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 the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 810
R
rwinger Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
R
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 810
Interesting article - dated to 1999 so many here may have read once before.

Therapy - Hazardous to your marriage

Quote
You�d be interested to know that, according to a national survey, 80 percent of all private practice therapists in the United States say they do marital therapy. And only 12% of them are in a profession that requires even one course or any supervised experience. Only marriage and family therapy as a profession requires any course work or supervised clinical experience in marital or couples therapy.

I can picture this scenario - I had one session in my life and was put on the defensive right at the start.

Quote
Another thing that incompetent therapists do is to beat up on one of the partners. Although women sometimes get more than their fair of the therapist's negative attention, an under-recognized problem is that men also get seriously disadvantaged in some couples therapy. Men often come to save their marriage, not primarily to seek insight into themselves. The light bulbs have gone on: I could lose this woman, I could lose these children. I gotta shape up. When they come to a therapist who is only used to dealing with individuals, they are in trouble. The therapist begins with "And how do you feel about being here, Joe?" And Joe says "Well, I�m just here to save my marriage." "No, Joe, that�s not a feeling." "Well, I think it�s important that we�" "No, no, that�s a thought, Joe, that�s not a feeling." And so Joe is not a candidate for individual psychotherapy, which to the therapist means "he�s got big time problems." The therapist and the wife decide that both she and he need a lot of individual help. And so you try to trot him off to an individual therapist, her to an individual therapist. He doesn�t go, because he�s there to save his marriage, not to understand his psyche--which proves that he is not serious about change. Another time that therapists turf couples off to individual therapists is when the therapist can�t handle the in-session conflict. The therapist can�t handle the hot conflict, feels overwhelmed by it. This work is not easy. Jay Haley, one of the founders of family therapy, says that marital therapy is the most difficult form of therapy. The pulls, the triangles, the hot conflict that is right in the room makes it very difficult. The problem isn�t that some therapists can�t handle it, the problem is they don�t know they can�t handle it, and they assume that there is a lot of individual pathology going on. So they turf the spouses off to their individual therapists, or keeps one of the spouses in individual therapy and sends the other to a colleagues. I have seen a lot of unnecessary divorces because of this scenario. The wife can lose out in this scenario if she is to say that she has "issues." She�ll say that she�s depressed a lot, that she�s read a lot of self help books and knows she is co-dependent or something worse. So the therapist and the husband become co-therapists to help her with her problems. And it goes nowhere. The first problem in marital therapy, then, is incompetence, and therapists not knowing they�re not competent.

Last edited by rwinger; 08/31/10 06:11 AM.

Me:52
W: 52
Married: 32 yrs
2 Sons (29 & 23)
1 Dtr (20)
1 GDtr (2.5) precious little girl
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Dr Harley in "How I Learned to Save Marriages"

"I read books on marital therapy, was supervised by "experts" in the field, and worked in a clinic that specialized in marital therapy, claiming to be the best in Minnesota. But I was still unable to save marriages. Almost everyone who came to me for help ended up like my college friend - divorced.

In my effort to overcome failure, I made a crucial discovery: I wasn't the only one failing to help couples. Almost everyone else working with me in the clinic was failing as well! My supervisor was failing, the director of the clinic was failing, and so were the other marriage counselors that worked with me. And then I made the most astonishing discovery of all: Most of the marital experts in America were also failing. It was very difficult to find anyone willing to admit their failure, but when I had access to actual cases, I couldn't find any therapist who could prove their own success or train others to be successful in saving marriages.

In fact, I learned that marital therapy had the lowest success rate of any form of therapy - in one study, I read that less than 25% of those surveyed felt that marriage counseling had helped. A higher percentage felt that counseling had done more harm than good."


continued to explain how he learned to save marriages


"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: Feb 2010
Posts: 533
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 533
Our MC was poisonous to our marriage, even though he was on a better track than most. At our first session I explained that my wife is having an affair, and he grilled her to the point of tears and told her she needs to stop having the affair, give up her friends online, and to stop acting like a teenage girl. The next session I said to him, "You were very cruel on my wife, and I didn't appreciate it." So he turned on me and told me how I don't confront problems and shut down completly. He complained that he couldnt read my feelings.

