Monday, February 13, 2017

When he "doesn't believe in therapy"

Let's start with this: Therapy isn't something one "believes" in, like Bigfoot or fairies or alien abductions. We have data that therapy exists. So when someone says they don't "believe" in therapy, what he's really saying is he doesn't believe that talking with an objective person about his life and his problems is going to help him.
To which I say, "really? Tell me more about how therapy won't help you."
Therapy is, of course, a broad term for a whole lot of approaches to helping people move through problems that are getting in the way of leading a productive, healthy life. Not "believing" in therapy is a cop out. Far more truthful to say, "I don't want to go."
To admit that he doesn't want to go, however, opens your husband up to your disappointment or your anger and your frustration. He'd prefer to hide behind the fiction that therapy won't work for him so why not save time and money by not bothering with it at all. After all, he'll tell you, it's bogus. Or he doesn't like to talk. He'll refer to therapy as "woo-woo" head shrinking stuff for crazy people. Surely not for someone as sane and feet-on-the-ground as a guy like him whose only problem is that he violated his marriage vows, lied to his partner and risked losing a marriage that he now claims he never wanted to lose.
That avoidance of discomfort is exactly the kind of behaviour that got him into this situation. By not being forthright and honest, he created this shitstorm that he now wishes would just go away without him having to do anything that he doesn't want to do. Or rather, that he doesn't "believe" in.
I came to therapy reluctantly. I grew up in what my therapist calls a "distressed home" with plenty of addiction, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts and strife. When my mother got sober, I was 20 and launching into my life. She wanted me to go into therapy because she, correctly, saw that I held a lot of anger about my earlier years. I refused, insisting that I was "fine" and that I didn't need some stranger telling me how to feel.
A few years later, however, as I struggled within a highly toxic relationship with a man I couldn't imagine living without, I relented.
I thought she could help me figure out how to make this guy love me enough to stay. Instead, she helped me find the self-respect and strength to leave.
Which could be a big piece of why your husband doesn't "believe" in therapy. There's huge fear for many people in discovering just what's lurking in their own hearts, and that of their partners. For those people, pretending that everything is fine is preferable to knowing it isn't. They might even have convinced themselves that, all evidence aside, everything is fine. If only you could just stop talking about their mistakes, about the destruction they've caused. After all, they won't do it again.
Until they do.
Until they come up against something in their lives that they simply don't have the tool in their emotional toolbox to handle. All of us lack certain tools. I don't know a single human being whose parents were able to provide them exactly the number and type of tools they would need to handle whatever life throws their way. Some of us can develop our own healthy tools, but far more of us either rely on crappy rusty tools to cope – we drink, we shop, we ignore, we rage, we cheat – or we fall apart completely.
Somewhere in there, the smart ones among us say one thing: Help.
We realize that if we were so awesome at solving our own problems, we wouldn't be in this mess. We acknowledge that our way of coping has created some highly unpleasant side-effects, like a wife whose eyes hold a world of pain that we caused.
And then, the smart and courageous ones allow themselves to consider that maybe, just maybe, this therapy thing is worth a try.
It might not work with the first therapist. It might require a few tries. But my guess is that these same guys would continue to find a good mechanic for their car if the first one didn't seem to great rather than decide that they don't "believe" in mechanics.
It will undoubtedly require a lot of ego-checking and patience as everyone finds their footing and begins to establish an atmosphere of trust. After all, you should all be there for the same reason. To create a healthy relationship based on honesty and respect and compassion. 
Because that, whether or not these guys will admit it, is what everyone is after. And, too bad for them, part of that process is going to require that this guy who doesn't "believe" in therapists, has to dig deep into his psyche and figure out why he risked everything that mattered for something that didn't. Or at least didn't matter as much.
He should want this. He should be willing to do whatever it takes to begin to heal this damage he created. He should be willing to make himself uncomfortable in order to help you feel safe again.
If he won't? If he continues to hide behind this fiction that therapy requires "belief" rather than hard work, then he's telling you that this marriage isn't worth the effort required of him.
This is painful but crucial information for you to have. Because it makes your choice – whether to stay in the marriage with full awareness of how much effort he's willing to put into rebuilding it, or whether to leave with that same awareness – a lot more clear.
I'm not insisting that no marriage can be saved without therapy. I am saying that I don't know of any. Sure, I know of marriages that survived infidelity without therapy. But I don't know of solid happy marriages that have. The solid happy marriages I know of that have survived infidelity have done so with a team of support, from friends to, yes, therapists. Personal therapists, marriage therapists, family therapists. Cognitive behavioural therapy, EMDR, couples counselling.
So while it's possible that a marriage can be rebuilt without the help of counsellors to guide couples toward healing, I don't "believe" it's helpful to anyone to ignore the valuable assistance of an objective, experienced therapist.

