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relationship counselling

(11 Posts)
lostandneedshelp Sun 23-Sep-12 14:24:55

Dh told me 10 weeks ago he wasn't happy with our marriage and felt we werent close any longer. We've been together 18 yrs. I wasn't entirely happy either but just thought when dc were older we would get it back, but obv ds felt differently.

Anyway we started counselling as we felt we havetoo much to give up on it.

Were now on our 4th session of counselling and although small things have changed I don't think we've really addressed why we feel the intimacy/affection has gone.

I spoke with dh about it today and got the feeling he thinks there is no hope left and were past savingsad
So for those of you who have had couples counselling did it work and when did you start seeing the results. And how many sessions did it take?

cheesestrung Sun 23-Sep-12 14:36:09

hi sorry you are going through a difficult time. I may not be the best to give advice however i can give you my experience. My H and i were together 13 years and after ds was born, had no affection or intimacy at all. I did have PND but he added to that and it was slightly EA relationship. He would not listen, despite even being told by a councellor, she actually advised me to get out! (in a session on my own)
we went for months, 4 sessions isnt a lot. i think you have to both really want to make it work and put the effort in.. small things changing are good :-) it takes time.. perhaps you h is having a down day?
in the end my H wasnt making the effort, we separated and i filed for divorce (after 2 years apart)
relate gave me a lot of insight and i feel like i am having to really learn about relationships and myself for the first time... after just coming out of another short term relationship...

izzyizin Sun 23-Sep-12 18:55:01

Is there any possibility that he's got an ow and is going through the motions of counselling in order to let you down easily pave the way for his departure from the marital home, to be followed after the dust has settled by an announcement that he's met someone else?

Luckystar96 Sun 23-Sep-12 23:09:01

I think it's early days in terms of counselling. We have had 4 sessions and are still working on how we communicate with each other. (Very badly obviously) I have brought up that we need to talk about intimacy problems but our counsellor won't let us even go there until we can learn to talk to each other more effectively ( I do see her point , she says sex etc is the most emotive thing to talk about and the main reason we are going is because he had an affair ) I think you have to give it time, that's what I am having to do. It has helped already to understand where we are both coming from and making us think a bit differently about all sorts of things. The only thing that worries me is that it sounds like your DH is maybe not opening up completely and could be just going through the motions. It's not going to work if both of you are not putting in the effort.

lostandneedshelp Mon 24-Sep-12 17:35:52

Lucky, that is how I feel. Everytime I raise anything to do with how were doing he clams up. He's not a big talker anyway and doesn't open up much but I feel I'm doing all the worrying and doing when he's not giving much back. I've written everything down so tonight at counselling we can address this. In my head I feel he's given up on us and the sparks not there for him but he's afraid to admit it.

Luckystar96 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:11:43

Hi Lost. How are you doing? I hope your DH starts to open up soon and be honest about however he feels. I'm sure, whatever the outocome in the end, it will help to understand why and how things have got to this point. What is your counsellor like? Ours is really good, she is quite firm with us but kind of in a fun way. I feel she is really helping DH realise things I've wished he would realise for years, eg how he speaks to me, how he views women in general etc
I'm not a great talker usually but somehow in counselling I find loads to say. We don't discuss it at home though, I think I like having someone there to oversee how it goes and validate what I'm saying perhaps.
Good luck.

lostandneedshelp Mon 24-Sep-12 22:03:54

Lucky thanks.dh said the same thing tonight. I explained to the counsellor how I felt this week had gone and exactly what I thought of dh refusal to discuss things. Ie biding time to leave. I think it was a eye opener for both of them because I just said it as it was. The question he asked dh was why in the sessions does he openup but can't at home? Dh response was he feels I'm expecting answers which he hasn't got. The counsellor was good at getting dh to see that he can answer his questions so why not mine. We seemed to get to the real issue today which is the lack of feeling loved by both of us. The hour never seems long enough though. He suggested we may find it useful to have a separate session one to one. I can't make my mind up though. Part if me thinks we both may open up more and the counsellor gain a better insight into what's bothering each of us but then on the other hand I think its a fortnight used which may have benefited us more together.
Sorry your going through it too. I think it helps to have a good counsellor.

Luckystar96 Wed 26-Sep-12 17:25:11

I don't know about going individually. But maybe like you say, it'll give the counsellor a chance to really get to grips with your situation and then get you in together to talk some more and be able to target the right questions to you both. Perhaps he thinks your DH will open up much more on his own. I guess you've got to trust the counsellor knows what they're doing and go with it?? Ours said she's bringing us a DVD this week to watch which might help us with our very poor communication, we'll see how that goes! Btw, the lack of feeling loved/valued/respected seems to be the underlying problem with us too. Who knew life would be so flipping complicated?!sad

BethFairbright Wed 26-Sep-12 17:35:27

OP I think the reason the counsellor has suggested individual sessions is because like me and other posters here no doubt, he suspects your husband is having an affair and hopes he will disclose that so that the counsellor can help him with the real problem and so that the counsellor isn't operating like you - in the dark. I think couples counselling is a complete waste of time when one of the couple is lying and with-holding information like an affair. It sounds like your husband is just going through the motions and wasting your time and money.

lostandneedshelp Wed 26-Sep-12 23:25:21

Beth, thank you for the constructive advicehmm

Maybe the counsellor does think there may be something more dh isn't saying but its unhelpful to assume straight away it's an ow. I've asked dh if there was anyone else and gave him the opportunity to leave if so. However he promises there isn't and just knows our marriage isn't as happy as it once was and as we're fairly young feels life s too short to waste it. He feels we're young enough to move on if it's not working. Of course I would prefer to work at the lack of affection shown by both of us and identify why we have grown into this way of living and make an effort to get our sense of companionship and loving back. I hope we can do this. Maybe dh does feel that no amount of trying will make it work and s unsure how to break that to me. I really don't know and hate living in limbo land.
I told him this yesterday and he said he had thought of leaving, when I asked why he hadn't then, he replied because he doesn't want to, he wants to make it work.
Lucky, hope the DVD is useful for you.

BethFairbright Thu 27-Sep-12 00:47:57

My earlier post should have been more gentle and tactful and I apologise for that. I can see you are hurting and I really feel for you.

The problem is that if your husband is hiding another relationship, he won't necessarily be honest with you about it, so asking him if there's someone else and him denying it means nothing. Sometimes men who are having affairs are very conflicted and can't decide which way to jump, sometimes they know they want to leave their old relationship but they want to get their ducks in a row before doing that i.e. a home to move into with the OW. Often they want to look like the good guys who tried to save their marriages, so they go to counselling and give the appearance of trying to save the marriage, but with no intention of ever doing so. Your counsellor will have come across this situation a hundred times - it's so common in apparently ambivalent men - which is why I think he's suggesting separate sessions.

Sadly what happens all to often in the situation you describe is that he'll make no real efforts, wait until it suits him to leave and then within a few weeks or months, unveil his 'new' partner who really isn't new at all.

When men in long marriages say they aren't happy and think the marriage is past saving, one of the most common causes of that is someone else. You reached that conclusion yourself after all and asked him. I think if I were you and before I committed any more time, money and angst at being in limbo, I'd want to check that out for myself. Not by asking him, but by recollecting whether the usual signs were there; taking his phone everywhere, unexplained absences and expenditure, changes in behaviour, appearance and routines (good and bad), suddenly not having as much paid holiday as you were expecting. If things then started to add up, I'd check his phone.

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