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Counseling together to get over the affair. What shall I expect?


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 16th October 2017, 12:08 PM   #1
Mun
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Counseling together to get over the affair. What shall I expect?

Hi, as the subject of the thread says, I am not sure what to expect from couple consueling. 3 + months after DDay we decided to give it a shot. I am the one who was betrayed. I am willing to give it another go and I think we need help to get over the anger (mine) the shame (his) and to learn to communicate better. Thing is I still have a lot of questions even if he closed all contacts with the people he had extra-marital indiscretions with (one was an ex, just two months into our relationship before getting married, they had sex a couple of times) the others were texting, more or less explicit with old fwbs. I found out all together only 3 months ago. He wants us to move on. I feel like I want to move on but knowing what happened and why it happened. He hopes ( and thinks) that the therapist will suggest me to just stop asking questions and get on with our life. I hope the therapist will help him make safe enough to be more open about what happened. As I've never had an experience like this before I don't know what to expect. Every experience is welcome. Thanks
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Old 16th October 2017, 12:38 PM   #2
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(((Mun)))

I'm so sorry you find yourself in this awful position. You are a truly amazing person to be giving him a second chance and, in time, he will realise what a lucky man he is. Many cheaters do not get a second chance.

I was a wayward spouse and my story is on here on these boards if you are interested to read it.

"He hopes ( and thinks) that the therapist will suggest me to just stop asking questions and get on with our life."

OK, as a former cheater, I understand his stance 100%. Most cheaters are so wracked with shame, guilt and embarrassment and they don't want to face up to what they did. Their own shame, at least at first, overrides their knowledge that their BS needs answers, analysis and reassurance. They simply want the affair to disappear down a hole, or, to use an often quoted phrase on this site, "to be swept under the carpet".

I've been there. Just after D-day, every one of my wife's constant questions stung me like a bee-sting. I felt a breakdown coming on. I wanted her to stop. I wanted us to put it all behind us, move on as if nothing had happened.

But this simply will not do...it is a recipe for almost certain failure and will do nothing for either spouse in their recovery. Wayward spouses often take a while to come to their senses and out of the fog. For me, it took about three months to realise that, despite my own destruction, this was absolutely nothing compared to how much I had hurt my wife…and I had caused it all, not her. She was the victim and not me. I was very lucky that she remained patient with me while I still wasn't giving her what she needed. Eventually, although broken myself, I finally realised that her needs had to come before mine – especially in the early days after D-day. Now, two years after D-day, I am so glad we had those hard conversations, thrashed it all out, many times in small detail. It was absolutely excruciating of course, for both of us, but it is so completely necessary. The WS needs to be in no doubt about how much he has hurt the BS and how totally unacceptable his actions were. The BS needs answers - How did this happen? Why? When? Are you truly remorseful? How can I be sure this never happens again? What do we need to fix our marriage and make it happy, satisfying and bullet proof from further threat? These issues need to be explored in the greatest detail many times over many months in order to rebuild your trust and confidence and try to re-establish a connection.

Although excruciating, this process allowed my wife and I to reconnect and build again from the ground up. Now, we very rarely mention the A. But we would never have got to where we are now if we’d carpet swept. It would have hung over us like a cloud – the elephant in the room. If you don't do this properly, if you are still together in a couple of years and do not address these issues now, he will remain trapped in his private world of shame and you will still have all those unanswered questions nagging at you, and very little trust and confidence in him. My wife and I do still have our elephant, but he is fading away and is now in another room. I’m hoping he’ll move to another area soon.

One thing I would suggest to you as a BS is that if you want the maximum honesty from him, be as kind as you possibly can when you question him. Not because he deserves it, but because it will put him more at ease and encourage him to open up. I remember myself that when my wife asked her questions with a soft voice and with patience, I opened up and wanted to give her answers, but when she came at me like a raging bull (which she was perfectly entitled to do), I clammed up, gave minimal answers and just prayed for the conversation to be over.

I am living proof that marriages can recover from infidelity. But, your H simply has to get it into his head that he cannot side-step the difficult months ahead. Everything has to be discussed. He has to make you feel loved again. He had to make you trust him again. Carpet sweeping is a sure recipe for failure.

Good luck Mun. We are with you here. Keep posting. Credit to you for seeking counselling and for finding LS. You are with friends here. There is so much experience and advice here. Take full advantage of it.

Last edited by jenkins95; 16th October 2017 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 16th October 2017, 1:18 PM   #3
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Most cheaters cheat because they lack whatever it is that forces people to attack problems and issues head on. Because of this recovery is very difficult. Most will get to the point that they are willing to face this head on, the problem is will the BS still be there and willing once they do?

To be honest, no one here can give you and idea of what to expect. You could wake up tomorrow and say I'm done or your husband could just open up and give you all the answers you need to work it out.

