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#62883 - 06/19/02 01:48 AM I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
babs Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 59
Loc: Cub Hill, MD
Dear AMiNUTS --

If I had not made it a basic requirement of saving our marriage my SA survivor husband would have quit going to couseling long, long ago. I will occasionally let him skip a week, but even the thought of Getteddie going 2 weeks without seeing his therapist makes me uneasy.

Usually he is in very good shape after his weekly visits. I describe the effect as 'high thinking mode.' He exhibits a thoughtful, rational attitude that is pleasant to be around. The amount of time his HT mood lasts varys greatly, but rarely move than a few days. I'm glad for the HT moods because they give me hope of what could be, but when the 'wounded & abusive (verbal & emotional)' mode strikes I want to scream "ENOUGH ALREADY."

I've told him at least a hundred times that he is in NO WAY responsible for anything done to survive those horrible times. He should be VERY proud of his courage just to keep living.

The trait that has been lacking or diminished the most in the last 2 years is EMPATHY. His attitude is SOOOOO self-absorbed much of the time. I understand that his recovery has uncovered the neglected 11 YO boy victim (inner child) buried for over 40 years, but I really am having trouble accepting this new aspect of his personality. Seems as if his adult self has NO EMPATHY for that 'sad little boy', only hates the child for being weak and allowing the abuse to continue. If he has no empathy for that child then how can he empathy for me or his 13 YO daughter. Am I nuts, NOW???

Babs

Babs


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#62884 - 06/19/02 08:50 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
Oh Babs, did you hit the nailon the head. The empathy thing has been a real issue. A few weeks ago we had an issue where he didn't call home to say that he would be out for awhile. No big deal on my end, just didn't know if he was dead in a ditch. He didn't even call to say good night to the kids. While he claimed that he didn't feel that he needed to call (its pretty out of the ordinary that he is out) he said sorry. But in my opinion, as he said "sorry, for the 11th time" it could have been replaced with "just shut up already" and meant the same thing. I recently realized that when we have heated discussions, I am upset not with the issue, but instead his lack of empathy. Self absorbed...oh yes. While he claims to be a giving person, and has actions to back it up, the motive behind these actions is not one of giving for the sake of giving. It seems more like the intent is to make him feel like he is giving, but with expectations of getting something in return.

As for insisting on therapy, I'm standing behind my demand. He has not addressed the issue of going to therapy, but is pretty pissed right now. We had an email conversation while we were both at work yesterday, and I said that I expected and understand that his response would be hostile. He turned it on me (as usual) that my issues are the problem (Yup, I know I have issues and they impact mylife, but I am willing to look at them and consider them, and deal with them), but his trauma doesn't at all play a part in this fiasco.

So, again, I am standing behind my demand. UNfortunately, the last time I "requested" this avenue, nothing ever came of it. The therapist didn't push the issue as promised.

You know, Babs, I must say, when I read you and your hubby's posts, you guys sound just like us.

Thanks!


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#62885 - 06/19/02 04:27 PM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
soccer Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 43
Hi you two - despite my "sunny" positive response to a previous email (question about sex) I do see the lack of empathy trait in my partner as well. We have had numerous arguments due to my anger over his self-absorption. It is *definitely* an issue.


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#62886 - 06/23/02 06:14 PM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
lawnmower Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 1
My husband went 1 time and he thinks that is enough. He just can't see that he really needs help with this. I am also a survivor and had extensive counsiling. Best thing in my life. I've also noticed this lack of empathy with him. He seems to think that since he told me about the abuse that happened at 11 yr that it will all be ok now. He doesn't see a problem with keeping it to himself for 30yr J


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#62887 - 06/23/02 10:20 PM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
babs Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 59
Loc: Cub Hill, MD
All,

Getteddie is in an HT mood right now and life is good. He is on vacation so the stressed of his job is greatly reduced. I can even have rational conversations even about our relationship and how his actions hurt me. At these times he has empathy, but when he is sexually frustrated or having an acute anxiety attack then any empathy is replaced with an attitude of total self interest.

Years ago I had tried therapy for depression, but stopped fairly quickly. I think that like myself at that time most men think the therapist should be able to fix them and be damm quick about it. Basically it is the SAME immature expectation for immediate gratification that is also the the driving force of the perpetrators of SA. It is also the outlook of the victimized little boy they were long ago and essentially still are. Emotional growth has been frozen in time.

I've come to realize the therapist is there to help with a guided tour of my own emotions. I know that to get into that realm I have to be open and frank with the therapist. It was hard for me and in talking to my husband there are still some things he hasn't told his therapist in more than a year. I don't know to how to get that across to our survivors without scaring them shitless. Maybe that is not possible.

