Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail Denali at MBDenali@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
Hi,
I am new here and have some questions. I am reading and reading MB and trying to apply it to my M. We have been married 8 years, and are in our 40's. My H had an A, I found out last July, we have been in MC and he is in IC. He and the OW lost their jobs over it, so there are financial issues now too. It's been hell, of course.

We are making two steps forward, then one back, progress. It's progress.

I feel that his IC is hindering our M though. He had a LOT of childhood trauma. Could be a movie of the week. He hasn't dealt with it. Now he is, and he is giving the IC permission to talk to our MC. The IC doesn't have our M as a goal at al. She is interested in him becoming healthy only, and if the M is still there, great.

While is he listening to the MC also, I feel that the IC is not a friend of our marriage.

Thoughts?


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad


While is he listening to the MC also, I feel that the IC is not a friend of our marriage.

Thoughts?


An IC usually is not a friend of marriage. And more often than not, neither are marriage counselors. An IC will help your H pursue his feelings de jour, at the expense of the marriage. It is just a DISTRACTION from the real problem, which is the marriage. Dr Harley says that when a counselor gets off into childhood issues, you may be there for years, diverted from solving present day problems. He believes it is a way to keep people coming back for years, paying for your services, but never helping the person.

Dr Harley is a credentialed, licensed psychologist, who has saved thousands of marriages, and this is what he says:

Quote:
"Some counselors think it's a good idea to "resolve issues of the past" by talking about them week after week, month after month, year after year. It keeps these counselors in business, but does nothing to resolve the issue. In fact, it usually makes their poor clients chronically depressed.

My experience as a Clinical Psychologist has proven to me that dredging up unpleasant experiences of the past merely brings the unhappiness of the past into the present. The problems of the present are difficult enough to solve without spending time and energy trying to resolve issues of the past, which are essentially unresolvable. You can make your future happy, but you can't do a thing about bad experiences of the past, except think and talk about them -- and that makes the bad experiences of the past, bad experiences of the present." Dr. Willard Harley


here

Quote:

An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.
here

Quote:
One of the reasons I'm not so keen on dredging up the past as a part of therapy is that it brings up memories that carry resentment along with them. If I'm not careful, a single counseling session can open up such a can of worms that the presenting problem gets lost in a flood of new and painful memories. If the goal of therapy is to "resolve" every past issue, that seems to me to be a good way to keep people coming for therapy for the rest of their lives. That's because it's an insurmountable goal. We simply cannot resolve everything that's ever bothered us.


Instead, I tend to focus my attention on the present and the future, because they are what we can all do something about. The past is over and done with. Why waste our effort on the past when the future is upon us. Granted, it's useful to learn lessons from the past, but if we dwell on the past, we take our eyes off the future which can lead to disaster.



I personally believe that therapy should focus most attention, not on the past, but on ways to make the future sensational.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
p.s one does not have to go into their childhood to solve problems of the present. That is ridiculous. That is just a DISTRACTION and DIVERSION from changing current behavior.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
Melody - thank you! I think so too! The IC is convinced that she will help him heal and then he will be good for the M. She said to him "you aren't good for anybody right now, including yourself." While this is true, dredging all this stuff up for the past 6 months hasn't really helped him or us.

They don't even focus on the A. They do focus on his trauma and PTSD, the consequences of his A decisions - job loss, loss of reputation, loss of friends, almost lost marriage, legal impacts, etc. She does hold him accountable for his A and the bad decisions he made.

But it seems to stop us from moving forward as well as we could. The MC is helping. She uses MB principles and she specializes in infidelity. She is helping him learn to help me heal, but also helping us both to develop a better M.


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad
Melody - thank you! I think so too! The IC is convinced that she will help him heal and then he will be good for the M. She said to him "you aren't good for anybody right now, including yourself." While this is true, dredging all this stuff up for the past 6 months hasn't really helped him or us.


MrRollieEyes This is not how people get better and change their lives. This is just a needless distraction.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
So do I ask him to quit IC? Or perhaps talk about it with our MC?

His mother is here visiting and she agrees. She wants to go to IC with him on Monday and he has agreed.


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad
So do I ask him to quit IC? Or perhaps talk about it with our MC?

His mother is here visiting and she agrees. She wants to go to IC with him on Monday and he has agreed.


If it were me, I would print up the Dr Harley quotes and hand them to him. Explain to him that IC is cute and trendy, but it is a distraction from the real problem. It is a complete waste of time. He does not have to resolve childhood trauma to solve adult problems. And if he is busy focusing on the past, he won't be focusing on ways to make the present GREAT.