25 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Here I am almost 30yrs after my husband's 2 affairs with the lovely flight attendants. Coming from a "distressed" or dysfunctional family, I have a lot of issues from my mentally ill father as well as my narcissistic mother. But my husband certainly had his own problems tho well covered up in his "loving " family by his adoring mother. There are so many kinds of affairs(Frank Pittman) that a really good therapist can help you sort out what's going on. And even yrs after like in my case, it's good to get a "tune up" cause I kid you not, those triggers aren't going away. True they're dimmer but tonight I'm remembering when my husband lied to me, said the affair was over, but in fact they bid a trip together to celebrate hearts day together. Personally, I hate this holiday but not as much as I did way back when. Cheers to all of you tho who are past the pain and getting stronger. Sure wish this blog had been available so many years ago, a real lifeline Elle. Thank you!

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    2. Fist bump to you, pilot's wife. I used the exact term "tune up" to make sure my H was on board with continuing to check in with our couple's therapist periodically. After all, we do that with our air conditioner and our cars, etc. If he's going to continue to fly and live the pilot's life (and I'm going to be a pilot's wife) we are going to need continued support and 'face the mirror' moments for the rest of our lives.

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    3. Ann,

      You got that right. With his career and the atmosphere of travel, he will always be faced with those few skysluts who are after his pension or just want to have fun. Once my husband got caught and decided to not fall in that trap again, he gave up socializing and drinking with any female crew members or at least he said so. I think he did because he really got burned by the last one. Once you're in retirement yrs like us, you may find the pilot h has no interest in traveling anymore. Too many yrs spent in airports and layovers in raunchy hotels took the fun out of that. Oh well.

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  2. Completely agree, Elle.

    I am a physician and so I was neither a proponent nor detractor of "therapy". I had all the phsychology classes, I could see much of what was going on; but, blinded to other things because I was too close to have the objective perspective. For example, my H has anger mgt. issues - the MC recognized it as undiagnosed depression and she was right! I missed it. If only I'd seen that a decade ago.

    If you are a newly BW please learn from my mistakes. After Dday #1 (work flirtation in '02 that I caught in a few days/weeks & nipped in the bud before it progressed to a PA) we did not go to MC and my H's underlying issues (fueled by his childhood, porn and drugs) later resurfaced. Dday #2 was a cyber affair that occurred in '15 which I discovered within days/weeks and I immediately insisted we go to MC and a faith based retreat; but, we only did MC and I didn't push for the retreat because MC seemed to work. Our communication & intimacy got much better after that. Unfortunately, in MC he lied about an 4 year long intermittent mostly EA that was bookended by PA (1x sex at the beginning, tried again but ED at the end). After my Dday #3 which was 3 mos. ago, I made MC + Retrouvialle a non-negotiable. H had to not only go; moreover, H had to be the one to schedule all of it and I would willingly go -- or he could pack his bags.

    Now, I also use the MC as a mediator. H is a gaslighter, so for several weeks I saved all my conflicts with him until our sessions. At first this made him dread MC because he knew something uncomfortable to him was likely to come up. However, after I explained that we were way better off addressing our conflicts in a 1 hr safe environment with a unbiased referee he had to agree that was better than the alternative way we have fought for years.

    Go to therapy! Go.

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    1. Dear browneyed girl -- thank you for sharing. Please don't be too hard on yourself. I'm a therapist. My marriage seemed better than most. I knew h was irritable (read: depressed). I asked him to see someone, and he told me to back off, to let him handle it "his way." We all know how that turned out. His moods didn't seem like a deal-breaker. I even saw ow circling. She stood too close and talked too long. I told him to knock it off. Seriously -- I watched it all in slow-mo, and I still couldn't stop the crash. His detour was right after his birthday, after I wrote him a letter about how much I loved him and our life together. I honestly don't know what more I could have done. Men don't cheat because their wives are clueless, mean, or ugly. We have very little to do with it. They cheat because they're broken. They cheat because they're ill. Lots and lots of therapy since d-day -- his, mine, and ours. Elle -- thank you for taking this on. It's his job to figure out "...why he risked everything that mattered for something that didn't." Your words help more than you know. Happy Valentine's Day to all of my warrior sisters. xxoo