What we can all agree on, those of us who has been any one of the three points in the infidelity triangle, it will be a long painful process no matter what direction you take.

Try to live one day at a time, looking at the finish line makes it feel like an impossible race to win.
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Old 16th October 2017, 1:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mun View Post
He wants us to move on. I feel like I want to move on but knowing what happened and why it happened. He hopes ( and thinks) that the therapist will suggest me to just stop asking questions and get on with our life.
^ Says every WS

You don't need a therapists to do what he wants. All you need is very large rug and a broom.

Many MC therapists will focus discussions on the marriage and communication styles, and not so much on the affair itself. I've had many MC and IC therapists over the years. They are all unique and have their own way to manage the sessions.

Some MCs frustrated me because I was saying "Why are we talking about this? What does this have to do with my wife screwing her co-worker?"
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Old 16th October 2017, 2:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mun View Post
Hi, as the subject of the thread says, I am not sure what to expect from couple consueling. 3 + months after DDay we decided to give it a shot. I am the one who was betrayed. I am willing to give it another go and I think we need help to get over the anger (mine) the shame (his) and to learn to communicate better. Thing is I still have a lot of questions even if he closed all contacts with the people he had extra-marital indiscretions with (one was an ex, just two months into our relationship before getting married, they had sex a couple of times) the others were texting, more or less explicit with old fwbs. I found out all together only 3 months ago. He wants us to move on. I feel like I want to move on but knowing what happened and why it happened. He hopes ( and thinks) that the therapist will suggest me to just stop asking questions and get on with our life. I hope the therapist will help him make safe enough to be more open about what happened. As I've never had an experience like this before I don't know what to expect. Every experience is welcome. Thanks
Here is the exact email my WW sent me the morning after D-Day. It was titled 'sorry is not enough.' - [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][/SIZE][/FONT]
"I know that this will haunt me forever and I cant tell you howsorry I am. I do guarantee that it is over, however. I really dontwant to keep talking about it and I know Im bringing it up, but the guilt istoo much. Even though nothing happened, what did happen was stepping overa line.
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]
[/SIZE][/FONT]
It will never happen again."


This kind of response will not work and while there is shame, there is a lack of being willing to come to terms with what they did. Your H owes you everything. You don't owe him a thing right now. He has to do the work and give up the painful information for you so you can judge if he is worth keeping. I gave infidelity zero thought before I caught her (I was beginning to get suspicious but really believed she was ultimately above that). So, I didn't react the way I should have (which was kicking her out until I was ready to talk). I think you will find that once the shock wears off the up and down anger will persist. Its OK to be very angry in front of the therapist and many of these therapists suck in this area. So, if you don't feel it is getting you where you need it to, don't waste time and find another. Feel free to tell the therapist everyone is different and that you demand the gory details for you. Some people don't want to know all...I did...all of it and then some. Over time, if you are like me in any way, you will find (I am 18 months into this process) you are up some days and down others but your spouse will forever be tainted and you may decide you want to be with and give your heart to someone who doesn't have the scarlet letter of infidelity. Unfortunately too many therapists use a cookie cutter approach to these things and just don't have the skills to make things better. They easily get off track and talk about 'communication' instead of why the character of the WS allowed themselves to betray the most important person in their lives. Don't be surprised if you get blamed for some of it both by your WH and the therapist. If its from the therapist, they are idiots taking your money and time. My first MC almost made me B line for the divorce lawyer she was so bad. Even my wife said, 'its like I see a former bf from years back and immediately get feelings for him and you got blamed for my feelings.' That was the most honest thing she said although she later tried to play the victim.
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]
[/SIZE][/FONT]
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Old 16th October 2017, 2:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Betrayed&Stayed View Post
^ Says every WS

You don't need a therapists to do what he wants. All you need is very large rug and a broom.

Many MC therapists will focus discussions on the marriage and communication styles, and not so much on the affair itself. I've had many MC and IC therapists over the years. They are all unique and have their own way to manage the sessions.

Some MCs frustrated me because I was saying "Why are we talking about this? What does this have to do with my wife screwing her co-worker?"
THIS. I found my time and money wasted so much. The 1st MC REFUSED to touch the CSA issues my wife had and one session she (the MC) went on for 40 minutes on how I did not like a pair of shoes my wife bought. She had no skill in the area and would not touch the underlying sexual issues my wife has from her childhood. The 2nd was better but not much more. One could say the other fornicated with farm animals and Haley's comet comes every Tuesday in the week and it was 'valid' if it came out of their mouth. Well, my wife had some major revisionist history on some subjects and knew it but I had to 'acknowledge' it was 'valid' for her to say that. NO- if you are being a liar I am calling you on it and screw the 'communication' style. MC was such a waste of time and money. I WILL NEVER waste my resources with such garbage again.
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Old 17th October 2017, 1:26 AM   #7
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How long have you been married?

