I went with my husband to counselling yesterday..

United States
July 13, 2012 6:58pm CST
My husband and I have had ongoing marriage problems for years now. It's nothing very serious. We just fight a lot over stupid things.. mostly miscommunication and being over sensitive.. and we are both at fault. On top of this my husband has some temper issues. So a few months ago I told him if he didn't get his temper under control I was going to leave him. So he began seeing a therapist and I decided to start anti-depressant medication to try to control my portion of our problems. The therapy helped for a little while, and I saw that he was making an effort so our problems disappeared.. for a few weeks. Then he slowly started falling back into bad old habits, and in turn I fell back into bad old habits, etc. etc. Through it all he has not stopped going to therapy. Unfortunately a good portion of his therapy sessions are centered around other things happening in his life such as work and other family (like his sister) and he never really finds a solution for these problems, they continue to stress him out. Because I was out of work early yesterday I decided to go with him to his weekly therapy session so that I could weigh in on how I think my husband has progressed and ensure the conversation stayed on problems I felt were important to discuss.. like our marital issues and his temper. I must say the session ended up being so much better than I thought. It did not go the way I expected it.. but the therapist pointed out that a lot of our problem is that both of us had a childhood where we felt unwanted and unloved. His parents fought a lot and took their aggrevassions out on him and his sister emotionally and mentally. They told them they wished they'd never adopted them. So hubby feels worthless because of this. I grew up being neglected by my mother. She allowed me to be abused physically and sexually and did nothing to stop it. So I grew up feeling worthless and unloved. So, because we both have similar problems, we aren't connecting the way we should, instead we're pulling away from each other more and more because we're not getting what we want from the other. The more we don't get what we want from the other, the more we pull away and refuse to give the other what they want.. causing a viscious circle. Hubby had known this about himself, even before counselling. It was actually obvious due to the fact he was outright told he was unwanted by his parents. My mother never outright told me I was unwanted, but subconsiously I realize I was unwanted because she neglected me and allowed me to be abused. I had thought I was handling things fine because it doesn't really bother me that these things happened to me as a child.. it's just a part of my life. It had never dawned on me that my insecurities were due to feeling hurt, rejected, and unwanted my whole life. I actually ended up crying during counselling, and hubby cried a little bit too because he realized he'd been inadvertently hurting me all along, which he didn't mean to do, obviously. We are certainly not cured and I highly doubt this is the end of our problems, because it's too easy to fall back into old habits and blame the other for our hurt feelings. But I think I may begin to go to counselling on my own now to try to sort through some of my own personal problems, and try to not be so insecure anymore. Have you ever been to counselling? Have you ever had a realization that something you thought was someone else's fault turned out to be something you'd never even thought of?
4 people like this
9 responses
@GreenMoo (11842)
14 Jul 12
I so admire your ability to recognise and take responsibility for part of your pattern of arguing. It's really easy to blame it all on the other party. I've never been to counselling. The whole idea is quite scary to be honest! I really hope your continues to work for you though. Good luck with it!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 12
Thanks.
• Canada
14 Jul 12
My husband and I both agree thatcouncelling is a reallygreat idea, whether a couple reallyneeds it, or whether it's just for marriage maintainence. The way we see it, we go to the doctor to get our bodies checked out, the dentist for our teeth, the optometrist for our eyes, the mechanic for a car (or we could if we had one!!!) so why the heck not go for marriage maintainence? The first time we went we really needed it, but the last few times we've gone, just for the sake of a tuneup.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 12
There's nothing wrong with that. Marriage tune ups are a great idea. I just wish we'd done this years ago, because the fights have caused so many problems and it's going to take a lot of time to undo some of the harm that's been done over the past 10 years. At least we have a relationship worth fighting for.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48176)
• United States
14 Jul 12
That's absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad to hear you guys tried counseling. So many people write it off, but it helps. I used to see a counselor. I was able to let go of a lot of things that had happened that I always thought was my fault. And one day while talking to the counselor I realized I wasn't. Many years later when I got on disability I was required to go to counseling because where I was getting my bipolar meds from made you get counseling if you were also getting medicine. Eventually I went somewhere else because my therapist felt I no longer needed counseling, but it did me a lot of good when I went. I remember one time I showed up with a migraine. By the end of the session the migraine was gone. Just talking about the problems had relieved the pain in my head. I hope you guys can continue to connect this way. It's wonderful that you both care enough to work on it.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I constantly go back and forth as to whether or not I really need counseling. When I decide to work on my problems, I can usually do so without any help, or maybe just by talking to someone who is a good listener and offers advice or insight, although that is hard to find. Most people I talk to tend to interject with their own problems instead of listening and responding to mine. Not that there's anything wrong with that.. that's just a typical conversation and regular people aren't meant to solve other people's problems.. but once in awhile I do find that perfect person who's great to talk to about problems, you know. So, I've just felt like I'm better off figuring it out for myself because I'm really good at that. I'm good at analyzing my feelings and figuring out what's causing them and why.. but I've got to be in the right mood to do it. I was also leary of seeing a counselor. I used to see one years ago right after I was diagnosed with depression. I think I went about half a dozen times, but literally got nowhere. I never left feeling any better or like I'd accomplished anything. I felt like each session was just a basic "this is who I am, this is what's going on in my life" and like we hadn't really scratched the surface of the real issues. Then, the last session I went to I got the impression that the counselor was going to convince me to quit the job I had at the time because it was stressful on me. She didn't actually say it, maybe it was my own perception, but the job I had was 3rd shift and I was trying to watch the twins during the day who were toddlers at the time and into everything.. and I slept through most of the day while they made messes which stressed me out. I guess I just felt judged, so I stopped going. The counselor my husband sees is fairly good. The first time my husband went he came home feeling a million times better. He has learned the root of a lot of his problems, and given advice as to how to make things better. The only thing I'm not really crazy about with this counselor is he talks a lot. He tends to try to beat in his point and can just yak on and on about this one point, bringing up examples and metaphores over and over. It's not that he controls the conversation, he just tries to make his point seen and make it make sense. I've talked to this counselor a few times myself because we were bringing my son to see him, so I'd go in and talk to him about what I think is going on with my son. He's an allright guy.. I just need to find a polite way of shutting him up so the conversation can continue, LOL.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48176)
• United States
14 Jul 12
I don't know how many people my dad has counseled. And sometimes they just talk to him once, and they are good to go. So I kind of think we all need it at one time or another. But with your background, it's amazing you've done so well. And maybe the counselor can give you tools to make your life better that your parents should have if they had taken care of you right. I mean if you were abused and an adult knew it? They couldn' thave possibly given you all the emotional support you needed. And I know what you're talking about with the counselor talking too much. The last one I saw, she did that. One time I finally just said, I really want to just talk right now. I don't want you to interrupt me, I just want to get this out, and then you can respond. She almost interrupted me anyway, but remembered she was supposed to be quiet. It can be frustrating, you're right.
