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Is all counselling like this?

(60 Posts)
littleredpear Mon 21-Nov-16 21:22:44

DH's behaviour last year with an OW nearly destroyed me. We have stayed together. It's been a long year and I was still uncovering lies in September.

He attends counselling, we attend counselling.

However in our counselling sessions I'm not allowed to get angry or try to question his behaviour. It's all about making things work, focusing on happiness etc. I'm not yet ready for one second to let my feelings go. It seems such a waste of time.

He's now refusing to answer any of my questions about the whole thing after his sessions. Instead focusing on making himself happy and us working again as a couple is what he's being told.

I did nothing wrong but here I sit with this pile of shit in my thoughts and I'm not seemingly allowed to speak of his behaviour ever again.

Is this normal? Should I change counsellor? Why can't I be angry and upset?

rumred Mon 21-Nov-16 21:29:41

It doesn't sound great. Perhaps you need counselling on your own first? Your anger and distress are valid and reasonable , disregarding your feelings isn't

HollowTalk Mon 21-Nov-16 21:31:49

It's all about him, isn't it?

It sounds as though you've had a really bad time and now he wants you to just forget it now. That is completely unfair of him!

littleredpear Mon 21-Nov-16 21:56:16

Apparently we 'have spent the entire year talking about it' and 'we need to try to move forward and work together'

Both counsellors seem to be taking this approach also. I find the sessions incredibly difficult as he still can't articulate the reasons and I also just smell bullshit the whole time.

Non of this was my fault and now it's like I'm being told I've had enough time being angry and to move on.

I don't want to be positive, I want to kill him.

I think it must be time for counselling for me. I just don't agree with either approach.
It's all too rosy and I'm not ready.

HollowTalk Mon 21-Nov-16 22:10:34

I found it impossible to live with, tbh. I wanted to make it work, but it happened again and again and in the end I had to end it.

Can you imagine living without him?

nicenewdusters Mon 21-Nov-16 22:17:26

I don't know what type of counselling you're having but this sounds very misguided. Do you mean that the counsellors are pushing you towards moving on and being happy, or he is? The counsellors don't decide the outcome and push you towards it. The sessions are for you to explore your feelings and decide, eventually, where you want to go. This may be to end your marriage. No good counsellor would assume what the outcome should be.

SassyPants19 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:23:34

I think you owe yourself counselling too. You need somewhere to talk freely and process your own feelings without being curtailed by others. I guess you need to make peace with the unknown to move on.

You're being told how to feel about a very deep hurt. No wonder you're angry as well.


littleredpear Mon 21-Nov-16 23:29:08

The sessions focus on the good.

Be nice to each other, commit to spend time together, be grateful of what you have, be happy....

I want to know why he thought his actions were in any way acceptable. I want to know why he did it. We have talked and talked and talked on our own. I want someone else to ask him the questions to hear his bloody ridiculous his excuses sound.

Life without him? Hell yes, this anger chews me to pieces on a daily basis.

TheStoic Mon 21-Nov-16 23:35:57

No, this is not right and sounds like neither counsellor is experienced in infidelity.

Marriage counselling after infidelity is like triage - the cheating needs to be tackled first and completely, before moving on to the 'future' or to other relationship issues. Otherwise you are trying to put a bandaid on an open wound.

I'd be finding new counsellors.

littleredpear Mon 21-Nov-16 23:39:05

It will be very hard it's taken a long time to find this one. Long lists and not many around.

I'm glad it's not me. This is worse that when I caught him

TheStoic Tue 22-Nov-16 00:07:54

This is worse that when I caught him

I'm not surprised at all. Bad counselling is far more harmful than no counselling. Maybe, if you can't find another suitable therapist, you could take a break from counselling and try to work together. There are some good books around that you can work through, if you haven't already.

EBearhug Tue 22-Nov-16 00:16:08

The sessions focus on the good.

Be nice to each other, commit to spend time together, be grateful of what you have, be happy....

I think this is good advice - for when you're ready for it. First, you need to work through the anger and betrayal and whatever else you're feeling, and until you've been able to process that, you can't do the being grateful and happy bit. You didn't ask to be in this position, you've got every right to feel whatever you feel - and it should be acknowledged and recognised, not just you being told you've had time to think about it, and now you need to move on - if that keeps happening, you'll just feel angrier and angrier, because everyone's behaving like what you feel isn't legitimate, doesn't count.