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    2. All so interesting. I think still at almost two years can be hard on myself. My husband is in the mental health field and he did everything he did. He had all the tools, training, knowledge, real life experience from his work and still did it all. That has been hard on him. And I have been hard on him regarding that. How he could lie to my face for 10 years and do what he did. He never made an effort to come clean. He did end both affairs on his own before dday so I guess he could hang his hat on that. It still can feel confusing and complex at times since his behavior is so against who I am. And as you said snowbird he was the broken one. He told me soon after dday this happens to all sorts of people and has nothing to do with me.

      So far things have worked out with us. My husband never went to therapy. I struggled with it a lot at first. It was his suggestion I go meet with someone so I had a person just for me to talk with since I have shared this with no one. It was a good suggestion and I found a therapist who is excellent. The therapist was unsure at first since it is usually marital therapy. We talked a lot in therapy if I should have my husband come with me to therapy. My therapist firmly believes that it would not be a benefit. I find it interesting but based on his work and the changes he has made he feels confident about that. My therapist says my husband has made the most dramatic changes in his life, attitudes, behaviors and himself of anyone he has seen in 30+ years. I actually questioned him if he really felt that way and he does. I also questioned if he thinks this is an act or someone with the knowledge and knowing the right things to say if my husband is being deceptive. Basically my therapist said if he can pull this off over the course of two years this well then he should go to Hollywood, he is such a good actor or mentally ill. The transformation has been amazing but some days I do worry will I regret not "making" him go. I know why he does not want to go, he is of course ashamed etc. but I think it is a hit professionally. Of all people he should have known better or how to stop it. And even not coming clean until I pushed him so many times and lying to me. But we move forward and I at times think I might still ask him to go to therapy, but for now I wait and give him time. So far he has proven himself.

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    3. snowbird,
      Your post sounds exactly like what I went through! All the years of "grumpiness" that I brushed off and powered through. I did ask. I asked all the time if I could help him with whatever it was that was going on in his head. His irritability was so annoying to me while I was literally killing myself to take care of all the household stuff without bothering him. Instead of "saving him the trouble" I should have sat him down and dragged (drug?) it out of him. Grumpiness is not a benign thing to me anymore. I saw the OW circling too. I asked specifically about them. Because he looked me in the face and reassured me, I went on killing myself to keep everything else going. Looking backwards, I see things completely differently. At the time, I know I did what any sane person would have done. I was not blind because I didn't see what someone hid from me. Therapy helped us all pick up the pieces, and I'm so thankful for the insight now. One major perk is that I no longer kill myself to handle anything anymore no matter what my husband's mood is! Also, he has learned some tools to talk about what he's feeling. I had no idea he was so deficient in this area, and I had no idea I was helping to keep him there by shielding him from my needs.

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    4. Wow, I am speechless yet my brain is spinning. Like you Snowbird, Ann, and BrownEyedGirl, my husband was "grumpy" for years and years and I even talked about it to my best friend a lot. It never once occurred to me that he was deep into porn and ultimately prostitutes until he confessed on D-Day, which was 20 months yesterday. I was blown away among other descriptive words. Honestly I never in a million years thought my husband would do the things he did. We are in a pretty good space at this moment. Neither of us in therapy although I've thought at times it would help me to continue to process my feelings and thoughts with an objective person. I like my therapist but early on she made a comment that still rubs me wrong although I doubt she realized it at the time. Anyway, hubby is no longer grumpy and we have a much better open line of communication. He seems happy and says his head is not longer an eight lane freeway. On my good days I understand this was never about me regardless of how much he hurt me. On my bad days I want him dead. I'm beginning to see that my internal mood swings are fairly typical for those of us married to recovering sex/porn addicts.

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    5. Beach Girl, Those swings are still hard. Ugh. I am still going to my therapist every 2-3 months. My therapist feels it is good for checking in sake. I am glad we have this set up. I find the time in between gives me a longer period to work through things on my own, but when we meet it is the reassurance that I need.

