Embarking on Counseling

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by Vixen, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

    Tonight was my first session with a new counselor. It was an interesting experience-- mostly in that it was way more casual, approachable and focused on my husband's behavior. (I think I often have his gaslighting voice in my head, convincing myself I overact to things at times). The counselor has a lot of experience, even mentioned she's counseled sex offenders in jail. I think her responses to the situation are on a very very different end of the spectrum than the therapy my husband reported to have recieved (yes, I take that with a big grain of salt given his inclinations to villainize myself, lie and hide things to make himself look good.)

    What I took home from tonight's counseling session:

    * She is very concerned about his behavior. She thinks it's not a matter of if he gets caught but when and that there are very serious consequences for soliciting online sex from minors. (I caught him posing as a women in "girl chat" chatroom, perusing for lesbian sexual content/cybering.)

    * She says I am young and that I do not need to put up with this. I do not need to wear the shame. It is his. I could move on with my life. She even has a divorce "cheat sheet". She said that in a situation like this where there is reason to act, that assets are not split 50/50. With three children he would have next to nothing after alimony.

    *She agrees that he seems to have a general lack of respect for me and she considers this abuse. I also told her about how he proclaimed hatred towards me multiple times while I was pregnant with twins and how he has acted entitled to and endorsing female work friends of his to pass judgement on me in the past. She suggests (as do I) that he bad mouths me to these people. I have seen it in texts before so it's not purely speculation.

    *She says this behavior is incredibly risky for him as a counsellor-- as if there were even an allegation of these kinds of sexual advances towards children, that he could immediately lose his licenses and render all the time/expense of his masters in vain. (Side bar: his narcissistic tendencies of course required him go to the MOST expensive school in our area-- which we now have gobs of loans to repay.)

    *She recognizes porn as bad and a destroyer of intimacy and relationships. She recognizes porn addiction as a very real, serious thing. She shares much less of the hope that I do that it will just go away. Scary and sobering.

    *She is game to meet him next week and says that I do need my own counseling too. (Which I totally agree-- I was actually a little surprised that today's session was completely concentric on his behavior. But it makes sense. Again, I think my husband's voices of minimization have gotten to me a bit. It's refreshing to get validation on the seriousness of the situation from a professional.)

    *I came out of the session feeling empowered, supported, and given a fresh scope of the situation. Perhaps in some ways I have misplaced hope. Sometimes I feel hopeless about the notion of what situation I will be in (especially financially) if I were to leave him. Now I feel more hopeful about that option. Not that I truly want that to happen, but my righteous anger has flared hard after finding out he's told another woman I'm a "not great" stay at home mom. I'm triggered to anger/mistrust now both on the sex front and the domestic front. It's going to take big adjustments to soothe these feelings.

    *She thinks my husband's behavior his shame based and even conjectures some gender identity issues.

    *She reccomends I read the book "Letting Go of Shame" by Ephron so I plan to procure that soon.

    *My husband may be closer to rock bottom. He's very sober and discernibly distressed tonight-- and I haven't even shared many details with him. He said he wonders if I would get some sort of satisfaction out of him getting in trouble. Eye roll. Pity party. I'm curious if this will get him further out of denial... I'm wondering what he did while his accountability software was off last week-- and if there is guilt associated. He wants to talk so we will see what happens with that.

    *I'm pretty curious to see how he conducts himself next week at the session when he joins in. And also very curious to see what she thinks of him.

    *I wonder what life would be like out of this emotionally draining marriage... or if this will catalyze and inspire more discernible empathy and recovery work from my husband. I just can't waste too much time hoping if he continues to treat me with disrespect.
  2. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

    From where I’m standing, accountability considered (discounting the week he dropped it) I do not believe he is active in addiction pursuing minors. Now whether that is purely intuition or spiked with hope... ‍♀️

    The facts at discovery: my husband was posing as a 30 something woman, in a chatroom titled “girl chat”, speaking with someone who looked young from her thumbnail pic (grantee it was small/somewhat hard to tell). But he was using vernacular: “Do you talk to girls your age much?”. The age topic is suspicious. And he was not in the adult chat room or even the lesbian one. He was in the 13+ chatroom. We have discussed this many times and he maintains that he was not targeting minors and that he talked to a wide range of ages. He knows it looks bad. He’s glad he stopped.

    I don’t think he has gone back to the chatrooms although it wouldn’t surprise me if he made other sexual searches online during his absence of accountability. He says he did nothing. He could be lying or he could almost as easily have been acting out a power play to piss me off.

    But do I feel like he is currently prowling for minors? No. I absolutely could not stay if I felt that way. That’s one of the reasons that the accountability software is so important to me because I need to feel safe about that. Too much at stake.

    Yeah, I think you may be right about that. It is validating to be reminded that this is a big deal. And compared to friends and family that are very Christian/forgiveness based, her response was refreshing and even liberating. That said, she has proclaimed herself a feminist at least once during our session so she may have a mama bear approach to fending for females. Which is fine. At the end of the day I’m going to make a very seriously thoightvout decision. My husband has made progress, but I’m somewhere closer to self acceptance/love in my own recovery and detaching for a week allowed me to see things with less emotional bias. I think this could be a positive jumpstart to get us out of the complacent plateau of “dry drunk sobriety” and into more substantial, proactive recovery.

    Oops answered above already.

    I pray it doesn’t come to that. I think his behavior has changed significantly regarding the compulsions, but I need his attitudes and respect/gratitude to improve. Basically need him to grow more empathy and show more appreciation for me.

    Oh yeah it should be interesting. This lady doesn’t strike me as one who will put up with BS. I’m really curious.

    We talked tonight and my husband admitted he doesn’t know how to feel about going into the session. If it should be for therapeutic purposes, saving a marriage, or mitigating damage (and likewise not providing much information) prior to divorce. I told him I have no set objective.
    EyesWideOpen likes this.
  3. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    It is refreshing to hear of a therapist so validating of the SO. Unfortunately this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I hope things continue to go in the right direction for the two of you.
    hope4healing and Vixen like this.

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