Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

In counselling-he's rewriting the narrative to make him the "victim"

(19 Posts)
Hoppityfuckingvoosh Wed 12-Oct-16 12:29:51

Anyone got experience of how to deal with this?

H and I are in counselling because everything has fallen apart. He's shown no interest in me for a long time and when I asked him if he still loved me, he said he didn't love me in the right way.

He's now left the home and we're continuing with the counselling to try and "fix" things. Initially, I wanted it to work -we have DS and I do love him-but I'm now extremely wary of putting myself out there again, only to have him continue to be detatched. I am distant but its because I've had enough.

In counselling, H is making it all about me without acknowledging that it's his behaviour and attitude towards me that is causing my unhappiness. He thinks the issue is that we've neglected our relationship (which is true but we have FT jobs, a toddler and studying-time can be made but he never has even tried) and all we need is more "fun" to reconnect. He's completely minimising the issue of his role in it all.
To add to this, he's now saying that he does love me, that he never said he didn't (he did) and that he wants it to work but now it won't because I'm distant and "checked out". It's like he's seen a way that he can be one the victim and grabbed it, presumably so he can tell people that it was my choice and so that he can bank it for later with DS.

What can I do? Is there any point in counselling when I'm obviously dealing with someone completely oblivious to their own actions?

Myusernameismyusername Wed 12-Oct-16 12:43:23

I can only advise sticking to your own version and instead of picking any holes in his account ask him for evidence and examples each time he does it. I'm hoping you have a counsellor who could then see through his version when he isn't able to back it up with anything solid.

Getting someone to take account of their own actions isn't about telling them it's about them working it out.

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 12-Oct-16 12:47:23

Joint counselling is there to provide a space where each person can safely express their views and their needs, and be heard.

Are you happy with the counsellor? Is s/he giving you the chance to present your views and your needs, and inviting your husband to listen, absorb, and react? Basically, are you able to say your piece during counselling session?

Of course, you can't make anyone listen to or see things they don't want to see. If it really is an issue where your husband just won't accept responsibility - and that may well be the case, from what you describe - then yes, joint counselling is ultimately pointless for you.

Up to you to decide how much longer you want to keep at it, and when you decide to throw in the towel.

TheNaze73 Wed 12-Oct-16 13:09:36

You're doing the right things. You can't argue a feeling & if this is how he feels than so be it.

ExpatTrailingSpouse Wed 12-Oct-16 15:50:08

He thinks the issue is that we've neglected our relationship (which is true but we have FT jobs, a toddler and studying-time can be made but he never has even tried) and all we need is more "fun" to reconnect. He's completely minimising the issue of his role in it all.

have you been reading my mind? this is exactly what my dh is like in counselling. for me, the way to deal with it has been to call him on it every single bloody time. (friend has told me i ought to record conversations so he can't try and turn it around on my later).

examples: hoover thread - followed me around watching me vacuum, "i just wanted to see what you're doing", but when i got annoyed turned it into my fault as i was "telling him to go away and didn't want to be with him". or... "fun" together time - when was last time your dh organized a date night, etc?

don't accept it, otherwise it's his excuse to sit around doing nothing while trying to make you feel like it's all your fault and you're the one who has to do all the work to fix it.

BloodontheTracks Wed 12-Oct-16 15:55:13

There are two ways to go with this. If you are separated it is entirely possible he is seeing someone else and keeping one foot in to see if either you will bend to his will, or else put in a minimum of effort for a few months to see how things go on both sides.

If the therapy is actually something you both want to seriously engage with, you will have to reach a point where the vast majority of your attention and thought is on the 50% of the dynamic you are brining to the relationship, and allow and push with the counsellor for him to focus on the 50% that he is responsible for.

It sounds like you are either in the dark about the reality of the situation, or that you are unwilling to do the very hard and humble work of finding what your role in this is. Even if you are only 10% to blame for the way in which things go wrong between you, it is the only 10% you can affect.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 12-Oct-16 16:12:15

Aha - and the gaslighting commences.
If counselling isn't working for you then don't go anymore.
Insist on going on your own.
You really should have done that in the first place.
A couple of sessions solo for each of you then together.
See what he thinks to that idea.

Hoppityfuckingvoosh Wed 12-Oct-16 18:55:01

Bloodonthetracks, he's definitely not seeing anyone else. I'm 100% certain of that. Whether he's interested in someone else is another matter.

As for my role, you're right. I can only fix the areas of the relationship where I've let things slide. I've tried when the issues first came up over a year ago but, as things were completely one sided and never reciprocated, I just stopped. The putting yourself out there and being rejected again and again really chips away.

I think I'll suggest individual sessions after our next couple session.