      My husband is just so different now. I recently questioned my ability to trust him unrelated to the affairs but something else major involving trust. And he said he can't hide anything from me. He told me how he feels so much better telling me everything. It was a good feeling and I am working through it. For him he sees the affairs as it, the only bad. But for me I see how it could infiltrate other aspects of his life. And not those behaviors but the poor decision making, lying, lack of ability to see things for what they are, thinking he is above the "law" or can do what he wants... All a work in progress.

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    6. Oh my gosh, I am not sure that I have mentioned how damn grumpy my H was, but it was PROFOUND. He's not a grumpy guy and i started to mention to a couple friends that he was so "grumpy" and i used that exact word. I NOW know that is a sign. I can only imagine what hiding a secret life is like. Mine used an outlet online under a fake name to get all his "adventures" off his chest. A-hole. But that didnt blow off enough steam, and thus, for about 18 months, was grumpy AF. Had no idea anyone else went through this. As always, you ladies, this place--a treasure trove of info.

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    7. Steam,
      I agree that it is so nice to find out these things that so many of us experienced without knowing it was "a thing". My H was just known as being a "grumpy old man before his time" by all my friends and family. It had become a sort of joke with them all that he was just going to be irritated about random stuff at times and overreact. They would laugh. I would roll my eyes and move on. I look back and wonder why I didn't lay it all on the line and say, "cut this out! I'm not going to live with someone so negative all the time about silly things!" I guess I didn't because it all seemed so mild really. I mean, who divorces or demands marriage therapy because their husband is grumpy? --This girl, now! lol. No one is allowed to be in a year-long "bad mood" in my house anymore.

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    8. Even now if he is off at all I confront him immediately but especially if he is grumpy. He always answers immediately and totally understands. This happens less than ever since he tells me every little detail of his life now like every detail. I think for him it is all or nothing like some people are with food. He says he goes to sleep every night with a clean slate. Interesting..

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  3. I didn't go to therapy but, my husband did. I found walking the dog my therapy. It was my husband and some friends, and this blog who are the ones who helped me through this. My youngest daughter on the other hand ended up in the hospital because she was cutting herself and had depression not only due to his affair but to the kids bulling her in school. She actually thought that she was turning out like the OW because she liked her friend's ex boyfriend. I think that the hardest part of this mess was signing the papers to put her in the hospital for 6 days. I'll never forget my husband sobbing all the way home. I never lost my temper at him while we were driving but he sure got an earful. 3 months earlier, a week after I found out about his affair I had to deal with his suicide attempt. He couldn't handle the pain I was going through and thought that we would be better off with out him. Not only did I pick up the pieces of his mess but now I had to pick up the pieces again for my daughter's sake. Both my husband and my daughter were in therapy for about 6-8 months and on medication. Thank God everyone is doing great now and no one is on medication anymore. I did sign up for the peer counseling that was advertised on this blog but only used it twice. I really don't know how I ever managed to do it with out a lot of therapy and to have healed the way I have. I guess the foundation that my husband and I had before this is what helped us get through it. At least that is what his counselor said. Some days I still deal with the pain but it is nowhere near what it was and I can get past it pretty well. I found helping other's and listening to inspirational podcasts help me too.

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  4. Therapy saved my life not once but several times during my life! This blog has been a life saver between the therapies! I listen to podcasts, meditate, use my dog, my art, my love of life to get through each day! My husband has become a better man and each day he shows why he deserved a second chance! The best is yet to come! Get therapy! What ever kind that works for you!
    Happy Valentines Day!

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    1. Theresa, I think therapy saved both my daughter and my husband and I'm not against it. The day after my husband was admitted to the hospital I went and signed up to talk to a counselor but, it wasn't the right choice for me at that time. I have people to talk to if I need to, and my aunt is a therapist and if I really need to I contact the woman that I found on this blog. I also found a site called Goasksuzie that I've used also. I'm just one of those people I guess that likes to do it on my own. My biggest concern was making sure they were both ok and because of the circumstances of the 10 day long affair I think it was easier for me to let a lot of it go. But I know that if I go down that black tunnel again like after finding out, I will go get help.

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  6. So how do you go about finding a good therapist? We have been to a couple and they just didn't work for us. I don't know anyone whose dealt with infidelity in their marriage, and I'm not about to ask for help on social media for all the world to see. I know that therapy could help us, and my husband is willing, but it's so hard to find a good one. I've even left messages for a few without a return phone call. It's rather discouraging. How did you go about finding a good one? Is there anyone in this forum from Phoenix that has used a good therapist?