Another good resource that addresses this little "counseling" fad is One Nation Under Therapy by Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Patel, M.D. This book reviews numerous studies that show that counseling can sometimes be harmful and distracting. I know it was for me personally. I felt cute and trendy MrRollieEyes but it did nothing to solve my current problems.

On the other hand, my life changed dramatically in Alcoholics Anonymous, which is a BEHAVIOR BASED program much like Marriage Builders. And they didn't want to hear my CRAP when I went to AA. They told me I needed to shut and listen, since the only thing I knew how to do was screw up my life. Shutting up and listening was the best thing I ever did! grin


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
That is such good advice. You know, he has been saying that he "needs a plan", "has no direction" and the IC keeps focusing on the trama and having him read books about self-esteem and abandonment. He has remarked that they are good, but they need to have endings that direct readers on what to DO rather than just focus on feelings only!

We have a friend who is a recovered alcoholic - 18 years - and she says that she is so glad she is one because of AA. She knows what she is, she can go somewhere where they tell you what to do and you need to do it!

Maybe he should find a 12 step program to join!


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad


Maybe he should find a 12 step program to join!


Marriage Builders IS that plan for struggling marriages. It is a very detailed plan that is based on behavioral changes. I would follow the program outlined in Surviving an Affair and Lovebusters and ditch the IC! Good luck!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 360
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 360
I will chime in with one kind of IC that *does* IMHO tend to help, if applied correctly. It's called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. The "bible" of this kind of therapy is The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns. But as ML has said, I think the reason it works is because while it acknowledges past issues as real, it doesn't focus on them. It focuses on changing current thought processes and behaviours.

If your H's therapist isn't doing CBT work with him, I agree it'll just be more of the same on and on. IMHO, CBT can and does work well with MB. You might see if he's willing to switch to a CBT IC for his personal issues. They deal with PTSD and anxiety issues very well.


"When people show you who they are, believe them." -- Maya Angelou
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
The bottom line is he doesn't need individual counseling to resolve marriage problems, he needs a good marriage program and a qualified marriage counselor. Focusing on ones childhood to fix a MARRIAGE is a distraction and a diversion. Very trendy and cute, but basically worthless.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
Speaking as someone who had an A and - as a bipolar - has some experience with IC, I agree with both Mel and AC. The best kind of IC is CBT. My first IC wanted to spend time tracing back my earliest feelings of rejection back to kindergarten while my M lay bleeding in the wake of my A. Useless. And let me tell ya, my childhood wasn't perfect.

I would talk to your H about these very valid concerns. If you two call the Harley's they will be able to give you even better guidance about IC's. As far as his IC wanting to help him work through depression all the consequences caused, those are normal. I cheated, and there were consequences both for me and for the innocent family I hurt. The key to REAL self esteem is to face the ugly honestly, make amends, and become once again a H who can love and care for his family.

I am so sorry that you are going through this. My last suggestion would be to try to find him a male IC. My most recent encounter with a counselor who was a man was an exercise in discomfort - he basically hit on me.

Your H needs good counsel on finding the right IC. This is something you can help him to see, esp if his mother agrees.

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
He is doing CBT with the IC. They are focused on overcoming the trauma. But to me, after 6 months, I question whether or not he is making progress or having a plan to follow.

She says he is making progress and he feels he is, too.


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 532
J
Member
Offline
Member
J
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 532
I will dissent to a degree. Only in that YOUR most important issue is your MARRIAGE, whereas he lives within himself 24/7 and you have no real idea what he thinks about nor what he feels in any given day or time.

While I absolutely agree that for MARRIAGE COUNSELING, dredging up the past is of little use. The real issue for HIM is that he might have some crap running around in his brain which has stopped him from relating to the world in general in a productive way. And while I agree that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the best way to deal with it, simply ignoring that HE has issues in order to get your MARRIAGE back where you want it is self-centered.

You might see the marriage as the biggest issue... He might see his LIFE as the biggest issue.

I absolutely agree that MB principles make the most sense. But don't get caught on what YOU perceive as the thing you want solved most as being the only thing of consequence. I absolutely agree that there are a TON of crap counselors out there who don't really understand how to improve a person's life in a realistic way. I absolutely believe that there is alot of crap psychology/psychologists out there as well. He might need something different, all I am saying is don't discount what HE needs for himself in an effort to gain from him what is most important to you.

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad
He is doing CBT with the IC. They are focused on overcoming the trauma. But to me, after 6 months, I question whether or not he is making progress or having a plan to follow.

She says he is making progress and he feels he is, too.


