Should I Seek Counseling

by Jason Deines

in Questions & Answers

Submitted by Jason

My wife after being together for 5 years wants a divorce now. We have a 2yr old daughter and I promised to do everything to save our marriage. I have never cheated or abused her in any way but to my surprise she now feels that I have been very emotionaly abusive to her. We both believe in God and she is aware that she should not divorce but it does not stop her. I am very worried that she is trying to manipulate me into seeing a therapist so she could try to gain custody of our daughter. She does not want to attend marraige counceling and she insists that I need counceling and she also must be present if I decide to go. She is seeing 2 therapist right now and she has changed for the worse since she has been going. I don’t know what to think, I lost all trust in her so here is my question. Should I go to seek counceling just for myself and allow my wife to attend all meetings or should I be concerned that she may have other motives because she does not want marriage conceling and she is very firm on her attending my canceling but I could not attend any of hers when I asked and by the way I only asked to see if she would allow me, I don’t have any intentions on sitting in on her sessions. I don’t trust her anymore and am I over reacting? Thank you and may the Lord bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason

Jason, I think going to counseling is a great idea for yourself. It helped me a lot and I do recommend it. However, I suggest a Christian counselor, a pastor at church, or something like the Good Samaritan. I found a Good Samaritan counselor and she was great. It was donation based, we prayed, she listened and helped me a lot. Anyhow, the point is to talk things through with someone, get prayer and some sound advice on how to work things that are going on in your life. With that said I will address what I “think” about your wife’s suggestions…. Her seeing 2 counselors sounds odd to me; why?? I know my ex would jump around from one to the next until she found one that would only tell her what she wanted to hear, not looking for answers about herself. Sometimes it did make things worse because if she is taking the “abuse” stance then they start seeing more and more as abuse. In my opinion poor communication does not equal abuse. Her having to sit in on your sessions sounds fishy too. Like she needs to make sure that you tell the truth. Counseling isn’t about going and bitching about your partner, it is about getting help for yourself to deal and grow. She has no reason to be there but to make things worse. In time, the counselor may recommend a joint session but that is to work things out between you two and practice some of the tips and tools they have provided.

As a father I understand your concern and you should defend your rights. The best thing you can do is always be there for your daughter. If you are separated from your wife don’t settle for every other weekend or anything less than 50/50. You deserve that and if this goes to court the judge will look at how involved you are in her life. I don’t think that you are over reacting at all, 70 percent of divorce proceedings are started by the woman and they have had time to plot and plan what they are going to do leaving the other person scrambling to react.

2 Jason

God bless you and thank you very much from one person named Jason to the next. I feel you have given me some sound advice. I have given it much thought and I decided to get some counseling for myself to help me get through this, unfortunately for my wife I decided she should not attend my counseling. I am so afraid that I don’t even know who my wife is now. We were so in love for all but the last 3 weeks of our marriage. Everything came crashing down on me so fast I can’t even catch my breath. I am a very private person about our marriage and I feel so terrible that she tells everyone at work about our problems. In all of the 5 years that we were together I never would have guessed this would happen to me because I seriously felt I treated her as a lovely lady. In all of those years I never called her a bad name, I never treathend to harm her nor will I ever, I never cheated on her despite her having concerns about most of the women at her work finding me attractive. She wants me to change dentist because she is uncomfortable with the dental hygenist who she thinks is attracted to me, in other words she is very insecure. She said she is seeing another therapist to deal with her insecurity. I don’t know how to deal with her insecurity. I did every thing I could to make her feel special but to no avail. It seems like she just wants to destroy my heart. I never have denied her in our marriage but now I am afraid to say she is not the same person.

I think it would help if I told you that it all started about 3 weeks ago when I had a bad experiance with ambein (sleeping pills). I thought I took just one pill one night and when I woke up my wife was very upset to see that I put the bed sheet from another room over the bathroom lights and I was told I acted very strange. I did not remember any of it. When I went to throw out the pills I noticed the bottle was already empty. It is pretty obvious I ended up taking all of the sleeping pills at the same time unwillingly while I was under the effects of the first pill. I never harmed or threatend to harm her or our daughter during that time yet she still won’t forgive me over it even if I stopped taking my sleeping pills. I wish I could be forgiven and I am very sad that she thinks she has seen the real dark side of me when I know that not to be the case. Please contiue to pray for us because I promise to do what I can. This is her second marriage and my first. I will never remarry again because despite all of this I will contiue to love her till the end. I may not be perfect but my love and loyalty to her will always remain.
God bless you and everyone here and may the Lord be our guide forever.