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    1. Shelley, I found our incredible marriage counsellor on the Web site of Psychology Today. They have listings so you can do a search for Phoenix. Try this: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/state/AZ/Phoenix.html
      But also take some time to think about what you're after from a therapist. It's really tempting for we betrayed wives to want a therapist to act like stern parent, giving our husbands hell for what they've done and cataloguing all the ways in which they screwed up. While a good therapist will hold both of you accountable for all the choices you've made, it doesn't serve anyone to simply cast one as the good guy and one as the bad guy. Not saying you're doing this, but it is common.
      So...think about what you're after. See if you can speak with him/her for 5 minutes of the phone, learn about their experience re. marrigaes/infidelity and their approach. And ask yourself what it was about the two you already saw that didn't feel right. You're not going to find a perfect fit and you don't want somebody who just agrees with everything you say. You want someone to help each of you grow through this and to rebuild a solid foundation.

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    2. Shelley,
      Something I learned when starting therapy for the first time in my life is that there are different "styles". The style we landed on for our couple's therapy ended up being really good. It was called "EFT" or Emotionally Focused Therapy. After some research I found that they have a very high success rate for helping couples dealing with infidelity--higher than other types of therapy. That's not to say there probably aren't some bad EFT therapists out there and some fantastic therapists from all the other styles though. Anyway, it might be worth investigating to see if there is any EFT couples counseling in your area. Google EFT too so you know what it is. What I liked about it most was that it really focused on the emotions my H was feeling but not expressing and me too. At first, I assumed I was going in there to get him "fixed" emotionally. I found out really quickly that he was not the only one who was not expressing/acknowledging emotions well. This type of therapy also focuses deeply on how you communicate with one another during times of stress. We now approach each other differently when we are in stressful situations with our son, etc after therapy. This was not a time for me to blurt out all my list of grievances about him and for him to apologize more and admit his wrong-doings in front of another judge like I imagined therapy would be before I started. Our wonderful counselor facilitated our mutual growth in understanding emotions, how we react to them, and how we communicate with one another. In EFT, your marriage is the therapist's client. Not you, and not your H. The marriage. It was an interesting approach that really worked for us. I had an individual counselor that helped me work through the things I needed to process just for me. Our marriage counselor helped us understand each other better. I felt she was clearly concerned about me, and my H felt the exact same way. No one was a good guy/bad guy.

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    3. Shelley,

      It can be so hard to find a therapist that is a good fit for you. My husband is in the mental health field so I know first hand the variety and training and real life practice experience is so different. I agree with Elle you need to decide what you want. My husband chose not to attend with me but suggested I go so that I would have an outlet. I have not told anyone about the affairs so he just felt like after dday 2 I was unraveling and he was not the person I needed for support or to help me through this even with his training. He felt he could help himself due to all of that but that is a unique situation.

      What my husband told me was to find someone who is licensed, know their stand on marriage (many therapist believe if there is any betrayal the betrayed should end the marriage, I had no idea how common this is but he said it is very common, but he left this up to me and let me decide if I wanted to work it out), and someone with experience dealing with infidelity and couples therapy. The most common therapy I am familiar with and my husband and therapist practice is cognitive behavioral therapy.

      I chose to search a wide geographic area since I did not want to see anyone in our town due to my husband's practice. I searched a college town. We go there for many things since they usually have a wide variety of high level trained practitioners. I searched marital therapy and found a few people. Several were not licensed so I skipped them. My therapist had a decent website and when reading it I felt it matched up with my needs. I did reach out to him and explain that just I would be coming in and also asking about his stance on marriage. He responded quickly and was easy to communicate with. This is huge for me. If they don't get back to you just like any professional it is not helpful and most likely will only get harder to schedule.

      Since I was travelling farther than normal he did double sessions my first two appointments just two weeks apart. This was helpful so he could ask questions and get an understanding of the situation. Then we met for a regular appointment once a month for the first year. Now I go in every 2-3 months depending on my schedule.

      All I can say is maybe I got lucky or maybe I knew what to look for but it has been amazing. He was a great fit for me. He was skeptical at first since it was just me going in but he has even said it has been the best thing ever. He feels my husband would have just gone through the motions and would know what to say to progress things along. He has been a great support for me and he has a great ability to know when to listen, advise and push me forward. I think like any professional relationship it can take several tries. In any profession I know I have run into people I would not use. And in my opinion a therapist is a really personal decision. I hope that helps!