I guess I can ONLY INSIST on THERAPY as a conditon for continued co-habitation with me. Getteddie even admits that therapy makes him feel better about himself. The feeling has a short half-life, but the fact that it exists even parttime gives me hope.

Sounds like your therapist is too much of a wuss and maybe you should think of looking for a new one. He and probably you too could use a therapist that is better versed in dealing with SA survivors.

Hang in there, Babs


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#62888 - 06/24/02 09:27 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
Hi Lawnmower,

Yup, quick fix and its done! I completely understand that. My H worked on it for a couple of weeks on his own and he is all better. We have a session this week, so I will bring up my "insistance" again, since he never responded to my request in any kind of direct way.

Soccer- I think empathy may be a major topic for discussion at this week's session. The frustration that I feel cannot be described when I hear..." sorry, that makes number 10...sorry, that makes number 11..." Sorry only has meaning when you mean it, otherwise any word can be substituted in..like "shut up...shut up"

Babs- its good that he can have true up time. I think that my H "acts" overly happy to compensate for the inner unhappiness. He will never admit to being unhappy. Every time we go to therapy, she asks him how everything is going. "Great!" is always his response, even if we had a blowout the day before.

I have come to realize that his coping strategy is to pretend like everything is wonderful until things blow over. Once its behind him, he never looks at it again. He doesn't understand my wanting to "resolve" issues and that if they are left unresolved..they remain active. He thinks I can't forget about anything, or that talking in itself resolves the issue. For example, over a week ago I layed it all on the table..consider separation, my unhappiness in the marriage, etc...very heavy stuff. Over the course of the next few days, he was overly affectionate (especially following this kind of information). Lots of hugs and kisses...which were pretty much not welcomed (but not meanly turned away or anything...just like kissing grandma). When the subject was brought up again..I asked him what has changed, we are still in this same place..his response was that we talked about it and isn't that enough. Well, let's see...I think we should separate..hmmm...talk about it and its over?! Yikes. I can't understand how he can go from one place to another. FRUSTRATING.

..I am still insisting on therapy..just for him.

Thanks again for your responses.


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#62889 - 06/25/02 06:58 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
as a partner in this, you have to respect your limits. You have to acknowledge that this is going to be draining, and that there is only so much you can give. I just learned that the hard way, i have severed contact with my best friend for 4 years because he just cant handle the truth. I just cant handle the constant little needling, the hint that everything is okay, its me who has the problem. He is supporting my abusers and pedophilia, and i can not tolerate that.

You sound like you have the oppisite problem. Try to take time to yourself, try to get away from the stress for a while. It is something that we usually have to do on our own, to keep from thinking about incest 24 7. It is okay to just say, damn it, i cant deal with this right now. Its also okay to have fun, or just get away. It is very trying, but try to get some sort of support for yourself. It is also okay to expect your spouse to give a little as well. There are books out there that can help both you and your husband, perhaps you have already looked into them, but they can help.


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#62890 - 06/26/02 08:49 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
fenics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Midlands UK
About the only significant thing I disagree with is that you cannot, ever, get someone to bet truly involved in therapy. It won't work unless the person going really wants to do it and is prepared to go through hell in order to come out the other side.

It is all too easy to fool a therapist if you want to. The only successful way (in my own experience anyway) is to identify the ways in which you subvert the process and discuss them and then go on regardless. Real therapy for reall big problems is very hard work and very painful. And yes, it does make you self-absorbed and one of the dangers of incomplete therapy isthat you get stuck in 'navel-gazing mode' rather than high thinking mode.

Try to encourage your partners to get help, perhaps getthem to raise the issue here, but don't insist. It can't work like that.


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#62891 - 06/26/02 09:01 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
I completely agree that we cannot "force" someone to whole heartedly go into therapy. But as a contingency to staying in the marriage, I don't think it is unreasonable, either. I am at the point that I just can't take it anymore. I have been "emotionally" out of the marriage for some time now. But physically getting out is much more difficult. I think that I have to exhaust all avenues before I can say, I've tried everything. But unfortunately, I can't try for the both of us. That has been the case so far after almost 1-1/2 yrs of marriage counseling.

Awhile back, I pointed out that he is passive agressive, to his denial. Then after some time he realized that he is in fact passive agressive. I am hopeful that he comes to realize the impact SA continues to have on his life and his marriage and all of his relationships. We have a session tonight. We'll have to see how it goes. I have a strong feeling that he will avoid the topic altogether since my "insisting" last week.

Unfortunately, my side of the marriage is too filled with frustration and has been for a long time. Guess I'll be working on that too.

Be well All!


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#62892 - 06/28/02 11:24 AM Re: I too MUST 'insist' that my husband goes to couseling on his own
soccer Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 43
Empathy discussion - was there a discussion on this? Sorry I've been away for almost 2 weeks..

soc


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