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#428896 - 03/24/13 01:52 PM Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth
Airmid Offline

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
Stopping by again to ask if others deal with this.

My H is in his 3rd month of IC with a specialist, thanks to a great MC who saw his survivor traits (rage, at first, then things like neediness, over-explaining and other controlling behaviors). I'm in IC, too,I should add. We're both survivors, married almost 5 years.

As he gets deeper into memory recollection in therapy, he's working to the point of exhaustion again. We're back in MC, and doing the homework to develop more non sexual intimacy. The thing is, he's not accepting of this intimacy when I give it at home and will only go for emotional depth in the 'safe zone' of MC. That means the homework isn't being completed. I get resentful, being it up in MC and look like the bad gal.

As far as I can tell, he's not acting out right now (cruising CL was one of his coping methods for a while, as was rage). He's just distant. We have other major life stressors going on which would test most folks, too, so I can see where his triggers might come from...success/failure stuff with home and career, and raising teens.

One of our kids is at the age H was when his disclosed abuse began, too. All these things together have me looking at his avoidance. Yet, I don't want to pull the "you're not doing what you said, this isn't going fast enough" routine any more, and I will not disclose his abuse in therapy, although I believe it's the root cause of these things. I'm struggling with his keeping up appearances in therapy and then not wanting depth at home. I'm sad that I'm not safe and home isn't safe. He hasn't disclosed his abuse in MC at all, and has in his IC, so MC isn't appearing that safe yet, and I understand. I wish it were different, but I do get it.

I think I need to go back to Al-Anon. The Three C's are at the front of my mind a lot these days. What did you all do when recovery hit these types of spots?

#430341 - 04/06/13 04:13 PM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
Airmid Offline

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
I'm disappointed that in three weeks no one has answered this.

This is my only source of talking with other spouses of survivors, too. Bummer.

#430380 - 04/07/13 02:21 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
L84 Offline

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 35
Loc: USA
Hi Airmid
Sorry to hear about this.. I know it is rotten especially when you have made the effort. If MC is marriage counseling then hopefully you can each have separate time alone with counselor so you can be open & share your concerns about cease affects. That is not a betrayal but a validation of your worth & stake in the relationship.

#430382 - 04/07/13 02:43 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Hi - sorry I missed this post.

I know what you are feeling - especially as it relates to appearances. I also believe that therapy, without honesty, is not extremely valuable. It is in therapy that we are supposed to be able to dump out our big bag of crap and have a skilled professional help us sort through it. Doing MC without factoring in his abuse, and your abuse, seems like you are setting yourself up for some wheel spinning.

I told our MC, called him and told him when I learned of the abuse - MC didn't bring it up until my husband finally disclosed to him too - but at least the MC knew what he was working with. And it is such an important piece of what we do together in there. I cannot imagine the resentment you must feel. Does he know how important it is as you work as a couple? Have you expressed to him your desire to put all of the cards on the MC table?

Apart from that, progress can seem slow and stilted and sometimes non-existent. I also know that frustration. Smart people on these boards have often told me that I cannot be consumed by his process. I know too well how hard that is.

A while back I made the decision to work on me - to focus on me. As my therapist says, he will either do the same, or he won't and if he doesn't, I won't be able to stay in the marriage. While I believe these men need our support and encouragement, and sometimes guidance, we cannot allow them to consume our souls.

#430803 - 04/11/13 01:53 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
I'm sorry you had to wait so long but it looks like you got some good advice! If that happens again and it's an urgent thing post a comment on your post so it bumps back up to the top.

#431170 - 04/14/13 02:45 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
WhyWhyWhy Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 41
Loc: some place bad
JMO - but why 2 counselors ? In our experience, the whole ball of wax is 1 big related process. Our 'MALE' 'PhD' T specializes W/MS & relationships so we see him together & alone. This way 1 Professional knows the whole deal & treats accordingly & keeps confidences per HIPPA ! Because of this we both have grown & have survived quite well. Otherwise it looks like 2 people, in 2 cars, on different roads, with different maps trying to get to the same place ? We hope & pray that you 2 reach the same destination......
Still trying hope?

#431228 - 04/14/13 02:57 PM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
Airmid Offline

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
Thank you all.

this week we were both even more stressed and had an argument. After a few months of therapy, the arguments are down to once every three weeks or so, and that's much better. Still, this one was not good at all. He threw the veiled divorce card and I called him on it, which heightened the situation.

ultimately I told him I refuse to live with his shame unless he brings it to MC, that that's an act of omission and damages the marriage, and also keeps him from healing. "No more hiding behind my CSA" is also part of what I said. He hated that, but it's true: our MC knows about my past, and as long as his stays hidden, the problems are more easily blamed on me, rather than us sharing responsibility in healing.

