Shrink - "Divorce has to be an option."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Shrink - "Divorce has to be an option."
21
Fri, 11-27-2009 - 4:15pm

Met with my shrink this week.

A few things came up that I thought were interesting.

We talked about my spouses last "episode" in which she talked about us splitting. I told him that this time it really hurt and I'm growing comfortable with the idea of us splitting if necessary. He said that I should tell her this. He said that he gets all sorts of couples in that preface their therapy with, "We are never going to get a divorce. We are just trying to repair things." He says that usually one or the other spouse isn't really serious about the therapy and only gives it a half hearted effort. It isn't until one of the spouses is half way out the door that the spouse wakes up and finally pitches in. He said that for a marriage to really function at a high level. "Divorce has to be an option" always. And both partners have to know this. Often one partner will take the marriage for granted and stop contributing to it. As this goes on for years, the marriage corrodes.

When my spouse told me about the affair. I set my jaw and just did what I had to do, divorce was not an option to me. This was good and bad. I think I held our marriage together and let my spouse know possibly for the first time in a very long time that I was serious about her, but I also shielded my spouse from some hard issues. Now that I'm turning them back over to her. It's going a little rocky.

One of my spouses issues in this last "episode" was about me throwing the affair in her face. I didn't think I was doing it, but I did mention the affair and it really put her in a tail spin. I asked the shrink what the danger was of fully letting go of the affair. I felt that by holding on to the affair and bringing it up occasionally and discussing aspects of it was a protection from it and would be a reminder to both of us of where we went with things. He echoed some of the things I've heard on the list. He said, if you set your boundaries firmly and you make it clear that if she crosses these boundaries she has to leave. And you both are clear about them. Then if and when she crosses them, you move her out, and move on. Bringing up the affair now only brings her pain. In order to move past the affair now, I have to stop talking about it. I can't bring it up or use it in an argument. It's over, she's not doing it anymore, she understands a good portion of it. And she's a good person. It's time to push our marriage to the next level of trust.

I mentioned this message boards and he stopped me right there. We talked about these boards at length. We talked about how important they are, how you all helped me so very much. But he said that having days where I don't think about the affair is very important at this time. To do that, I have to leave the boards in the hands of the next generation to help the most recent new people with what they learned from my generation of betrayed spouses.

I thought about this very carefully for the past three days.

I began meeting with my shrink about a week after D Day. This last spring I stopped meeting with him weekly, but I chose to meet with him about every six to eight weeks for sort of a tune up. He told me on tuesday that he's moving to Michigan in December.

At the end of our session. I gave him a hug, wished him family well. And I left.

With that, I need to say "thank you" to you all. You saved my life. Best wishes and I love you. I'm going to go and work my marriage and my forgiveness. I'm letting go of the men, I'm letting go of the hurt, I'm going to be a better father and husband. And I'm going to go and try and be happy.

I hope you all do likewise.

Thomas

D Day: August 2008

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Your therapist is wise.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003

Best of luck to you - I agree with your therapist - the betrayer

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2009
Sat, 11-28-2009 - 10:55am

Thomas,


I don't know if you'll get this since you are leaving the board, but I just wanted to thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Thomas, I'll miss your wise input and particular way of looking at things, but you need to do what's best for you. Best wishes and good luck.

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."  Herb Stein

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009
Sat, 11-28-2009 - 11:57pm
GODS SPEED MY FRIEND
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 10:47am
Hi Pater
I agree with your shrink about divorce, let your wife know how you feel keep her on her toes and not taking you for granted
Thank you so very much for your presence here
Peace & Strength to you
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-2009
Wed, 12-02-2009 - 11:18pm
I am very proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to let go of the people and places that give you security. Letting go of the security blanket is hard but we all have to do it sooner or latter. Thank you for your posts. I am new, but I look up your name and read the ones you are leaving us. God bless, you have blessed us.
Sweething
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2004

Thomas, or someone that knows Thomas's situation

I'm confused a little and I think it's because I don't know the background to the posting. At what point is it OK to just let things lie and get on with it. I am 14 months in from D-Day and there are unresolved issues and promises not kept from when we decided to try and save our relationship. I assume that Thomas's situation differs from this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
I can't speak for Thomas, but in my case, I felt ready to move on from my H's A when I felt he was truly sorry for what he did and realized the pain it caused me, also understood the reasons behind his behavior.
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 12-03-2009 - 11:30am

Loopy

I completely understand. My spouse promised me that at some point we would address some issues. She feels that the few conversations that we had where I treaded softly and didn't push to hard were enough. In my mind, I was letter her ease into the conversation so that we could explore further at a later time. In her mind she was making full disclosure and closing the door.

I'm sitting here waiting to really "get it all out in the open" so that we can really move on, but she's just simply moved on. I think this is where therapy comes in. I told my spouse that at the first of the coming new year, I expect her to find us a couple's therapist who's only client is our marriage. I could find a therapist, but it's time that she step up and take responsibility in the work.

This is going to be tricky because as a rule: Couples therapy is often meant to be used by the participants to fix the other person. Individual therapy is better at first for making much needed personal changes.

So far, my individual therapy has boosted my personal self esteem, helped me peal away the side issues related to the affair and helped me focus on the real issues. It also helped me understand where I was succeeding.

I suspect that my spouses therapy has not been so productive. And that's where the thread for the topic came up. The fact is that I love my wife. I know she loves me. She loved me even though she was having an affair. So loving me simply isn't good enough for me. I want our relationship to reflect some part of the "fairy-tale" which I imagined when we first married.

My spouse talks in terms of that there is no fairy-tale anymore. I don't know what she really means by this and we can't seem to connect in a conversation about this without fighting. I'm hoping that couples therapy can help us communicate and understand what we each other means here. And to see if there is some give and take possible.

But the fact is that I'm finally ready to make a commitment either way in our relationship. I'm ready to commit to building WITH her, or un-constructing our marriage in as civilized a way as possible and moving on without her.

It's like the old saying, "hope for the best but prepare for the worst." The only way to be happy is to stand up for yourself, be generous, and expect that others to do the same.

All my best.

Thomas

I have 5 kids ages 16-10. Our D Day was August, 2008

What I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness and Listening.




Edited 12/3/2009 12:50 pm ET by pater_familia

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

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