He gave us the book People Code, the personality color code, and gave us some homework. Do you think my WW, at the time, would do homework? I had to ask her over and over to do the homework. When she did she found that our personality types were on opposite sides of the spectrum determining that we were "incompatible". It was just more ammo for her justification in the affair.

Our second to the last MC session the therapist asked my FWW to stop talking to the OM. Finally some kind of good advice that was worthwhile. Do waywards listen to a therapist? Nope, she continued what she was doing. The next session I think the therapist got the hint. He saw that my FWW lied to him, and he gave her a mouth full of how she is purposley destroying her marriage (or something like that, I can't remember, but SR caould fill you in). My FWW got up and walked out of the room and walked home, about 5 miles, and it took her the rest of the afternoon. I did a couple laps to find her, and called her phone. I figured if she wants to walk home then I will let her. It took her the rest of the afternoon to walk home.

That was our last therapy session. That is when I knew that therapy for a wayward does not help, and can do more damage than good. It does not stop an affair and mosre often than not it gives the wayward more ammo more justification to continue the affair. Luckily the therapist did not encourage seperation so my FWW could "find" herself.

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1

When should you tell your spouse,
"We have a problem."

Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

A marital complaint usually falls into one of two broad categories:
1) "You are not meeting my emotional needs," or
2) "Your behavior is upsetting me."
The first category reflects a failure to make your spouse happy, and the second category reflects a failure to avoid making your spouse unhappy.
When you meet your spouse's emotional needs, you deposit love units into your spouse's Love Bank. And when you avoid behavior that makes your spouse unhappy, you avoid withdrawing love units. That combination leads to romantic love, the feeling of incredible attraction that is essential in a happy and fulfilling marriage. So if your spouse ever registers a complaint in either of these two categories, my advice to you is to take care of the problem as quickly as possible. Don't wait for it to become an even greater problem, in hopes that it will eventually go away. And then, let the Policy of Joint Agreement (never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse) guide you to a solution.

I give you this advice because I want you and your spouse to be in love with each other, and I'm sure that you want that, too. But most marital therapists disagree with me on this issue. Because their advice is so pervasive, and so destructive to the love of couples that follow it, I use whatever opportunity I have to defend this crucial position.

The difference between my approach to saving marriages, and the approach of most other therapists, is that I focus on building romantic love (being "in love") between spouses, rather than simply focusing on conflict resolution. As it turns out, I also address conflict resolution, but I do it in a way that builds love between spouses.

Since most marital therapists fail to address the romantic love issue when they try to help couples, their approach to conflict resolution usually fails to build love, and as a result, the couples divorce, even after "resolving" some of their conflicts.

An example of this current effort to "resolve" marital conflicts is found in a book by Jacobson and Christensen, Integrative Couples Therapy (Norton, 1996). In this training manual for marital therapists, couples are to be encouraged by their therapists to lower their marital expectations by becoming more understanding of each other's dysfunctional background. Irreparable wounds inflicted during childhood should inspire empathy toward a thoughtless spouse, not disappointment. Awareness of each other's limitations should lead to acceptance of each other's behavior and a willingness to meet one's own needs, instead of expecting each other to meet those needs. The suggested goal of therapy is to teach each spouse to make themselves happy, and not look to each other for their happiness. While this approach to therapy may resolve a couple's conflict, it most certainly will not lead to love. When couples follow this advice, few love units are deposited and many are withdrawn. In the end, the couple is likely to divorce.

The same sort of advice is given in Getting the Love You Want by Hendrix (Holt Rinehart, & Winston, 1988). While the book title seems to address the issue of romantic love in marriage, the author's strategy for couples is to learn to accept each other's marital failures, rather than doing anything to overcome them. I guarantee you, if you follow this strategy, you will NOT get the love you want.

My experience, and the experience of a few others who are carefully studying what it takes for a couple to be satisfied with their marriage, proves the opposite of what is currently being popularly recommended. Instead of spouses trying to lower their expectations, I believe that they should raise them. Instead of spouses learning to meet their own emotional needs, I believe that they should expect to have them met by each other, and met in a professional manner. Why? Because that's what it takes for a couple to be in love and stay in love. Furthermore, couples should not waste their time trying to "understand" each other's failures, but rather, they should try to overcome them as quickly as possible so the issue does not have time to drain their Love Banks.

