insight into someone else's problems is dangerous, but I'm not sure that insight/identification is valueless either.

msrisotto Thu 14-Apr-16 08:58:22

Obviously I know nothing about your counsellor and they could be very rubbish. But, therapy is supposed to be challenging and superficially at least, it looks as if you are feeling challenged so it could be doing what it is supposed to do, it might just be pushing you farther than you're ready for. Also, I don't think it is about agreeing or disagreeing, it is more a space to hear alternative interpretations and consider them. The point is to help you grow, not to fight with you, which it sounds like it is. Is there any reflection of this dynamic in your relationship?

BillSykesDog Thu 14-Apr-16 09:02:05

The Daddy stuff, it sounds like she is coming at it from a bit of a psychobabble angle rather than looking at the relationship and the here and now and I would get rid of her for that alone.

However the other stuff about expecting your husband always to put your relationship first and also to mind read what you expect she might have a point.

Get another counsellor, but do bear in mind that the point of counselling is not to find
either of you to be the one at fault or apportion blame. If your aim is just to find a counsellor who will agree entirely with you and validate all your criticisms of your husband, then the entire process is pointless and you might as well give up now.

Pollyputhtekettleon Thu 14-Apr-16 09:11:53

Don't write yourself off yet! You might just be in denial or she might just be a terrible counsellor. Try a new one.

FATEdestiny Thu 14-Apr-16 09:14:23

Psych-babble 101: Use "I" sentences.

"DH you should put our marriage first in certain situations"

"DH, I feel x when you do y because of z"

(For example "I feel undervalued when you go out with your mates every Saturday because we don't get time to go out together ourselves")

Maybe your councillor has a bit of a point and is not challenging the need for him to prioritise differently, but instead in challenging the way you are approaching the problem

MrsSteptoe Thu 14-Apr-16 09:15:55

The Daddy stuff, it sounds like she is coming at it from a bit of a psychobabble angle rather than looking at the relationship and the here and now and I would get rid of her for that alone.

^ this. If I were in marriage counselling, I would want someone to be practical and unbiased, not show off trying to analyse me as if I were a sole client.

Italiangreyhound Thu 14-Apr-16 09:24:17

Change counsellor. Presumably you are paying her? If so you are the customer, if not someone else is paying for your to get the help you need. Sitting in silence (unless one is on retreat) doesn't sound productive.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 14-Apr-16 09:26:28

The counsellor is a huge Freud fan. She does not have the best interests of your relationship at heart, she wants to pretend she's a psychotherapist. She isn't.

Find another counsellor, she sounds utterly inappropriate.

cingolimama Thu 14-Apr-16 09:27:04

God, OP she sounds awful. It's absolutely essential that you respect and trust your counsellor for the process to be of any value.

Fourormore Thu 14-Apr-16 09:29:07

How do you know she's not a psychotherapist, herethereandeverywhere? Or that her counselling training has psychoanalytic roots?

Lweji Thu 14-Apr-16 09:30:29

I don't necessarily see silence as a problem. It gives time for everyone to think about what was said and what they are going to say.

How many sessions have you had, OP? She could still be assessing you both and your dynamic.
If it's been several and you don't see it progressing, then change and seek someone you feel more at ease.
But, as others said, don't expect to necessarily feel validated or at ease.

What does your husband think?

CherryBlossom321 Thu 14-Apr-16 09:30:58

Whilst I agree with the idea that you do need to feel a positive connection with your counsellor, I think it's worth considering that you may well be in denial. It's very hard to own our past, especially if it holds a lot of pain. The fact is that our childhood experiences shape who we become as adults. They affect our perspectives, our values, our emotions. I doubt that she is using silence to make you agree with her. It's far more likely that she is giving you time to think. We all have our blind spots, is it possible that she has identified yours? I actually agree that there are no 'shoulds'. Expectations kill relationships. Owning and processing your emotions will make you feel very vulnerable. Could you be trying to avoid that? If you can honestly say that none of the above is the issue, then yes, find someone else. Just make sure it's not an avoidance tactic on your part. I wish you well, and hope that you find answers and that your marriage is strengthened through this experience.

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