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Any ideas on what sort of counselling I should look for (relationship issue)

(5 Posts)
needacounsellor Tue 24-May-16 16:49:31

I've C&P'd this from MH as no answers there.

I'll try to keep this brief. I'm 53, married 25 years, 1 adult DS.
I'm increasingly feeling irritated and bored with my husband. He's a nice enough person now, and has been very kind over the last 16 or so years but before then we had major problems, mainly physical abuse over a period of 10 years until I packed my bags and he begged me to give him another chance.

So things have been pretty good since then. Money-wise we're very lucky, no problems at all, in fact he plans to retire next year when he's 55. I'll keep working part time.

Socially, he's quite introvert. He normally makes an effort in company but has stopped doing so over the last few months and he's embarrassing me by sitting like a stuffed teddy at dinner parties etc.

He's also really negative, so if I suggest that we do somehting different, he always has a reason not to try it.

He's basically boring me to tears. He's aware that something's wrong and was tryng to get it out of me last night but I just tried to reassure him that everything's fine.

The thing is that although he hasn't been violent for a very long time, for those 10 years, I suffered repeated beatings including being kicked on the ground when I was pregnant. One of our children died in infancy and I strongly suspect that her brain damage was because of the physical abuse. He even now gets very aggressive (verbally) occasionally which makes me really scared.

On the surface, we have a nice life, lots of holidays and a beautiful home with no money worries but I can't help wondering what life would have been like if I'd walked out on him 25 years ago after the first beating.

I don't think I want to leave, I just want to be able to talk to him without him sulking or getting angry but I've given up trying now.

Although I have good friends, none who I can really talk to about this.

Am I just going through a mid life crisis or should I divorce him, I don't know.

So I'm thinking maybe I should get a counsellor to talk things though with but I have no clue what type I need.

sorry it's so long, any ideas gratefully received.

crazyhead Tue 24-May-16 17:17:35

You could start by seeing someone from an organisation like the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships? (They also see individuals but with a couple focus). That way, if it wasn't right you could consider their other psychotherapy services?

I think that the personality of the therapist has a huge impact but the Tavistock is well regarded. I'd want that in your circs. Your past, including your lost child, sounds harrowing and you'd want someone trained to respond appropriately if this brings up those feelings again

FlintstoneW Tue 24-May-16 17:21:36

Cbt may be another option?

AnotherEmma Tue 24-May-16 17:48:01

You have quite a few options for finding a counsellor:
- Ask your GP what NHS or low cost counselling is available
- Call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 or search this online directory for local services near you, and ask if there is counselling available for women who are (or have been) in abusive relationships
- Find a private therapist on (make sure they are registered with BACP or another registered body)
- See if there is a Freedom Programme course near you - this isn't counselling but it might help you to feel informed and empowered, as well as supported by the other people on the course

I have done CBT but I don't think it would be the most suitable option for you, I think you need a talking therapy, preferably with a therapist who has expertise and experience in abusive relationships.

Whatever you do, don't go to couple's counselling with your husband - that is not recommended for abusive relationships.

Have you ever read "Why does he do that?"
by Lundy Bancroft? There is a useful excerpt from the book on this thread.

AnotherEmma Tue 24-May-16 18:16:52

If you're in London you could try the Women's Therapy Centre or the Women and Girls Network. (I found both of those on the Women's Aid website.)

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