Should H come with or not?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I missed the last two scheduled appts with our marriage therapist due to my work schedule. However, I did speak with her on the phone. On one of those missed appts, H cancelled too and on the other, he went without me. He wouldn't share with me anything from the meeting, but that was okay and I didn't push. I was so grateful that he went without me. In fact, I wish he would go every other time without me.

    So, I was finally able to get another appointment and it is this evening. It's been about a month since I went and about 3 since H went. In the interim, H has said many times, in various ways, "Don't you think we've gone enough? Don't you think we're sort of beating a dead horse now? Haven't we gotten it all out and can get over 'it' now?" or he will ask me, "Do you click with her?" and more...I remind him that we don't necessarily have to 'click' with our therapist - just do the work required. It's a bonus if we do click (I happen to click with her, though I do sometimes wonder if she's been helpful in any other way besides being a good listener and validating my feelings).

    So, essentially, he feels that enough time has passed since his, er, "transgression", and that when we go to therapy we're either just venting or rehashing (he is). He seems to be missing the point, no matter how many times I or the therapist remind him that we're supposed to be working on his (and me to an extent) preventing the mid-winter blues by finding and creating ways for him to cope with the day to day depressing situations in his life during the winter months so he doesn't go off the deep end. Every time I try and steer the session back to those issues, he somehow brings it all back to work and how frustrating it is for him. I get it - but then do something to change it!!!

    He flat out refuses to take any medications whatsoever for his depression, which he ackowledges. He also acknowledges that he needs to find new and interesting coping skills. However, when we go to a session, all he does is talk about how frustrating his work is and how no matter what, he simply doesn't have the means to tell people "no", he then becomes overwhelmed, and can't find the time to nurture himself in a healthy fashion. It's the other people's fault, it's the weather, it's the scheduling demands of his clients and subbies, etc.

    Us scheduling play dates gets old. And I get tired of always having to be the distraction...that the small amount of down time he allows is spent with me. I have friends that I meet for coffee and talk with and I hang with my daughters too (which he resents, but doesn't say it in that way - it's just obvious). Those are ways in which I can relieve some of my daily tension. He has no friends except the men he occasionally works with (and those situations usually end badly) and while he used to bike ride and play tennis, he won't make the time for either anymore. So he reads, watches tv, eats and falls asleep outside of work, unless I make him do something or schedule something. Then he gets mad at me for scheduling things, even though once he's there, he's having fun.

    I am just dreading going into the winter with this added burden of worrying and having to keep him occupied.

    Anyway, should I just go with it and let him come with me or should I just go without? He will come with me, he said he would. But when we go, like I said, all he does is complain about work and we never seem to touch on US or how he can change his behavior to get better results and learn how to cope better with his depression.

    I almost feel like the effort has become a futile one.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You should keep going if you are still getting help from the sessions. He needs to decide for himself if he should keep going or not. You can't control his choices. Maybe this therapist is not the best fit for him -- sounds like the therapist is not really directing the sessions well enough for husband to benefit from it since he's saying he thinks he's done.

    The best you can do is establish your boundaries in your relationship and lay out clearly your expectations for husband. The rest is up to him to do and you to decide what you'll do if he chooses not to honor what you've asked for.

    I think it's hard for most men to do therapy work. It requires a lot of introspection which, sadly, many guys are not comfortable doing because they've never had to do it before.

    Take care of yourself. (((Hugs)))
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not married so feel free to completely ignore this, but I think it's a good sign that he has gone and made at least some effort and obviously cares about the marriage. But it sounds like he doesn't click with this therapist even though you do and he's not getting anything out of it. My suggestion would be to talk to your husband and consider changing tdocs- maybe to a male. Maybe you could keep this therapist as an individual on for yourself but if the marital problems have more to do with husband needing to better things to do to get over depression or work frustrations, etc., these sound like male issues that even though a female therapist might understand, a male therapist might be more effective with. (Just like we might get more out of having a female therapist if our issues are women's issues and maybe we wouldn't get as much out of a male marriage counselor.)

    I get the point that people don't have to like the therapist, but your whole goal is for husband to get something out of this.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks GVC and KLMNO.

    I had intended on bringing up my feelings tonight with the therapist about how I don't feel like we're making any further progress and that I feel she needs to redirect H when he begins his tirades about work rather than focusing on sharpening his coping skills. H will be very angry with me for doing this, but so be it. If we want to be able to move forward, then he needs to be a bit more introspective.

    K, every single therapist that we have gone to or that H has gone to he has a problem with. The last one he was seeing he was seeing alone, for himself, at my request. It was the 4th one and he didn't feel that that guy was the right fit either...he especially hates it when they suggest he go to AA. The thing about that particular suggestion is that the therapist always just leaves it hanging in the air, without specific instructions. H would benefit from doing a step program rather than just open meetings as he is too far into his own sobriety to truly benefit from open meetings. A step program would benefit H more because it would walk him through the steps of finding his sobriety and connecting more with his inner self. However, it's not my job to make him see this or to make him do it. When I mentioned this in session, our current therapist agreed but also did not elaborate. H is not committed to getting better and feels that since he doesn't drink, what's the problem? The problem is he hasn't figured out how to replace those bad coping skills with healthy coping skills. Anyway, my point is that no matter who we go to, male or female, if H isn't ready to do the work, then he won't 'click' with anyone, Know what I mean??

    It's just very frustrating for me to have our therapist practically trip over herself exclaiming her joy to me that "at least H comes to the sessions". I just feel like saying, "So what? Does he deserve a medal for this minor effort - he showed up? I come too - do we get door prizes or something?" I mean, really, wth? Why do we make such a big freakin deal because a man shows up for therapy to SAVE HIS MARRIAGE, even if he's not doing the work it takes to save said marriage? If our therapist says something to that effect tonight, I'm going to call her on that. It's just like if a man is raising his kids without a wife - everyone is SOOOoooOOooo impressed by that. So what? Women all over the place raise their kids without a husband. Why aren't we equally impressed with that? And why is it that every other month there is a new study in the paper about how kids need dads, but never studies about kids needing moms? Ugh - this just makes me so mad.

    Bottom line: If I can admit the issues I need to work on, H should be able to also. I'm tired of doing all the work and worrying. I'm glad he's coming with me, because I feel brave enough to say how I feel.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo - I think you both should go and state the obvious to your therapist. You do not have a plan for getting to where you want to be. At least it seems from your post that there is no plan. Date night can't be the only homework!