Yes, it's wrong to demand. And yes, it's wrong to disclose, ask that I keep the secret, then disclose to his IC and refuse to sign for the MC to have knowledge of his abuse. It's a double standard. But demanding he disclose is necessary when we're all living with the untreated symptoms, even if it's not further discussed, which I'm ok with until he's comfortable talking more about it. If that's never, I'm ok with that. It's like not disclosing an injury and insisting everything's fine while oozing blood. (Edited for an incomplete sentence)

I'd like to have just one T for MC and for him, but we use a DV center (he was referred out to a psych clinic at a local college). It's bad enough that we have to use interns, but for MC I did talk with the director and we have a permanent staff member. I'm wondering what will happen when his intern leaves. this is his third intern. Hubs also used to go to the DV center for IC, and apparently his counseling centered around coping with living with a survivor-me. If he discloses, he might be able to transition back to the DV center and get specialized IC. It's rare that MS's have counseling options at standard DV places, and it's good stuff to have so close by.

I wish we could afford private counseling, and we just can't do it right now. We're broke.

My IC supports me in believing that MC won't go much further unless his old tapes and beliefs are brought in too, which isn't happening.

It's a mess. If any MS can pipe in, I'd like to hear about the recovery dance of disclosing in therapy, and how limits were set, how they became comfortable discussing it in MC, if they have, etc. It just reminds me of when I got sober years ago and I thought "fake it 'til you make it" meant pretend I was ok when I really wasn't. (It really means, to me, to act as if I trust my higher power to care for me until the feelings catch up. I discovered it wasn't one of my favorite terms at all.)

Edited by Airmid (04/14/13 03:03 PM)

#431229 - 04/14/13 03:20 PM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
mmfan Offline

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 115
Airmid I hear your frustration, as you have laid all your cards on the table in MC and are owning your "stuff" while he is not quite there yet.

As survivors we can be more understanding and sensitive to their experience, but at the same time we can get more frustrated at their roadblocks, when it looks like we're the only one trying. It's like "I'm doing the hard work, why aren't you?" We know 1st hand how hard this shit is and if we are strong enough to face it, well they are too, right??

But of course it doesn't work like that. Just like you, he will take steps forward when he's ready, and not a minute sooner.

It sounds like he isn't ready to tell the MC yet about his past, maybe because he doesn't yet trust the MC enough yet. I doubt it's because he's stubborn or unwilling to work on the marriage. If he were unwilling, he wouldn't be attending MC in the first place.

Also he is in IC which tells me he is working on his stuff behind the scenes, though you might not be able to see tangible progress, that doesn't mean progress isn't happening.

Does he like and feel comfortable with the MC? Its essential for building trust that there be some basic minimum rapport there. If not then maybe you guys need someone else.

#431509 - 04/17/13 03:26 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Just a comment on the combined therapist thing...

There are three therapists in our lives. And they are all working on different things. My therapist is for me, my issues, my family of origin stuff, my MO. My husband's therapist is HIS, a place he can be safe and honest and work on his issues WITHOUT the burden of our relationship or my therapy. And our marriage work is marriage work - it's about a professional who helps us bring together what we have learned separately into this union that we have both decided has value. Marriage work is primarily about communication. It's not about his abuse and its not about my codependency. For this reason, I think it is important that they are different people.

Plus, let me state the massive additional upside - when they all are saying the same thing, it is a very difficult message to ignore. There are weeks when my husband and I drive home from MC in silence because the therapist just said the exact same words we heard from our own therapists. POWERFUL MESSAGE - trust me.

#431519 - 04/17/13 05:29 AM Re: Keeping Things 'Surface'...lack of depth [Re: Airmid]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Knuckle down and push through :-)

Im sorry, but I dont know what IC and MC are, sorry Im old we actually use words hahahaha.
There are a lot of things in your post that would have triggered me into regression, the kid that is the same age is a big one, the stress of work, and there could be others. In the beginning a simple smell or place could set me off.
Thge thing is not to let him wallow, ask questions do regression with him ie, sit him down and take him back to before the trigger, to the last time he felt good and ask questions, when did you start to feel down, what happened, go through your day, Jog his memory. Helping him find triggers is a really precious thing
For me knowing what triggers me is a GREAT help.

Good luck
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