August 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm #36036
I’m sorry you are going through this right now. What kind of therapist does he have? Is there a governing association? That type of thing sounds reportable to me. Therapist aren’t supposed to make decisions for their patients – just help them reach decisions on their own. Any chance he is saying the therapist says to break up so he can distance himself from that decision?
If you love each other but don’t love the relationship then couples therapy is the place for you. It seems odd he would go to individual therapy but not couple’s.
I find with my relationship that sometimes life just gets to be too much and we need a break from all of our responsibilities otherwise my husband gets short tempered – and that so doesn’t fly with me. When we are away we relax and working on any issues becomes easier somehow when we get a little distance between us and our responsibilities. If you can, swing a weekend away – get some breathing room and then talk to him about couples therapy. Neither one of you are happy in your day to day relationship and couples counselling can help you identify why that is and how to fix it or even if it is fixable. If he sees value in counselling – since he goes – he can understand the value in couple’s counselling. I would discuss the notion of a trail separation THEN when you can set boundaries and goals during your time apart in the neutrality of a therapist’s office. Good luck hon.August 8, 2012 at 9:29 am #36075
How are you doing today?August 8, 2012 at 11:16 am #36097
Tara, when I was a teenager and my mom was in therapy, we could always tell who she talked about when she came home, because she’d be particularly nasty to that person. Mom’s not a nasty person normally, so that was our tip-off. Everyone has different reactions to therapy. I know that I’m really quiet after a session because I process the information. Some people get nasty, some people don’t react at all. If he’s the type to get angry at you after a session, he might be only focusing on talking about YOU in therapy, when he should probably also be working through his mother issues. If she’s falling asleep, and telling him which decisions to make, and not talking with him about the roots of his issues, and only the issues at hand, it sounds like she’s either lazy or burned out. It’s entirely possible that she could be biased about the interracial thing, but I can’t attest to that since I’m not familiar with your situation.
FireStar makes a GREAT point. Is it possible that he is putting the onus on his therapist, and just telling you that she says to break up? He may be wanting to, but putting the “blame” on her as a way to get out of an uncomfortable discussion.
How are you doing today? Are you preparing for your separation weekend? How are you feeling about it? How’s he reacting to it?August 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm #36113
I’m a bit better. Yesterday he and I decided to talk on Sunday and come up with ideas for how we can work through this, or, if we can’t, then break up. He’s confusing me. In one breath he’s saying things like “Everything will be ok, no matter what happens. You know that right?” Which makes my heart hurt. And then he’ll say, “There has to be SOMETHING we can do. I keep hoping there’s a solution we haven’t thought of.”
Yeah. COUPLES THERAPY.
And that leads me right into what FireStar finds odd- that he’ll go to individual therapy, but is opposed to couples therapy. If you were one of my close friends, you’d be tired of hearing what I’m about to write because I’ve said this about a billion and one times over the past few months.
When he started coming home from therapy angry all the time, I began wondering what the hell was going on in there. I asked him about his process and what he expects to get out of it. He said the reason he goes is to “vent” and “have a third party who’s objective.” He rejects the idea of therapy as a process. At first I was like- well, he’ll come to it after being in there for a while. It’s his work, not mine. I can’t and shouldn’t do it for him. But it seems the only thing he’s come away with is that our relationship is the biggest problem in his life. Part of it, I think (and I’m 100% aware this is conjecture), is that his therapy focuses on us (or me), as his problem, and not why we have those issues, what they mean for him, and what he can do about them. (As I was typing this, I saw @Jessibel5’s response, which is basically what I’m saying here- haha. Makes me feel a little relieved I’m not just imagining this!)
Btw, I’ve also abandoned the idea of joining him for a session bc of what @Jessibel5 said earlier about her villainizing me. We need someone neutral.August 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm #36114
To the point about his therapist saying it so he can avoid it- I understand why you would think that, because I thought it as well. And I have flat out asked him several times in what context she’s said it. She just says it. And not always after leading him to it, sometimes just when he’s complaining about me. I mean he COULD be lying, but I seriously doubt that. Also, he’s told me he’s thought about breaking up; he totally owns that. He doesn’t need her opinion to couch it in, and he’s aware at this point that her saying it doesn’t hold any weight with me. I told him after the falling asleep thing, and the direct orders (break up w Tara!) that I don’t think she’s a very good therapist.August 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm #36115
Also, I really appreciate you guys checking in on me. It means a lot.
There is one other thing that happened last night that I think is worth mentioning.
