Thursday, October 23, 2014

Timeline I, Part II: Marital Therapy Can Be Fatal

Things were kind of rocky after the "moving out of the basement" event, but the status quo had taken over.

In the spring of 2012, my wife suggested going for marital therapy.  She had some issues of her own that she wanted to address, she thought the marriage could use some help, and she offerred to discuss my crossdressing.  She's never wanted to do that final item before and it convinced me to go.

In the first session, I suggested that we go out to eat after each session to kind of keep any animosity at bay.  The therapist thought that was a good idea, and we (mostly) did so.

Each session followed a pattern.

My wife would start with something that was, in effect, "here's what's wrong with him" and I would spend the session trying to recover from being blindsided.  She had some doozies.  And everything was what I did wrong; I don't think she considered any other possibilities.

I should have expected something like this.

A few years ago, we took a marital workshop.  She couched it as an educational activity for her; I would be along because it was for couples and it would be odd for her to be on her own.  I understood that she wanted to use this as an opportunity to work on our own marriage while she learned techniques from the workshops.

I was definitely wrong there.  I assume she was there to learn, but the workshops were mostly for me to work on our marriage.

There were several sessions (I think it was Saturday and Sunday for two weeks).  We were issued homework as well as assignments during the workshops.

I did my homework.  She did not.  She was there to learn.  I was there to make our marriage better, because, well, I was the problem.

Every other couple did their work diligently and even shared with the group.

In therapy, she accused me of miscellaneous and sundry insults.  I was flawed and she was a saint who tolerated me, waiting until I saw the light and changed.

My dressing was just another problem in a series, or a symptom of what else is wrong with me.

During our time in therapy, I mentioned that I might want to move out for a bit so I can think without being punched in the face (figuratively) constantly.  I suggested six months.  It's hard to think when you're being hit all the time.  Cliché though it is, I needed space.  

The therapist agreed that it might be a good idea.  In fact, the therapist took my side whenever I'd ask her opinion but mostly she sat stupidly and let the attacks continue.  My wife pronounced her a "good therapist."  I think she was a complete waste who put rockets on a marriage that was merely drifting downhill.


  1. Sorry to say, most therapists are trained to not take sides. It was probably courageous of your therapist to ever side with you.

    After two and a half years of couples therapy, I gave up and said I wanted out. During that time, of course, things deteriorated. When the time came for me to call it quits, I was living with a person who picked a fight with me every day for more than a month.

    You might think that occasionally a therapist might want to call bulls*** by its real name, but they won't do that.



  2. I am not a fan of shrinks. I have never felt so bad that I needed to see one but I am not sure that they do anything other than give reasons for their clients to continue to make appointments to see them.
    It seems like your wife was at a stage in her life that many women encounter where they feel sorry for themselves and they lash out to blame everything that they do not like on someone else. It seems to me that you were to your wife what George Bush was to Barack Obama. Real, imagined or otherwise everything that she could dredge up she used against you. Not right...not fair...not connected to reality...all you can do is to take it on the chin and try to move forward.
    Good luck and thank you for sharing your tribulations with us.

  3. This dovetails with the year of postings you made while you were in marital counseling. I didn't find your blog until you were in the period when you were housesitting for a friend, so I read those posts in a row in order, instead of watching them unfold day by day, as they did for you. Reading them that way left me with the certainty that your wife was walking you down a primrose path towards the exit, quite possibly from the beginning, in such a way where she'd get what she wanted (you gone), but not be kicking you out herself (so she could blame you for the failure of the marriage). I don't trust or hold shrinks and counselors in very high regard, either; I consider them manipulative people in general. In any case, a life you can live with is ahead for you, I hope.

  4. Pat's comment reminded me of something that I learned a while back.

    Sometimes when a woman decides to end her marriage, she will decide that she wants her husband to be the one to ask for it to end. Then she will intentionally be progressively more hostile toward her husband, to push him into asking for the separation. I believe that you may have lived through that.

    I am certain that some men do it also, but since I'm describing my own experience, I figured it made more sense to use the pronouns that pertain to what I lived through.




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