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What type of counsellor should I look for?

(21 Posts)
lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 12:55:21

Told fw our marriage is on the rocks. He suggesting seeing a professional as he has no idea why I am angry at him all the time. (If he would listen from time to time he might find out!)

I know he will try to control the counselling sessions and absolve himself from any blame.

So do I look for a male or female counsellor, how will I know if they can see through his self-righteousness. Am afraid that he will know how to handle himself and I will end up seeming like the crazy one.

CailinDana Mon 19-Nov-12 13:09:10

It sounds like he is abusive. If that's the case then counselling is a really bad idea, for all the reasons you mentioned. He will manipulate the situation and then make out that you're at fault as a way of beating you down.

Do you want to leave?

izzyizin Mon 19-Nov-12 13:12:12

Are you 'angry at him all the time' and, if so, why?

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 13:14:42

I would love if our marriage could be saved, but in my gut I don't think it can. However, I feel that for dd's sake I have to try.

One counsellor, many years ago, told me he was the most unemotional man she had ever met.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 19-Nov-12 13:19:32

Would you consider counselling on your own? To help resolve how you feel, and think about the best way forward?

CailinDana Mon 19-Nov-12 13:20:39

That's the problem with counselling - both partners need to be genuinely open and honest or else the counsellor will end up being preoccupied with the more problematic partner with the result that they either go against the other partner or are in the very awkward position of knowing the relationship can't be saved without being able to actually come out and say that.

What makes you think the marriage can't be saved?

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 13:32:36

I believe he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and that even if he modified his behaviour for a while, he would eventually revert back.

He is practical and logical and appears to do all the right things. But he is not emotionally connected at all and I don't believe he can.

I'm aware of my own co-dependency in that because I was badly hurt before, it is somewhat easier not to be drawn on a deep emotional level. But it's way too lonely with no emotional connection at all. Add in the insidious hurtful remarks and it becomes unbearable.

NettleTea Mon 19-Nov-12 13:39:38

well its DEFINATELY not recommended to have councilling with a narc!!

maybe you could play it that you are going to councilling so that you will be able to better understand and explain why you are angry at him, and then use that councilling to get the strength to get out. Having been the female child of a narcissist, and then having ended up married to one as exposure to the narc parent set that as my 'norm', I would say you would be doing your daughter a favour to show her what you do in the face of unreasonable and abusive behaviour - and thats walk.

good luck xx

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 13:39:44

izzyizin - I'm not angry all the time, I'm detached....he percieves this as anger. When we have a row, I argue back but it's pointless as he doesn't listen and so it escalates. And because I stupidly keep trying to get him to acknowledge my point (as I acknowledge his) he assumes anger at him rather than anger at not being heard.

notquitecockney - you may be right and individual counselling might be better at first.

cailindana - thank you for your advice, you have pointed out exactly what I'm afraid of.

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:24

nettletea thank you too, you've made the tears come (and that's a good thing!)

NettleTea Mon 19-Nov-12 13:48:43

why is it always the woman who seems to have to 'try' to save the marriage, whilst the narc-y bastards just carry on as is with no trying whatsoever. what does that say to our daughters?

Is he trying??

A relationship takes 2. Thats both people committed to being together, to loving and supporting each other, and working together to make life better for the both of them and any kids. Of course there are times when life is tough, when things happen, but this ongoing name calling and entitlement and just downright nastyness without a shred of love in evidence, and too many women just taking it, supposedly for the sake of their kids, for their marriage.

What is it about marriage, or even relationships in general, that so many women seem to just hang on in there? almost as if they have been brainwashed that putting up with anything rather than leaving. I know, I did it myself, and to this day I still dont know why, when I KNEW it was a bloody miserable existance, why I didnt just say fuck this and go.

We only get one life, why waste so so much of it entrenched in the misery of being with such horrible horrible men (though I accept it can be gender reversed btw, but women seem more likely to cling on and try to 'save' something which died the moment they signed on the line/moved in/got pregnant/became dependant)

NettleTea Mon 19-Nov-12 13:50:39

sorry OP, that wasnt directed at you btw, it was just a bit of a rant after coming off a different thread, but basically another situation where a man seemed to think that women were put on this planet to be subservient to some supposed greater half of the species. I think I need to start my own thread about that!

CailinDana Mon 19-Nov-12 13:54:17

Well said Nettle, and I couldn't agree more. I think part of it is that in these shitty relationships the mother cares far more about the children than the crappy father does and part of the motivation for staying is to provide stability for the children. The sad thing is, generally children are far better off after a separation than before in situations like this.

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 19-Nov-12 14:05:41

OP, don't go to couples counselling if you're not coming at this from the same angle. It's got the potential to be a hideous experience for you if he's going to try and control the sessions.

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 14:09:30

No worries Nettle and I agree. Yesterday I tried to strip back all the residual anger from recent arguments and I said to him that I felt that we had lost the "we" in our marriage and I was afraid we would end up back where we were 12 years ago when we split up. (Again, it's me trying to save it!)

His response today is that I am always angry at him.....not that we are angry at each's says a lot really, doesn't it?

Charbon Mon 19-Nov-12 14:11:12

Emphatically don't go to couples counselling if your relationship is abusive.

Go to a BACP registered therapist on your own.

Equally though, please don't try to diagnose a personality disorder yourself. Very few trained professionals have the ability to do that and as it's not an exact science, even they sometimes get it wrong.

All you need to diagnose is that you are unhappy in your relationship and need to do something about it.

NettleTea I hear you...sad

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 15:27:20

Charbon yes, I have alternated between the narcissist title and the arrogant jerk title in an attempt to figure out why he behaves the way he does and why my boundaries are so ill-defined.

Found an interesting article on the subject...

Conflugenglugen Mon 19-Nov-12 17:24:03

lovemenot - As a counsellor, I agree completely with not having counselling together if he has narcissistic traits. Moreover, it sounds like you are feeling the anger for both of you. (Look up 'introjection' if you want more information.)

And I also agree: counselling for yourself could be life-changing.

lovemenot Mon 19-Nov-12 18:02:20

Introjection!! A word I haven't heard before (slightly scared now!) Off to google...

Thanks smile

Gottabbrave Mon 19-Nov-12 21:28:50

I think I can help you with this one as I have just called a halt to my very up and down miserable existance with my narc ep. if you can identify with any of this then pls get out because he will suck you dry . these people cant change because they dont think they have a problem I spent years onmany a frustrating attempt to get him to take some responsibility and blame for his abuse to me but to no avail. Oh he said sorry every time but it meant nothing. Its just a word. deep down I knew he would always put his feelings before anyones and the nice guy image was just a mask. Its sAd because they realy do think they are blameless. My ex refered to himself as god sometimes I thought it was a joke!! The realy sad part is they see admittance as a weakness and they would rather loose everything than appear in some way vunerable. I have 2dcs with this man..., I tried, but in the end I knew that if he was so flawed he couldnt love himself how could he know how to love? Sorry for the rant but take it from me he wont change. im now deciding about access . Good luck x

lovemenot Tue 20-Nov-12 13:50:18

Thank you ladies for all your advice.

Think I found a counsellor and am waiting on a call back.

Strange how one day differs from another. Am in slight panic mode today, wondering if I am imagining things, that my ill-defined boundaries have let all this happen. I'm a pretty laid back person, I go with the flow (possibly too much), I tend to just get on with things without fuss. I remember him saying things like "only a moron would watch that type of tv programme" and thinking "nah, he's not including me in the moron group coz he loves me" and then an hour or two later thinking "wtf!", but just letting it go. What have I done????

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