Just curious though, if we were to get started on couples therapy, when would be a "good time" for this in terms of where he is with his recovery, should we see the same therapist as he goes to for his private sessions, and is it really worthwhile when you feel like you already have a pretty solid foundation in your marriage??
I participate in a mixed peer support group most Saturday mornings it lasts from an hour to hour and a half. Yesterday one of the volunteer facilitators who is himself a therapist made mention of a phenomenon he sees played out repeatedly in the course of his practice working with survivors of various emotional, physical, and sexual traumas. He stated that when only one partner in the relationship is involved in therapy the incidence of divorce among those couples is compounded exponentially.
He further stated that not only should the couple should be involved in couples therapy but that the non-survivor partner may also want or need to be involved in personal therapy as well.
The standard procedure if for neither partner to have the same therapist and for couples therapy for there to be a third therapist with agreements signed for consultation between therapists if anyone feels it necessary for a clearer picture.
Bottom line is that couples therapy is very important for you as a couple during this time. One of the things that happens is that when one partner starts therapy they begin to learn and to grow. Often, after some time passes, the other partner begins to feel threatened in some way by the growth experienced by the other.
A classic example of that is the story told by a therapist friend of mine. He tells the story of a woman who kept after him to get her husband to quit his drinking because he was an alcoholic. Several years went by with the husband going to regular therapy and the wife tagging along on the rare occasion and always hammering on the drinking issue. Well, one day the husband realized his drinking was a huge issue in his life, went to AA, quit avoiding the issues that were causing the drinking in the first place, and got his proverbial s**t together.
Not long after that he returned home one evening from a hard days work to find a candlelight dinner prepared by his wife. She had his favorite foods fixed, the lights turned down low, romantic music playing, and in front of his plate was a bottle of his formerly favorite hard liquor. That marriage ended in divorce because the wife discovered she was more comfortable with things the way they had been than with her new and improved husband, and that she was unwilling to make the necessary changes in her own life to compliment the positive changes in him.
True story. I don't tell it to suggest that you or any of the other F&F here are like this woman, but to demonstrate the importance of both partners in the relationship moving together toward recovery and wholeness.
Lots of love,