I just don't understand how his issues are now "we" issues. If "we" have more fun, quality time etc, then the problem goes away? Where is the "I" in this? There's no self-reflection on his own role in how we got to this point. The worst? "Im unhappy because you seem unhappy all the time"-course I'm flipping unhappy-I haven't had an iota of affection or sense that I mean anything to you for over a year. It's all, once again, about "me" and there's no acknowledgement of his attitude or behaviour towards me.

I'm so very, very tired of it all. I'm starting to realise that if we dos try again, it would be on me to put my own needs aside and would be responsible for making it work. There would be minimal effort from him after the initial "showoff" gestures, designed to lull me into a false sense of security.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 12-Oct-16 19:59:46

This is why counselling is a bad idea where there is abuse. Sounds like there was emotional abuse.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 12-Oct-16 21:17:23

"I think I'll suggest individual sessions after our next couple session".

I would now cancel the next couple session and go to counselling on your own instead. Joint counselling is never a good idea if there has been any type of abuse within the relationship.

Heirhelp Wed 12-Oct-16 21:19:42

You said you have had enough. Do you want to be a relationship with him? If you don't they say that in your next session and then leave.

Marilynsbigsister Wed 12-Oct-16 21:28:20

You sounds detached and uninterested which is a pretty pointless standpoint for counselling with the intention of mending your relationship. Whilst he may be re-writing history, you also sound like someone who is desperate to also 'score the point' not to be the marriage ender. At the end of it all- it doesn't matter. No one but you and he will know or truly care. There's no relationship police or sadly a prize for being the one that doesn't end it.
If you want out OP - and it really sounds like you've left already. Then just leave. It's ok. You don't need his or anyone's permission.

TheStoic Wed 12-Oct-16 21:34:00

I think the first thing you need to accept is that your relationship is over. He's not the man you married.

He has no intention of making it work. If you argue with him, he won't back down. If you agree with him, he'll say it's 'too late'.

Just let him go.

CharlotteCollins Wed 12-Oct-16 21:35:49

Detachment is self-defence. Don't feel bad for protecting yourself against someone who appears to have no interest even in you think!

If you feel you must speak to him, be a broken record: whatever he says, answer, "I'm not sure I want to be with someone who can't see his role in all this."

"You may have a point, but I'm not sure I want to be with..."

If nothing else, it might give you a moment's respite from having your head filled with his thoughts.

AnyFucker Wed 12-Oct-16 21:36:29

Stop the joint counselling and kick him into touch

It doesn't sound remotely worth it. Why are you putting yourself through this shit ?

LesisMiserable Thu 13-Oct-16 00:44:19

You both sound completely disengaged. I've never had counselling but I'm pretty certain it isn't about apportioning blame but about moving forwards? It doesn't sound as if either of you really want that.

Both your feelings are your feelings and valid but it sounds like you've both gone past the point of being able to accept that. Also, your happiness is your own responsibility (as is his) and if you're unhappy and have had enough then you know what to do really don't you.

whattodowiththepoo Thu 13-Oct-16 06:16:36

Sounds like you blame him and he blames you.

PassMeTheFrazzlesPlease Thu 13-Oct-16 10:50:12

OP - your post really resonated with me.

I tried so hard, for several years, to make a marriage work with a DH who was just detached, distracted and innatentive. He insisted that nothing was wrong and my expectations were too high. He refused to leave but he also refused to change or engage with me really. He once said "I'm unhappy in this relationship because you keep asking me to leave". Again, turning it on me!

Eventually I gave up and he agreed to leave. He didn't put up any kind of fight for me at all, although he was angry at me for a while (because I asked him to leave).

Six months down the line, we are on relatively good terms with each other. He now admits that he was deeply unhappy and felt we were unsuited (which we really were!)

He also said he respects me for being the one to actually end it, because he is a passive person who would never have faced up to it.

It has been very hard at times, especially with young DC who were very upset when he moved out.

Overall though, it is like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I have started dating again and met some really lovely men, no-one I have clicked with enough to keep seeing but it is still good to meet new people (there are a lot of decent, divorced men around who are hoping to meet someone, way more than I realised!).

Some people were surprised that I was ready to do this so soon , but having been in a dead, lonely marriage for so long, I was over the grieving part quite quickly, as I'd been doing that for a long time before we officially split.

You cannot make a marriage work by yourself. As another poster said, you don't need permission to leave, not from DH and not from anyone else.

In a relationship, you have the right to ask to have your needs met. If the other person will not, or cannot, meet those needs then you have the right to leave.

Good luck with it all.

PassMeTheFrazzlesPlease Thu 13-Oct-16 10:55:20

I've just remembered, near the end, DH also accused me of "checking out". There was a good reason for that by that time!

It is so easy to get caught up in the cycle of blame and anger. You gain nothing from it in the run though. Every time I felt furious with DH (for not admitting his part in things, for blaming me etc), I tried to focus on our lovely DC and to feel grateful that I'd met him so that we could have the children we have.

It is easier said that done though, even now I have days where I still feel angry

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now