In a great, but mind-numbing, article entitled "The Mathematics of Marital Conflict: Dynamic Mathematical Nonlinear Modeling of Newlywed Marital Interaction" (Gottman, Swanson and Murray. J. of Family Psychology, 1999, Vol. 13, No.1, 3-19), the authors provide evidence that couples should not "let things ride and have a chance to build up" (p. 17). Instead, couples should address any conflict as soon as it arises, and resolve it quickly. The authors indicate that the biblical principle from Ephesians (4:26), may be helpful in marriage, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

In this study, newlyweds who divorced within 6 years were compared with those who remained married during those years. It was found that the divorced couples tended not to respond to each other's complaints as quickly as those who remained married. These divorced couples ignored each other's complaints until they became intensely negative. Those who remained married, on the other hand, went to work addressing each other's complaints soon after they were mentioned, not giving the complaint a chance to build up.

My experience with couples agrees with the results of this study. In successful marriages, spouses expect to change to accommodate each other's needs, so when a spouse registers a complaint, it's a signal for action. In failed marriages, on the other hand, spouses expect to be accepted as they are, without change. A complaint is interpreted as an unwillingness to love unconditionally, a failure of the complaining spouse. So instead of adjusting to the complaint, the defense is offered, "if you really loved me, you would not try to change me. You would let me continue to do whatever it is I'm doing." continued 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: Feb 2010
Posts: 533
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 533
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
When should you tell your spouse,
"We have a problem."

Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

A marital complaint usually falls into one of two broad categories:
1) "You are not meeting my emotional needs," or
2) "Your behavior is upsetting me."

...

I find that it is very important to recognise and voice your observations immediately that your needs are not being met, or that behaviour is upsetting. I have not spoken up for even a day, and it hurts the marriage.

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,416
I would go one farther. I would say that ANY therapy: individual, marital, psychologist, or psychiatrist, who is not marriage oriented will do damage to your marriage. For example, I see a psych regularly because of my disorder. But we don't talk about potty training and my mommy and the deep primal need that DH has circumvented with his ID. It is definitely more CBT or DBT. When I hopped in the sack with OM, I didn't need someone helping me to explore my inner pain and insecurity from being picked last for kickball.

I get that situations like authentic abuse do need healing and help. But this modern day, I cheated cause mommy didn't hug me and H criticized my casserole...crap in a pretty box. That's all it is. And if my pdoc starts telling me to delve into the inner mysteries of the soul instead of take 100 responsibility for MY actions every day...I need a new doc. Those words may not be pretty and may not contain all sorts of jargon to display my high I.Q.....but it's the truth. Take it or choke on it.

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 810
R
rwinger Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
R
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 810
Quote
Men often come to save their marriage, not primarily to seek insight into themselves. The light bulbs have gone on: I could lose this woman, I could lose these children. I gotta shape up. When they come to a therapist who is only used to dealing with individuals, they are in trouble. The therapist begins with "And how do you feel about being here, Joe?" And Joe says "Well, I�m just here to save my marriage." "No, Joe, that�s not a feeling." "Well, I think it�s important that we�" "No, no, that�s a thought, Joe, that�s not a feeling." And so Joe is not a candidate for individual psychotherapy, which to the therapist means "he�s got big time problems."

That was sort of my thinking when we went to a counselor altho main purpose was get some help for our daughter - who is bpI and was pregnant and still in high school. Next thing I know - the counselor and wife are making it the marriage is the cause and I am the root cause. Good lord. Failed to mention that our oldest two sons were successful adults. I suppose I did something right along the way.

Walked out of there thinking I walked into a man hater agenda.


Me:52
W: 52
Married: 32 yrs
2 Sons (29 & 23)
1 Dtr (20)
1 GDtr (2.5) precious little girl

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 88 guests, and 61 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
cbm800, Dodo M, Kingpin, MikaylaVaux, I.P.
71,728 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,546
Posts2,322,791
Members71,729
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