• United States
14 Jul 12
He doesn't interrupt.. he just sort of over explains things.. sometimes it's just to kill the silence. Like the other day he would say something and I just wanted to think about it and digest it and I wasn't sure what else to say, and he just sort of droned on and on about it making sure the point hit home. He also talked a lot about our son because we do have a lot of problems with him, but I was trying to keep the conversation on our relationship and not our son. I think maybe if I go see him myself I might write down a few topics I want to discuss and hand him the list at the start of the session. That way he knows as well as I where I want the conversation to go so we don't get off topic.
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
14 Jul 12
Good for u & your hubby for trying to work out your problems. I sure hope u can. I have never been to counseling but am sure i should have at various times in my life. Parents can do alot of damage to their kids. Shame on your mother for allowing that to happen to u.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I think everyone is a little messed up in their own way. Nobody's childhood is perfect. People I've talked to have said they are amazed I've turned out as normal as I am considering what I've been through as a child, and I have to agree. My biggest issue is I take everything personally when I shouldn't. Even things that aren't intended for me are taken personally. This is something I need to go to counselling to get over.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
14 Jul 12
good luck.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
15 Jul 12
My son and his wife are going through this right now....both have issues to work through unfortunately I don't know if they will be able to sort things out. There is another person in the equasion too...and that was a surprise. If my son can get past that maybe they can work it out..she is very sorry that she went that way...but she can't undo the hurt it has caused....hopefully they will work together to get things back on the right track.
• United States
15 Jul 12
That is terrible. Personally, I would never be able to forgive such a thing. There would no longer be any trust at all, and I'd constantly wonder what he's doing anytime he came home late or I didn't know where he was. I don't think I could live that way. Thankfully no matter how bad things have gotten, hubby and I have not gone that route because we both feel the same about it. If either of us strayed, that would be the definite end because we both feel there is no moving on after that.
• United States
14 Jul 12
Yes I was in counciling when I was bout 19-20ish. I only went a few months. I couldn't afford to go and I didn't like his suggestions.
• United States
15 Jul 12
I had that problem before too. So far with this guy I like his suggestions. He doesn't judge or criticize, he just explains how your actions are creating this problem you're complaining about and how to change it, and he tries to get to the root of the problem, like the fact that I don't think hubby cares about me is due to the fact that I didn't feel cared about as a child and I have severe trust issues with my emotions so I can't open up to my husband of almost 10 years.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I have never been to counseling myself other than for my medical condition which wasn't so much a counseling session as it was more an informational session on how to deal and cope with my health and medicines. I know that a lot of people do attend counseling and while I am not against counseling I personally think that sometimes you have to be careful because I have heard stories about it working and others about it making the person and his or her problems worse mostly because they have pointed out or focused on things that have nothing to do with what may be going on in ones life. I am glad that your counseling sessions have opened you and your husband up to some of the things you were pushing down inside and while these past problems may seem like a bad thing I think you and your husband should try to learn from those mistakes with your own children and since you both seem to have go e through similar emotional problems I could only hope that you both can open up more with one another and share your stories, use one another to lean on and become closer because you are sharing your deepest with each other.
• United States
14 Jul 12
My husband and I share everything, and always have. Our childhood horror stories are nothing new to either of us. I've known his story since the beginning and he has known mine. Mine does not hurt me, but his does.. especially since he recently lost both of his parents whom he was very close to. Mostly we just need to work out how to communicate with each other without feeling hurt by what the other says. You know, like he may come home and say that he really just wants to sit in front of the TV and not talk or anything.. but I take that as a personal insult because he doesn't want to spend time with me. I know it may sound a bit irrational to most people, but that is one of the problems we have. I take everything as a rejection, and so does he. It's because we internalize these things and make them personal insults when they're really not.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I have been to therapy but it was for anxiety and depression. Kudos to you both for doing what is best for the both of you. This will impact your children by showing them that their parents loved them enough to learn how to love themselves and each other even more!
@jndlponti (2413)
• Philippines
14 Jul 12
Glad that the you and your husband really try to work out the relationship. Going counseling is something that could help us realize on something that we thought we are right on a matter but actually we are being unreasonable or the idea is senseless that is why the partner would not agree. And we get upset right away for we are overwhelmed with much feelings inside that we ourselves could not even understand it.