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    4. Hi Shelley -- I agree with Elle & others. First decide if you are using insurance. If yes, start with a list from your provider, so you don't get frustrated calling around. Couples/family therapy is generally not covered, but many therapists offer to bill under one "patient" (ethics professors and insurance companies disagree on this, so decide where you stand). If you are not bound to a list, and there is a doctor, clergy, or other professional you trust, you can simply say you are looking for a good couples therapist without elaboration. A good MC will have plenty of experience with infidelity, but even a "specialist" is worthless if you don't feel comfortable. Therapists are as different as people are different. Shopping for a good fit is hard when you're already in crisis, but that is when most people make the call. Try to meet with someone twice before you decide. It takes courage to show up and ask a stranger for help navigating this mess, and you deserve someone who respects that. You'll know when you find someone who feels your pain (and his) but helps you focus on moving forward in a healthy way. Fingers crossed.

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    5. That is a good point regarding insurance. In any therapy it needs to be determined who is the patient. If it is the marriage then that is not eligible for all or most insurance. I am not sure how much wiggle room there is but if both people attend every session and the patient is the marriage then they cannot code it under one person. If a spouse comes sporadically and it is supporting or helping the primary patient resolve their issues that is different because the individual is the patient. This is why my therapist told me once I started as an individual after the initial two sessions my marriage/husband could not join and become part of it. At that point we would have needed to see someone else as a couple. I do know some therapists will see each person individually and as a couple so there would be three sessions. I think that balance can be delicate. Even my therapist said ethically he is bound to not all of a sudden allow my husband to join in since we already had a therapist/patient relationship established.

      And I agree that it comes down to fit just as any professional relationship. I have met pediatricians I would never bring my kids to and others I love. But then I know people who do not like who i do. I will say from my personal experience and knowing my husband that I think having someone with a lot of experience or specialist was really helpful for me. My husband is highly trained and runs a really strong practice but he is a generalist. And also until dday I did not know how little specific training he had related to affairs. He knew the basic stuff and relationship, marriage, trust... but after I read a few books I honestly felt like I knew more. Again he has a ton of training and how to help people work through their issues etc. but I did open his eyes. Where my therapist doing this for 30 years has seen and heard it all and was so effective because of that. For me at least that was helpful and reassuring. It also helped when I came home and replayed the details to my husband. And my therapist was really effective and helping me pinpoint issues, find solutions and how to explain them to my husband.

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  7. We are going to therapy today after 3 years out to learn how to communicate the negative stuff to each other. Before we never fought, not really. This last disagreement we were upset with each other a day. I said I need you to go to therapy with me. That day brought about some frank discussions so it wasn't a total waste. He bluntly told me, "It was just sex. It was cheap sex at that, like a whore." He told me that a million times but it is sinking in slowly. He also said, "I regret that I didn't treat you well during our marriage. I wish I would have because the rewards are so great. I just wanted you to know that." Negative Nelly here thought, yes, why did I put up with your shit? Because I didn't know any better. I'll let you know how therapy goes and what I learn, maybe it will help a betrayed wife somewhere out there. I also triggered for a week over multiple stuff. I can handle the same old triggers but when I get hit with new ones, multiple ones Then off I go. Elle is so right about therapy. It is what I thought several times but couldn't articulate it.

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    1. LLP, I have heard the same thing and felt the same way. My husband still appoligizes almost two years past dday that he was not a good husband or father or even a good person. He lives with that and feels terrible. And I still at times beat myself up should I have picked up on clues before we were married even. Then I refocus and tell myself that he lied to me and yes he has to live with this. I did nothing wrong except be a good person. I win in the end since I have two amazing kids that know in the end I was always there for them and they verbalize it even though they know nothing about our issues. My husband had made it his life goal to be a good husband and father from here forward. Granted he is not perfect but he has done a really good job. The other day I was irritated with him and I explained why. Two years ago he would have turned it on me, blamed me, been grumpy, pouted etc. Not anymore, he can talk about it and own it. I really feel like if we want this marriage to last that communication has to be so important. And no topic is off limits. We revisit topics all the time and the affairs and trust still comes up once in a while. Not to work out those details but how they relate to something else that has come up. So far he gets it and is willing to talk and work through it.

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