Before he went to his session on Monday, I asked him to talk about why he won’t iron our some really important financial stuff with me. I said I think he should explore the roots of that. I said some other stuff about it, but for brevity’s sake, it’s not as important. When he came home, he said the reason he has held back on those things was bc it was the last thing he was holding onto from fully committing (duh- that’s why I asked him to talk about it). And that all led into the we should break up convo.
Last night when I got home, he’d signed up for Mint, and had listened to an audio book on finances. He enthusiastically told me all these ideas he had for improving our finances, how awesome the book was, and that he had wanted to make a budget the next day with me. All of this stuff is future-geared. I was a little baffled by that, but it also meant he listened to me, and acted on my concerns.
But we’re going to have light convos throughout the week about what we can do, and he thinks us being apart this weekend is a good idea. I’m going to ask him to list his top 5 needs, and to write down what he thinks a happy relationship would be, and I’m going to do the same.August 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm #36124
I’m glad you guys are at least talking. Really hoping for you that it all works out somehow. I know we haven’t talked a whole lot, but I’ve always felt that I could relate to you and I’m really rooting for you.August 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm #36127
i agree it’s good that you’re communicating. i hope that the weekend apart helps. sometimes you just need a break! even when things are good.
definitely keep us posted!August 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm #36128
I hate seem wishy washy, but maybe it’d be a good idea to join him for ONE session, just to see how the interaction goes. But prepare yourself to possibly come out of it feeling awful and shitty, but KNOW that it’s NOT your fault. You have to go into it taking everything said with an entire SHAKER of salt, not just a grain, prepare to be villainized, but not defensive. Maybe that’s a horrible idea, but maybe going would give you insight as to why the behavior that is happening is happening. Honestly, from what you said, she doesn’t sound like the right fit at all. Any therapist who just lets someone vent and not steer their patient to the fact that this is a process, LET ALONE just focus on one aspect of their current life and not delve into the reasons WHY the problems are there is…well they don’t sound like much of a therapist for me. Are there reviews of her on Yelp? Google her name and see if anyone else has complaints about her. Sorry, I’m really stuck on this whole therapist issue for you because it boggles my mind how someone who he is PAYING to help him isn’t helping, or even trying to help. She sounds like she’s merely validating him, which just creates an even bigger mentality for him that he’s right and you’re wrong and that’s not the way to work on a relationship.
FWIW, when my mom decided that her mid-life crisis was over and decided to stop going to therapy, her therapist (who had been very decent and helpful up until then) tried to convince my mom that she was still fucked up because of her childhood/parents. My mom was like, yeah, no, I made my peace with that long ago, it sounds like she just wants more money from me. It’s always possible that some crooked therapists purposely don’t help their patients, and that’s their racket to make money, to keep the patient coming to them. For goodness sake, I know of an plumber who did nothing but remove washers from shower heads to “improve water flow” in someone’s shower. He just banged around in there for an hour after doing 5 minutes of work, and got paid $500 each time. If a plumber could be that crooked, maybe a therapist can too?August 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm #36129
I know you want to stay with him, but another thought just came to me. You guys met when you were so young and have been together throughout your 20′s, which can be a time of huge personality change. Is it possible that you guys have outgrown your relationship and are expecting each other to be the same people you fell in love with 7 years ago? Can you have a talk about both being more accepting and understanding of each other as people now?August 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm #36130
Ahh! I didn’t see your most recent update until just now. That sounds great! I’m really glad you guys are communicating, and it seems as though you’re doing it well. Hopefully the next time he comes back from a session it won’t have been a backward step!August 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm #36152
@MissDre- me too! I always like your comments. Thanks for all the support. I’m all over the place. My head and my heart hurt.
@Jessibel5 on the one session thing- that’s exactly why I wanted to go in the first place. It’s not just the villainizing thing that’s making me have second thoughts on it, but a friend also pointed out it might just make her think I’m trying to control his therapy.
I really like your point about accepting each other as who we are now. We are both so so different from when we met- in really good ways. I often feel like he can’t separate 19-yr-old Tara, who was admittedly a bit of a mess, with the woman I am now, especially when he’s upset. And honestly, this is what I’ve been pleading with him to do for the past few months, albeit not directly. I don’t think I realized it. Sometimes I feel like he’s mad at a completely different person and it’s frustrating to try to reason with that.August 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm #36184
Tara – Were you the one that asked about mis-matched financial goals in a relationship a few moonths ago? Or maybe that was someone else.August 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm #36185
Nope. I’ve never had a letter posted on the site and this is my first forum question.August 9, 2012 at 7:52 am #36195
My mistake then. Sorry.
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