Friday the 13th! I'm not really superstitious but I forgot about this being the 13th until I saw it mentioned on TV this morning. I guess there is really not much left that can scare me. Except maybe therapists.
I am a big proponent of going to therapy. I think the right therapist will help you sort through your emotions and lead you to make good decisions for yourself. But there are therapists and then there are therapists. You have to decide who is right for you and your situation. If you are considering therapy don't be afraid to interview more than one person. It will make a crucial difference in the outcome. And above all DO NOT go for marriage counseling with the same therapist that has been seeing your husband individually. I don't care how unbiased they claim to be they already have an opinion of you just through talking to your spouse.
When my ex started therapy three years ago ( after the " I knew it would hurt you " comment) he went to a woman therapist (naturally) in New Haven. After several sessions he asked me to accompany him. He told me, "Barbara has some trust building exercises for us to try. I think it will be good for us." Her office was in a building on Church Street that had a guard at the entrance. We had to tell her where we were going. Why? I felt like I had a scarlet letter on my chest. What happened to HIPPA?
Anyway, after that I sat in the office for 50 minutes and listened to Dave talk about everything that was wrong with me and our marriage. And I did that for every visit. Thirty years of things I didn't even remember half the time. When I tried to talk about my mother's recent death Barbara said, "We're talking about the past now." Session after session I sat there and watched my husband with that "poor me" expression on his face. I heard about every indiscretion I had ever made. From big things like " You didn't say you loved me" to ridiculous things like " I didn't like the wallpaper you picked for the hall." There were no trust building exercises. At the end of each battering session Barbara would say "Play nice!" I didn't need to spend $300 a session for that advice. She told Dave that I did not seem interested in saving our marriage. I wonder how she knew that since I was never really allowed to express my feelings.
Last year we found another female therapist to see. Actually Dave found her. He was already making plans to leave so I wonder now as to the reason. I'm sure he was just hedging his bets. If the Big W didn't leave her partner I guess being with me was better than being alone. But this person actually had some positive suggestions for us. Things that I thought were helping. I felt confident we would weather this together. But I didn't know the level of the deception that was occurring behind my back.
I am still seeing the same therapist we went to as a couple. It helps put things in perspective and keeps me on track. I urge anyone who may be going through something like this to do the same. Find someone you trust. And don't hesitate to shop around.