D&S, please get that book I recommended above. I also had a very traumatic childhood and this book explained why my counseling kept me crippled. It did not resolve any problems, rather it kept me triggered and angry and focused on the PAST.

And as long as that was the case, I was not focused on solutions for the PRESENT. [marriage problems AND living problems] Dr Harley does NOT say this in conjunction to only solving marriage problems, either. He does not believe one needs to IC to examine their childhood to change current behavior.

The truth is that we do not have to explore our childhood to change CURRENT behavior. We simply need to focus on the PRESENT.

What problems is your H seeing this counselor FOR?



"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: Dr Willard Harley
"Some counselors think it's a good idea to "resolve issues of the past" by talking about them week after week, month after month, year after year. It keeps these counselors in business, but does nothing to resolve the issue. In fact, it usually makes their poor clients chronically depressed.

My experience as a Clinical Psychologist has proven to me that dredging up unpleasant experiences of the past merely brings the unhappiness of the past into the present. The problems of the present are difficult enough to solve without spending time and energy trying to resolve issues of the past, which are essentially unresolvable. You can make your future happy, but you can't do a thing about bad experiences of the past, except think and talk about them -- and that makes the bad experiences of the past, bad experiences of the present."
Dr. Willard Harley
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
I know that certain things about my life and how I was raised affected my behavior. But all I really needed to do about that was identify it, learn how to let go of it, and change patterns. I think the idea of dissecting every painful event and thought we have ever had is NOT healing; it's just navel gazing and keeps us stuck. I am a thinker, so I could sit in this chair and analyze why I think, what I think, how I think it, and how it all makes me think I feel for the rest of my life -- literally. This does not give me depth or heal my psyche, it just means I atrophy and the dishes don't get done.

Bottom line for me, the deep thinking bipolar who is adopted and suffered sexual abuse, ACTION is the key. I can visualize forgiving my abuser all day long. If my present life and marriage are crappy, none of that matters.

I am not opinionated at all am I? Maybe I should ponder that for awhile.....:)

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
D
Member
OP Offline
Member
D
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 217
I am ordering the book today, thanks Melody!

He is seeing the IC because he realized the A was all his fault and he wanted to "fix what is wrong." He is an unhappy, angry person who how felt entitled. He doesn't have a good moral compass. He doesn't take responsibility for his actions, and doesn't know how. He has trouble making friends. He is very self-centered and selfish.

In his attempts to be O and H, he gave written permission for the IC and our MC to talk and share information. I also went to IC with him once, to meet her and ask any questions I wanted. The IC and MC said he is very wounded, doesn't know how to be empathetic and is learning, and is making progress towards taking responsibility and being less self-centered.

The IC flat out said that our M and the A are not her concern. Her concern is getting my H healthy. The behaviors he had which damanged the M and let to do the A are her concern.

This is all so confusing. Thank you all for helping me make sense of it.


Me: BW, 46
Him: WH, 48
EA/PA with co-worker 8-08 to 7-09
D-day 7-29
NC 8-17
OW and WH both fired from jobs
OW lost court case for restraining order- judge called her a "practiced deciever" who manufactured evidence!!
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: lurioosi2
I know that certain things about my life and how I was raised affected my behavior. But all I really needed to do about that was identify it, learn how to let go of it, and change patterns.


Bingo! The same here. All I had to do was CHANGE my behavior. I didnt' need to know why I was that way to change it. In fact, trying to figure out why was a waste of time and a distraction. I will probably NEVER know why. Who cares? crazy

I spent years flapping my gums in a counselor's chair and never got anywhere, except angry, depressed and bitter. I caused more holes in the ozone than all the Aquanet being sprayed in the state of Texas. That really made my life better, NOT!! So, I went into AA and they told me they didn't want to hear my crap, that I should shut up and listen to THEM.

Once I focused on changing current behavior, my life started changing in a dramatic and effective way. I discovered a very simple truth that separates the successful programs from the duds: FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS. The successful programs are action oriented, bring the body and the mind will follow.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Originally Posted By: disgustedandsad
He is seeing the IC because he realized the A was all his fault and he wanted to "fix what is wrong."


A waste of time. Dr Harley will tell him why he had the affair FOR FREE and he is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Marriage Builders:

Originally Posted By: DR. WILLARD HARLEY
"An analysis of the betrayed spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them."
here

There ya go! Now he knows why he had the affair!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 58 guests, and 55 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
One Love Counsel, beingstill, sochanoa, maxricomm, danny47
71,583 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,495
Posts2,322,044
Members71,583
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5