I'd consider counselling by yourself, and a break from the couples bit, or at least a new counsellor, which I see you have said will be very hard. I think you need to be clear to the counsellor that it's not working for you, because you aren't ready to focus on the good, until you've had time to deal with the effects on you, not just him.

LellyMcKelly Tue 22-Nov-16 00:27:43

Have you thought about finding a counselling psychologist for yourself? Or a therapist without an agenda? If you want to move on and repair your relationship then the counselling you currently have sounds good, but you're clearly nowhere near that yet. You need time to vent and heal, and certainly not with someone who is telling you how you should be trying to think and feel. That can only come when you are ready, and in spite of what your DH says, you are only ready when you are ready, not when someone else decides you should be.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 22-Nov-16 01:12:42

I think it depends on the counsellor and the model that they use.
I notice that you keep saying that you did nothing wrong. I was like that when I went to relate with my now ex h.
Turns out we'd both done quite a lot wrong in each other's mind - he'd reacted to his hurt by shagging everyone else in the world
The whole thing was v painful
Glad I did it now

littleredpear Tue 22-Nov-16 08:27:39

If being the only witness to crimes against children and spending the year involved with the police and other agencies, then I am happy to say I had other things on my mind.

I also found and had a lump removed.

I will not say I did anything wrong. Especially when my husband dealt with it by encouraging another woman to send him pics in her underwear he bought her, on the days when I didn't even want to get out of bed.

EasyToEatTiger Tue 22-Nov-16 10:19:59

You have everything to be angry and upset about. My husband has a litany of crimes I have comitted, and along with them some views of marriage which I just don't share.

adornorising Tue 22-Nov-16 10:32:34

Just wondering if you've explicitly told the therapist how you're feeling and they've specifically told you to focus on the good, or if you're being more subtly steered away from what you want to say about how you're feeling.

If it's the former, stop the therapy.

If it's the latter and you've not explicitly said how you're feeling, then I'd suggest putting it ALL on the table and seeing how the therapist responds. If they don't listen or steer you to "happy" then stop the therapy. It can be daunting to do this, but if this therapist is your only option then it gives them a chance to know something they've obviously missed.

But ultimately, The whole point of this is to make things better and while the process can be difficult, it sounds like it's actually harming you, which is not what's supposed to happen.

Fiveandahalfweeks Tue 22-Nov-16 10:35:11

It's not really important whether this kind of counselling is any good for most people, the point is it's clearly not working for you.

It really sounds like you need to explore your own feelings before you even start looking at how you relate as a couple. From your update, you've had a really tough time recently and you need some support and containment to get you through how you're feeling right now. I agree with pps that the wrong kind of counselling can be more damaging than no counselling.

Have you looked at the counselling directory or the bacp website to see if there are more suitable counsellors in your area. It sounds like you would benefit from an integrative counsellor who focuses on exploring painful feelings, rather than a cbt approach, who looks at changing the way you think about things.

Racerback Tue 22-Nov-16 10:36:30

Oh, just leave him. Honestly. It's never worth all the hassle.

Find your anger. Tell the filthy cheating lying bastard to fuck off. It'll be like a weight off your shoulders once you're free of him. He'll destroy you otherwise.

Fiveandahalfweeks Tue 22-Nov-16 10:36:45

*which looks at

NotTheFordType Tue 22-Nov-16 10:44:52

I want to know why he thought his actions were in any way acceptable. I want to know why he did it.

I feel your pain OP, but at the end of the day the answers to these two questions are:
"Because I didn't think you'd find out"
"Because like most men I like to experience a variety of different sexual partners but I like the convenience of being married so prefer to do it behind your back and hope you won't find out."

If he was completely honest and actually said those things, what would change in your mind? Do you feel it would give you what you needed - in order to either stay married, or to finally decide to go?

MoreGilmoreGirls Tue 22-Nov-16 10:45:34

You need counselling for yourself to decide what future you want. You are not ready to work on your marriage, maybe you should end it OP. I'm sorry you're going through this.

Wallywobbles Tue 22-Nov-16 10:47:07

I would ambush the next session. Say you have something to say before it starts and lay it out on the table. And say if the fundamental issues are not going to addressed then you are stopping the counseling and leaving the marriage. Non negotiable.

Happybunny19 Tue 22-Nov-16 10:49:53

I'm sorry to say it but I think Racerback is spot on. Your husband's attempts to shut you up don't show any remorse for his actions. Is he worth the continued anguish?

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