I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life. That said, it went really well. His therapist wanted to meet me, see our dynamic together, answer any questions I had, and generally discuss my husband's progress.
It turns out that the one thing really holding my husband back is trust. Some close friends he has told have betrayed his trust (he blames himself instead of realizing that they were really just bad friends to begin with). I know he has struggled with this. He is 37 and trying to build new friendships that are healthy for him, which is hard. I get it.
But what threw me is that he has problems trusting me. He feels he has done too much damage to our relationship with his acting out and infidelity. He feels he is burdening me with his meltdowns. He feels that it is impossible for me to really forgive and continue to love him after all he has done and is waiting for it to be too much. He's waiting for me to leave because he doesn't trust me to stay. Because if the situation were reversed, he doesn't think he could.
The therapist encouraged us to find a marriage counselor specializing in emotion-focused therapy. We are therapist shopping because the last one was so awful and burned us both so badly it has been hard to start up again. But she has given us some people to check out and will help vett some of the people we are considering.
Overall, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. First, that my husband felt safe introducing me to his therapist. Second, that she seems very competent and has developed a really good therapeutic bond with my husband. Third, that she understands our issues and can help walk my husband through some of his sticking points.
Is it too soon to feel hope? Because it's flickering...