3 Jason

I have heard some people do strange things on Ambien… there are stories, lots of them out there. I remember when I took it I order nearly $200 of DVDs from Columbia House… :-)

You should check out the book the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I realized after my divorce that even though I thought I was doing and saying the right things I was missing the mark because even though I thought certain things were loving they weren’t too her. It is a good read.

You won’t be able to fix her self-esteem but she can with the right tools. Hopefully she is seeing a good therapist. Just keep those lines of communication open and listen to your heart… may God open your eyes to what is really going on in her mind and heart and give you the wisdom to help and restore whatever has been lost.

4 Jason

Here is an update on my situation. My wife told me today that she has not yet given up on us but the kicker is that she is packing her things and is going to move out. I told her that I could give her a week to herself but she insists that she needs more time than that. Why should we take on all of the extra expense and should we not try to work together instead of apart? The Bible says “the two will become one flesh so they are no longer two but one.”(Mark 10:8) The last thing I need right now is to be apart from my wife and our daughter. When I look at the situation that I find myself in it brings me to tears that I can’t help her. It seems like she has been brainwashed and influenced in such a bad way by the very same people that barely even know her. Honestly I feel like it is her new friends and 2 therapist’s against me and I am losing badly. The more love and affection I show her the more she turns colder towards me. Now that I know all of this you would think that it should be easier to cope with but that is not the case. I realize that I lost my wife and best friend forever and even if she is cold as ice right now the loss of such a wonderful kind and beautiful person is such a horrible tragedy to witness. With God all things are possible so I will continue to pray.

5 Jason

This looks like I am having a conversation with myself… :-) Jason, I too told my wife that if she was leaving then basically not to come back at one point. I do regret doing that so I would suggest rethinking that. I know EXACTLY how you feel!! I am so with you. There is so much going on right now in your wife’s head and you are right she is being influenced but you are powerless to change this. I wish there was something I could tell you that would help but just keep loving her.

6 Jason

Wow Jason, it does kind of appear like we are writing to ourselves and it also seems like my wife and your ex-wife could be sisters. I pretty much have had it with her games and manipulations and I held nothing back when I told her what I think of her idea to move out. I told her that I am so sick and tired of being psychoanalyzed by her and her 2 therapist (probably only her). One day she psychoanalyzed me as a schizophrenic then a bipolar now a borderline personality disorder, what will I be next and when will she make up her mind as to what kind of sever mental disorder I have? I told her to STOP TRYING TO DEFINE AND DESCRIBE OUR RELATIONSHIP THROUGH A DIAGNOSIS! First and foremost I would like to be considered a human being, but if she forces me to accept her label then does it mean that I have a disorder in every moment or in everything that I necessarily do? This way it is seen as a continuum. One person may not see any disorder while others may disagree on the type of disorder. Who is to judge? Where is the exact line? People should never be considered an exact science. Everyone at some point could be diagnosed with a disorder. If someone took things temporarily to extremes where others do not then it should not be a cause to judge and compare people to one another. There are reasons why people act and think the way that they do. What gives her and maybe her 2 therapist the right to judge my actions or how I think without having my past history or my coping mechanisms? There is no purpose of giving me a diagnosis or label except to keep me a victim of that stereotype.
She is not the same person and I have serious doubts that she will ever be the same again. In her new found world I am the cause for everything wrong in her life. She can not fully forgive and she will hold on to her grudge for eternity. This is our biggest stumbling block. And without forgiveness there is no hope and therefore no love. I will never allow her to manipulate and play games with our marriage any more. I am a firm believer in forgiveness but I too have my limits. She must learn to forgive completely and she must have faith. A healthy family should include both of the parents and keep in mind that a family that prays together stays together. I am sorry for my long rant but I still want to be married to my wife even if it means being married to a completely different person, I guess that is what they mean by in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. I wish I could continue to keep my desire to stay married strong but I am getting worn down everyday. I will pray to God to pick us up and to restore us because he is the only one that can right now. God bless you and a big thank you for all of the support you have given me and everyone else here.

