Well, I just finished my post a mere few thousand words and then stupidly closed the browser. Now I don’t really want to spend the time to write it again. So I guess we can see if a picture is worth a thousand words.
I was writing about me possibly going back to counseling but I really don’t think I would get anything out of it. Who wants to relive their childhood and my self-worth and self-esteem don’t really seem that important compared to my wife’s right now.
I was also writing about how I don’t think I can heal until I get my wife well on her own path of life that will make her happy. I have drug her along my path long enough. She needs to be happy. My path ended a while ago and I am in no position to blaze a new trail. So instead I will help her down her path and be there when she needs me. There was a bunch of other self-loathing gibberish but really I don’t feel worth the effort. I need to spend my energy wisely and right now that is on her.
I want to be this for her. I need to be this for her. I need to be this for us. I know she is for me even though I don’t deserve it.
I know I bluntly questioned you last week, so this might seem contradictory, but I will say emphatically that the time and effort for YOU to be in counselling DOES help your wife down her path. Helping you cope with your past and your present helped her tremendously. She didn’t stay with you because she wants you to be mournful and self-abashed the rest of your life, that is only supposed to last for a season. But your roads are forever intertwined and when you realize that you will see that your happiness is directly linked with hers…you help her by helping yourself. Granted, she needs to time and attention and being devoted and doted on…she deserves being whisked off her feet, romanced, ravaged, surprised, blown away and spoiled like no tomorrow…but when you view your journeys as something to be travelled together, you will never diverge your paths again…and that is kind of the point. 😉
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But I guess the question is do I “need” to do that to help myself? Why do I need to go through all that again? It would be like reliving it a second time. Why can’t I do all the things you list without counseling. Doing those things for my wife would make me very happy, especially if I knew she truly enjoyed them and was happy. Maybe I am just frustrated by myself, I don’t know.
And I love bluntness as I usually try and skirt the edges and so if you are blunt, there is no hiding.
Lol…it’s easy to be blunt online when you can’t see their expressions…lol. But in answer to your question, yes sometimes you DO need to do that. In the instance of my husband, he needed it to take care of his own demons. There were reasons he did what he did, things that he didn’t know how to acknowledge without the help of an impartial contributor–someone who was trained to identify it and help him sort through it–it helped to heal him. You are the only one who can know for sure, but counselling rarely hurts anyone in the long run and so really all you have to lose is perhaps some time, money and a little pride…but the benefits could definitely outweigh the cost. Or you could seek couples counselling. Our marriage mentor once told us that if one of us is broken, we are both broken, and it will take both of us to work at repairing it. And sometimes a counsellor can help you or your wife verbalized things that perhaps in the past you or she haven’t been able to articulate. It’s a safe environment and and opportunity to explore some things that you might never have considered.
Bottom line…if it will help in ensuring you never have to go through this again, I say it’s worth the investment. I mean, that is the goal right? Even alcoholics and drug addicts go through periods where they think they will never fall again…but even they need third-party help to stay accountable and to work out the “stuff”…we may feel like he
Sometimes, but no man is an island…we do not stand alone and we all need help sometimes…and I do truly think it could help.
You want to be the man she deserves? Do it. Make the choice. If that means going to counseling to sort out your shit, then do it. I applaud you wanting to put her needs above your own. Its like an airplane though, put your mask on before helping others. If you aren’t healthy and whole, you will never be able to be there for her in the way she needs you. If you aren’t happy and love yourself, you can never truly love her nor can you allow her to love you completely. Its tough working on yourself, worrying about someone else and trying to repair the damage of an affair. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Get busy in making yourself healthy (for you, your wife and your kids). Nobody knows if counseling will help you and if you “need” it. But ask yourself this, how is what you are currently doing working out for you? I don’t mean any of these comments in a shitty way, so I hope they aren’t taken as such.
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As both a betrayed spouse and a counselor I completely agree with this line, “If that means going to counseling to sort out your shit, then do it.” Do it for you so that you can heal and gain the tools and coping skills you need to be the man you want to be. Do it for her so that she can see the effort you are making to change, be better, and reflect on the past mistakes and make a plan to not engage in those types of mistakes again. Your wife isn’t going to heal until she starts seeing some healing in you. Healing is not a two way street, it is a two-lane one-way street that you are both traveling together.
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You absolutely can blaze a new path. But this one can be hand in hand, not in front or behind each other.
I know for me it was a real game changer when husband found the place he needed to start to heal. Until then it was so hard for me because I knew there was something missing but I could not put my finger on it. Our whole dynamic changed 15 months in when he started to consider addiction. He knew right away it was the place he needed to be in to look deeper into his choices. Three professional therapists had told him he was not a sex addict and maybe he even isn’t but the meetings he attends and the work he is doing is giving him a guide to healing and that is what it is all about in the end. He needs to feel better about his choices in life and if I see him doing the work then my healing is happening as well.
Good luck xxxxx
We are only as sick as our secrets. Face yours and help heal you both.
Do what you think is right Bac. For you and your wife. Only you know your situation. I see counselling is a popular choice here, but not all couples go through counselling and can still be successful. The idea that our childhood makes us who we are is one school of thought. But again, there are many factors that make us act the way we do, nor does one act define our entire history and behaviour. And you HAVE gone to counselling already…
You posts has illustrated a difficult childhood for you. But you have come a long way in terms of reflecting and understanding how this has affected you. I think the main thing is what you need to do to move forward to help yourself and your wife. If you feel counselling can give you the tools to do that, then go for it.
I think you just need to be cognizant of what counselling can offer you, and whether you need it or not (or if your wife wants you to pursue it). And your reluctance to go – is it due to fear, or because you feel it might not be helpful. Just think about what you hope to achieve through counselling.
I read an interesting post the other day about a man who cheated on his wife. He found that as unfair as it may be, his healing came not through himself, but through the healing of his wife. Not only did he transfer the pain and burden onto her, but also the burden for her to heal in order for himself to heal… While it’s unfair, I think that’s what love and relationships are… they’re not always fair, but its 2 people willing to fight for each other to make it work. Your wife is fighting for you. Keep fighting as well Bac, and don’t let yourself be your worst enemy.