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Does he need counseling first?

(37 Posts)
FritzDonovan Wed 11-Oct-17 23:42:44

Sorry for yet another post, but things appear to be coming to a head right now, and any comments from ppl who have been in a similar situation would be very welcome.
Basically, I'm having a crisis of trust ATM because of dh's behavior, initially many years ago, but more recently it has brought up a number of instances in which he behaved in a less than committed manner, and has outright lied about things to me. His main comments are along the lines of it was a long time ago', 'I didn't think it was that bad', and 'I can't remember '. He has already told me I imagine things and remember them differently, but I honestly think I would remember more accurately as it affected me at the time, not him.
Anyway, he's said we need help in the form of counseling, which I would agree with, except I don't see any point going together if he hasn't separately worked through his reasons for feeling entitled to cheat and lie to me. Especially as a while back I asked him 'would you tell things to a counselor if you hadn't already admitted them to me?' and he said no. He changed this after I said that meant there was no point going then. He apparently meant there was nothing to tell, so that's why he wouldn't say. That's not what it sounded like to me though. Am I wrong?
Would it be more beneficial for him to go individually first?

CockacidalManiac Wed 11-Oct-17 23:50:13

What’s the point? It sounds like he’d either lie to the counsellor, or lie to you afterwards about any progress made.

Kr1st1na Wed 11-Oct-17 23:54:24

Why would he want to go to couselling? he doesn't think he has a problem.

Are you hoping that a counsellor will tell him that it's wrong to lie and cheat ? Because that won't happen.

FritzDonovan Thu 12-Oct-17 06:15:22

Well, looks like you might be right. He's spoken to someone for a referral, only mentioned we were having a rough patch because he broke his word about watching porn and got caught. Nothing about him getting caught trying to cheat (which he probably did), so that makes me look like an over sensitive prude.

CoyoteCafe Thu 12-Oct-17 12:48:44

Why are you trying so hard to make things work with him? He isn't trustworthy. Counseling can't fix that.

2014newme Thu 12-Oct-17 12:50:54

Why would you even bother. Get rid

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 12-Oct-17 12:53:36

He has been at it for years. Why would he want to change now?

Kr1st1na Thu 12-Oct-17 16:29:57

If you go for couselling with him you are paying for an hour of frustration and anger because he will lie to the counsellor and gaslight you. If he's very charming, as I suspect, the counsellor will believe him and you will come out feeling even worse.

Is that really what you want to do ? How do you think this will help you ?

You are having a "crisis of confidence " because you are married to an untrustworthy manipulative liar and probably cheater. How is listening to himself lie to someone else fix this?

FritzDonovan Thu 12-Oct-17 21:29:00

Is that really what you want to do ? How do you think this will help you ?
That is exactly what I wanted to avoid, which is why I wanted him to go to individual sessions to understand more about himself, why he felt entitled to do what he did, and how he can avoid it in the future. A poster on another thread recently said her dh only 'saw the light' and changed when his counselor pointed out a few hard truths to him. I was hoping it would go down this path, but he seems to be approaching it as a couples problem, which it may have now turned into, but I don't think this is the root of the problem.
I have visions of someone giving me strategies for learning to trust him again, when the problem is that I have trusted him and had it broken more than once. I want him to realise and fix this before considering anything as a couple, or nothing is going to change.

CockacidalManiac Thu 12-Oct-17 22:02:53

A poster on another thread recently said her dh only 'saw the light' and changed when his counselor pointed out a few hard truths to him.

That doesn’t sound right to me.

FritzDonovan Thu 12-Oct-17 22:34:10

What doesn't sound right? I can't remember the exact wording, but this is certainly how I read it. I also know that oh will be more likely to believe something someone else tells him rather than if it comes from me. For example, a long while ago I'd mentioned numerous points of his behavior and said how it could look dodgy, which he denied. He also disbelieved that it would look dodgy to most other ppl. I posted on here, and looked and behold, 99% of posters thought it looked dodgy. He then decided it possibly did.
Therefore, if an independent person told him some home truths, I think he would be more inclined to listen rather than get his back up automatically.

ferriswheel Fri 13-Oct-17 06:33:51

Been there and done that. Sorry but no.

Google hoovering.

He's literally sucking you back in in order to treat you like shit again.

PsychedelicSheep Fri 13-Oct-17 07:09:25

Just because another posters dh ‘saw the light’ it doesn’t mean yours will. Yours sounds like a devious fucker who will only ever admit to the bare minimum he can get away with. Counselling will not change his core personality.

C0untDucku1a Fri 13-Oct-17 07:25:06

Op this is so sad to read. From someone who was married to a liar, liars lie. About everything. Not just big stuff.

You shouldnt learn strategies to trust him again, because HE ISNT TRUSTWORTHY. He cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

He has no respect for you, cheats on you and uses porn and wants to BLAME YOU by saying it is a couple problem and not a shit husband problem.

He is trying to gas light you by saying youre rembembering things wrong and making you doubt your own memory.

Dont waste you time and money on him. Throw him out.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 13-Oct-17 07:36:00

You think he needs a counsellor to tell him it is wrong to cheat and lie because he genuinely doesn't know and doesn't believe you when you explain?