You should still be in the honeymoon stage and he is already cheating.

Pull the plug and sink this marriage. He doesnt love you. You are a safe, good wife material. He is not good husband material. This goes both ways, women marry guys that make good money, good fathers and are a safe bet. But they want the life and partners they had before marriage. Your husband is doing the same to you. He wants the single life again.
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Old 17th October 2017, 4:35 AM   #8
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Thanks very much for your insight

As I can see it differs very much based on the therapist and the people. I want to believe it's going to work for us. And most of all hopefully it's going to help into make my husband understand that he's safe with me and he can share his needs and fears without having to go look for attention elsewhere.
Thanks again.
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Old 17th October 2017, 4:53 AM   #9
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It seems to me that some MC therapists will try to equalise things in order to save the marriage.
"Yes, he cheated, but YOU are responsible in other ways..."

It is difficult for a marriage to succeed if one partner is wholly in the "right" and the other wholly in the "wrong", so some MCs will try to even up the score.
The MC is not thus about making the BS feels better but more about making sure the marriage survives.
For a BS that sort of "equalisation" of blame can be too much.
The WS is often happier as they have somehow been let off the hook a bit.
It can make them then feel justified in apportioning blame elsewhere.

YOU need to assess your counsellor and if you are not happy then get another one.
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Old 17th October 2017, 5:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by elaine567 View Post
It seems to me that some MC therapists will try to equalise things in order to save the marriage.
"Yes, he cheated, but YOU are responsible in other ways..."

It is difficult for a marriage to succeed if one partner is wholly in the "right" and the other wholly in the "wrong", so some MCs will try to even up the score.
The MC is not thus about making the BS feels better but more about making sure the marriage survives.
For a BS that sort of "equalisation" of blame can be too much.
The WS is often happier as they have somehow been let off the hook a bit.
It can make them then feel justified in apportioning blame elsewhere.

YOU need to assess your counsellor and if you are not happy then get another one.
Agreed! I think IC is better first - for you. It helps to re-establish YOUR sense of self, work out YOUR needs, emphasis YOUR importance, before MC gets to work on your marriage. Makes you stronger before you try to heal and strengthen your marriage.

BTW, in case you are in any doubt, simply wanting to go to MC with you is not enough. Any WS also has to give of themselves in the sessions, be honest and make the changes neccessary. Just being in the same room as you and the therapist doesn't count
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Old 17th October 2017, 5:50 AM   #11
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As I can see it differs very much based on the therapist and the people. I want to believe it's going to work for us. And most of all hopefully it's going to help into make my husband understand that he's safe with me and he can share his needs and fears without having to go look for attention elsewhere.
Thanks again.
You already appear to be blaming yourself here.
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Old 17th October 2017, 8:18 AM   #12
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As I can see it differs very much based on the therapist and the people. I want to believe it's going to work for us. And most of all hopefully it's going to help into make my husband understand that he's safe with me and he can share his needs and fears without having to go look for attention elsewhere.
Thanks again.
Muun it is not that he is scared to come to you, it is that he doesnt care to. He wants to talk with and do the things with those other women that he has been doing.

Look at it from my point of view ( correct me if I am wrong but I think yours as well ).

While my wife and I were dating and engaged, no other women existed to me.

After we got married it stayed like this. She was my best friend, lover, my everything and all. We spent all are free time together for the first few years. Then we started doing somethings on our own.

Your husband in contrast. He is sleeping with another women right before the wedding and continues inappropriate relationships to this day. You are not his best friend and his all in all.

Wish you the best, but it is hard to see with someone that has started out so poorly.
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Old 17th October 2017, 8:35 AM   #13
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You already appear to be blaming yourself here.
Agreed. The OP will make a mistake if she lets her WH off the hook and take blame. Go with the 'I am not perfect and I do want us to communicate needs better but you betrayed me and have a long way to go to earn my trust back.'
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Old 17th October 2017, 10:51 AM   #14
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You don't need couples counseling. He needs individual therapy to determine why he's not marriage material, and how he might be able to get there. It will take a long time, and he needs to be into it 100%.

He's correct that you might find a marriage counselor that just tells you to forget about it and move on. In fact, he might have made an effort to find one specifically with those qualifications. It's a bunch of bunk--you never get over these kinds of things and the only way to deal with them is to hash them out.
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Old 17th October 2017, 10:54 AM   #15
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Marriage counseling with someone who is still actively lying to you is pointless.

Did you consider my advice that your husband will have NO incentive to be honest with you -- until he feels like he has nothing left to lose? Marriage counseling is the opposite of that. He will think that he can minimize and rugsweep what he did, and lie to you and the counselor, and soon enough the counseling will start focusing on the problems in your relationship pre-affair, and he'll be off the hook.

This is a bad idea.
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