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marriage counseling session
January 3, 2006
4:45 pm
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jastypes
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Some interesting things came out of our first session last night. It felt good to feel like we made a baby step of progress even after one session.

Mark gave a pretty accurate overview of what was going on in our lives. He gets a point for that because I didn’t really think he was paying attention.

The therapist acknowledged, validated and really seemed to appreciate my position of completely not trusting Mark. I mentioned my recovery program and how the family basically ridiculed my attending such a program. Mark said he NEVER ridicules me. The therapist asked for an example. I had one ready, but it didn’t have anything to do with my recovery program, but it got my point across. It was actually about something that happened with one of my dogs yesterday. One of them (either Mr. Sparkles or Jake, I’m not sure because I wasn’t paying close attention and they were both around me) apparently mistook me for a fire hydrant! Mark said, “You got what you deserve.” To which I got completely indignant. I deserved that? Why? What in the world would make you say I deserve it? I told the therapist (Scott) this story. He turns to Mark and says, “What in the world would make you say she deserved that?” Mark starts to go on and on about how I love Mr. Sparkles, about how he isn’t completely housebroken, about the house being dirty and smelly. Scott jumps in and says, “Do you see how you’re talking about two completely different things here?” Jill is talking about how it makes her feel when you’re disrespectful, and you’re talking about a problem with a dirty house. They both center on the dog, but they are two completely different things. That made Mark sit up and take notice.

Then I got angry. I started going on about how if the house condition bothers him, he should do something about it. He can pick up a mop and broom as easily as I can. And then my dam burst, I was crying and saying that Mark owes me! I’ve handled it all for 20 years. It’s MY turn to relax. Let him take some responsibility. And Scott said, “Jill, he cannot pay back that debt. You know that, don’t you?” I was sobbing. Of course I know it, but it still doesn’t feel fair. And Scott acknowledged my feelings again. I have a right to be angry, hurt, upset, want to do the things I couldn’t do before. But even if Mark worked on it for the next 20 years, he cannot repay the debt he owes me. That was pretty powerful stuff.

Scott then said to Mark, “If you can learn to be a respectful, honoring and loving husband, I don’t think Jill would need to keep score. Being respectful, honoring and loving is what is going to rebuild your trust. It’s going to take consistent days, weeks and months of that new behavior in order to rebuild your relationship.

Mark’s response was, “Well, it’s too late. Jill is filing for divorce anyway.” And Scott turns to me and says, “Is that right? Is it completely over? Are you done?” My response was, “If I was REALLY done, I wouldn’t be here.” Scott said many couples come to him and say they ARE done. “Take care of him, because I’m out of here.” He liked my answer, though, and Mark said he liked it even better than Scott did.

Finally, Scott talked about “fight or flight” hormones, and about reacting to perceived and real attacks. He pointed out how our emotions make it difficult to talk to one another, particularly Mark’s anger. He told Mark to talk “low and slow” and see if it made a difference. Of course, it does. By the end of the session, Mark was talking “low and slow” and I was able to listen and hear him.

I LOVED the ending of the session. Mark says, “Hey, I think I’m really the one with the problem here. Maybe I should be the one who should be in therapy.” Makes ya want to slap your head, doesn’t it?

jill

January 3, 2006
8:54 pm
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kasie919
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Hey Jas..

just read through this, and im happy for you.. You have made small but good progress..
I hope marriage counsleing helps and you dont have to dissolve your marriage...

Most of the time we love to slap them upside the head huh??? LOL!!!

my prayers are with you...

Kasie

January 3, 2006
9:48 pm
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Shaney
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Jill - my congrats on a successful therapy session. It always amazes me how they will actually hear, from someone else, what we've been trying to say for years. Sometimes it takes a different voice, doesn't it. In your case, that proved true. What a positive step in the right direction - I'm very happy for you and hope it continues :o)

January 3, 2006
10:57 pm
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free2choose
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(((((JILL))))))

Right on!! I love couples therapy. It amazes me how four hours of screaming and fighting and arguing dose'nt even come close to reaching the solutions and growth you get from fifty little minutes with a good therapist!! Kudos to you and your husband for going, trying and working so hard to save your marriage when so many others these days just walk out! That obviolsly says alot about both your values, your commitment, and your love for one another that must still be there, even if at times you can't see it or feel it. I love couples therapy it is the best thing that ever happened to me and my partner...I hope you continue to gain growth, insight, peace and intimacy with your hubby!

Good JOb!!!
Erica
free2choose

January 4, 2006
12:00 am
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mamacinnamon
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Jill:

Congrats on the first session making some progress. Please know that w/ hard work you and Mark might just be able to keep your marriage in tact. BUT, some sessions you are gonna come away elated like this one; and some you will come away feeling beaten and bruised. Take the good and the bad and learn from it; and hope Mark does also.

My best for you and Mark.

January 4, 2006
12:02 am
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lost and found
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hey mamac. how r u? i miss not seeing u on here as much lately. u always have words of wisdom.

January 4, 2006
12:31 am
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mamacinnamon
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Hi L&F:

I've been a bit under the weather the past 8 days. Went to the doc and thank God not pneumonia yet. Should be lookin better soon. Thanks for noticing. 🙂

January 4, 2006
7:23 am
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darling
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dear all,
I separted from my fiancee/kids' father in Sept. The day I began to come to peace with my pain, I found out I was pregnant. This info really sparked a change in attitude from him. Due to this and the new baby coming, I want to at least give him one more chance.

My dilemma is this. We MUST have counseling!!!!! I need individual therapy to deal with my own issues. This is something I want badly, but I just don't have the money or insurance to pay for counseling. I know my family will dissolve without this therapy. I have very serious codependency issues and have been suicidal on and off for most of my life. I post here and at another website, and have a sponsor for the codependency, but it isn't the same as working with a therapist. I just don't know where to turn for this therapy that could make or break my family. Can anyone tell me about resources that I don't know about, considering my financial situation?

January 4, 2006
1:29 pm
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jastypes
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There are some churches that offer counseling -- and often when they don't, they can recommend one that does. While there is sometimes a nominal fee, I've found that they are almost always willing to forego the fee when there is a real need.

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