FritzDonovan Fri 13-Oct-17 08:13:02

Well, according to him, he had second thoughts about cheating and threw the condom he had taken to a work conference away instead of bringing it home, as he didn't want me to find out he'd taken it.
He knows what he did re lying about porn, but it didn't stop him.
And apparently, the last year (since I uncovered the latest) has been so bad that there's no way he'd do anything again. But I'm not sure his core personality is any different, as op mentioned. Surely some ppl have improved with counselling in similar situations?

CockacidalManiac Fri 13-Oct-17 08:19:28

By ‘it doesn’t sound right’ I meant that’s not the role of a counsellor. A counsellor isn’t a parental or authority figure that ‘puts you right’ and points out your personality flaws.

FritzDonovan Fri 13-Oct-17 08:23:16

No, but I was under the impression they would talk through your destructive actions and help you identify motivations behind them, so that you could make better choices in the future.

thecatfromjapan Fri 13-Oct-17 08:29:33

People 'improve' with counselling because they go to counselling having already decided they have some issue that is stopping them being/living the way they really want to and so go to counselling to help gain the insight to change.

Unwieldy sentence, sorry. The point is, counselling 'works' when people have already decided to change/make it work. The counselling is a bit like a fork - it's a tool; it helps you pick up the messy peas of a life change that might be tricky if you only have a knife.

And behind that decision (to change, get counselling to help with the change) is often a very powerful sense that the way they are living their life is just 'wrong', 'out of shape', 'something stopping them from being where they want to be'.

A counsellor won't be able to 'put someone right' without that person fully engaging in the process. And 'putting them right' is a complex concept - what is 'right'?

That said, you say your dh has suggested the counselling?

ShatnersWig Fri 13-Oct-17 08:29:39

Fritz I'm going to be blunt but I mean it with the best of intentions. Why are you continuing to drag this out? You are trying to flog the proverbial dead horse.

You were asking people are counselling specific to people in the Forces back in February. Here we are in October, eight months later and you're still here asking people whether it's right that HE should be going for counselling first! You've had several threads about him and his behaviour and I am not for one minute saying you shouldn't be doing that but you're continually getting advice from people that you should end this sorry excuse for a relationship but you cling on to it/him like a limpet.

What do we need to do this time to finally get the scales to fall from your eyes so you actually wake up, realize he isn't going to change, this relationship is dead in the water and that you are wasting your life with him?

CockacidalManiac Fri 13-Oct-17 08:29:47

But he won’t take any responsibility for his behaviour, will he? Counselling won’t change that.

thecatfromjapan Fri 13-Oct-17 08:38:24

OK. The cheating thing. Ideally, if your dh went for counselling, it would be because he wants one thing (what? A stable relationship with you?) but there is something in the way he acts that stops him achieving that thing that he wants. (The lack of commitment/cheating.)

His desire to get that thing (the stable relationship) would be the carrot that would keep him going and force him to untangle his world-view, impact of past experiences, real goals and desires - in counselling, with guidance.

On the way, he'd be looking at all sorts of things, including, I would guess, areas of unhappiness and unfulfilment.

Someone on MN has linked to a really good article about why people (in happy marriages) cheat. It's complex. And any counselling he gets will not be as simple as a counsellor telling him to behave in X, Y or Z way. Your dh will be exploring how he feels.

The key thing is that the person driving this will be your dh, not the counsellor, not you.

The problem is that it sounds as though you think that your dh will go to the counsellor, and the counsellor will explain your point of view to your dh and your dh will, miraculously, emerge converted.

This is not how counselling works.

thecatfromjapan Fri 13-Oct-17 08:42:40

Shatner has made a very good point.

I'm going to take it further.

Stop trying to make dh go to counselling. Go to counselling yourself. Find out why you are seeing your life as a choice between changing your husband and ... nothing else.

I know it seems absolutely clear to you that this one thing (your husband changing) would make you happy and be the gateway to a joyful life BUT that is acutally quite a dysfunctional way of thinking.

Go to a counsellor yourself. Find out what it is that traps you here.

By the way, if you did go for couple counselling, the counsellor would be looking at the dynamic between the pair of you - that's both of you - and how it keeps you both locked in this pattern that you find so destructive.

FritzDonovan Fri 13-Oct-17 09:32:08

Thanks for the comments. As to why I'm still asking about counselling after so long - I have obviously been thinking about whether it would be beneficial for a long time, and am now not convinced that couples counselling is going to work as a first port of call for various reasons. You've noted that I asked about counselling wrt the forces shatner, one difficulty is the time spent working away obviously impacts on the ability to attend sessions.
I am not trying to force dh to attend. As I stated earlier he has suggested going, but suggested couples sessions. I believe we would benefit from individual sessions before moving on to that.
I know exactly why I would prefer to work this out rather than leave. I don't need to see a counselor to understand that.
As I also stated earlier, I don't think a counselor will tell him what is right or wrong (he does know), but will help him understand why he continues with this behavior and ways of moving forward.

CockacidalManiac Fri 13-Oct-17 09:36:11

He has already told me I imagine things and remember them differently, but I honestly think I would remember more accurately as it affected me at the time, not him.

He gaslights you. He admits that he’s not going to tell the truth to the counsellor. You’re wasting your time.

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