7 Jason

I hear what you are saying. My ex was and may likely be always a “victim”. After 4 years of divorce I still get told that I ruined her life and we were only married for 4 years… Wow, I did not know I had so much power.

Be there for your child and be that stable rock that she needs in her life.

8 Jeff

Wow, Jason. Upon reading your conversation, I saw elements of marriage in it. When my wife initiated separation, I could not understand what was happening. My epiphany eventually came one day in the library when I picked up a book on passive-aggression and hidden anger – so much of what I read was her, me and our relationship.
She grew up in a “separated” home with an abusive and alcoholic father. The parent stayed together for the “sake of the kids”. The dysfunction experienced by a PA in their childhood stays with them for life, and can manifest itself as behavioural issues later on in their adult life. Healing will only occur when they decide to seek therapy, which isn’t likely as they will always play the victim and blame others for their problems.
I have since read a lot on PA, anger, co-dependency and personality disorders and the toll it takes on marriages and families. I came to the conclusion during our separation (when there was no effort on her part to work to reconcile) that divorce was my only option. I realized that I needed to protect myself from the emotional abuse, provocation and blame. I have gone through a few rough times, but things are beginning to turn around – I have never had a stronger relationship with God than now. I am happier and beginning to experience a renewed joy, love of life and sense of purpose that I share with my family, church and friends. I even feel that though my relationship with my kids will never be the same as it once was, there is an increase strength and depth.
What I’m trying to say, Jason is that though I know that God hates divorce, it has been a panacea in my situation. As hard as it was to detach from my ex, it has literally saved me. And even though I have needed to set boundaries, my goal now is to love and forgive, love and forgive, love and forgive …..

9 Jason

My wife had 6 people from work come to help her move out of the house friday. She took our precious baby with her to her new appartment. I have not seen or heard from her since then. I am totally crushed and I have been raining tears down my face nonstop. She filed for legal seperation with a mutal restrainging order, primary physical custoday,child support,etc. She took everything inculding all of the baby items. She is not allowed to stop or interfere with my acces to see our daughter until the hearing but she has violated the court order and the police can not help me. I have no choice now but to take legal action against her inorder to see my daughter again. How can anyone alive be so cold? She has a criminal record and I dont. The problem is that she will say and do anything to win. In the end it will only be the lawyers who will win and the biggest loser will be our beautiful 2 year old daughter. What is she up to? She always said that she would never take our daughter away and now she has. I tried to avoid legal action but I don’t have any choice now. I miss my daughter very very much and am afraid that I could never forgive her for this. God will give me strength and will help me through the worst time in my life. It is now very clear that my wife wants to punish and destroy me in every way that she can. She is now the coldest person that I have ever known. I am so shocked by what has happened lately and I don’t know what lies she will try next. I miss my girl more and more every passing moment. I never felt so much pain before. My wife even refuses to let me hear our daughters precious little voice on the phone. I will get a good lawyer to defend my rights and I will continue to pray for us but I am afraid that I our marriage is offically over. God bless everyone here.

10 Jason

Praying for you!!!

11 Jason 2nd

My wife has changed our legal seperation to a divorce now. She still refuses to let me see our daughter, she has had her 6 out of 7 days and counting. She has totally crushed me.

12 Jason

What she is doing is completely wrong and will likely backfire on her. Unfortunately, without paperwork or a custody agreement there isn’t much you can do atleast from what I can tell. The sooner you get before a judge in this case the better. The judge needs to know that she is keeping the children from you without just cause. If he is a respectable judge it probably won’t go well for her.

You are on a long difficult road so hang in there and keep on pursuing those kids… document every attempt, what was said etc (it may come in handy).

Also, call your local courthouse and see if they have a family services department. Here in Idaho this is where they would help do all the divorce stuff but they should be able to direct you to the right form or documents that you need to get visitation. Maybe just “informing” your wife that you will be filing docs might get her to loosen up but you know the situation better than I and you surely don’t want to make matters worse.

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