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Reaction of Others


goose
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I believe that the reaction of those around me to my increased assertiveness and confidence is a mix of confusion and maybe fear.

Some people are aware that I am attending therapy others are not. Some of those who know have commented on how I have changed in a positive way, and I think others are just puzzled.

I am not fully comfortable with the new me, and sometimes back-peddle and feel guilty.

Certainly my relationship with my husband is changing, I'm not sure if he is happy or resents this or not.

Goose

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Hi Goose,

Congratulations on your growth!!! I'm not sure there's anything we can tell you that your therapist isn't already saying. I would recommend one thing tho, given your comment about your husband. Take him to a session so that the therapist can let him know what changes to expect, to help him to adjust much easier to your growth, and for him to learn about various ways he can be supportive so you can continue on your growth. I've seen spouses (not suggesting this is the case here) sabotage the others' growth if they felt left behind or the changes made demands on their time, energy, effort, etc. You may no longer be the woman he knows or married. Just a thot.

Again.... bien echo (well done!)

Edited by David O
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Goose and DavidO

I have just started back Therapist after a 4mnth vacation and yes it does change you, for the better.

Certainly my relationship with my husband is changing, I'm not sure if he is happy or resents this or not.

Why don't you ask your husband what he feel like? As David suggest, ask him to go with you to one of these sessions?

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I would not like to bring my husband to one of my sessions. I feel it is one of the very few places that is purely mine.

In the past, each time I have tried to get better my husband reacts by becoming needy, so I have had to abandon my own needs. I know if he came to one of my sessions his focus would be purely on himself and I would resent that.

If it comes out of therapy that we may need couples counselling I will certainly consider that.

Goose

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Goose, it sounds like both of you have some resentments built up. That sounds like something you could address in couple therapy. The tricky thing about couple is that both people have to want it. My own history with it is dismal, but my situation is undoubtedly different from yours. Everybody has needs, and if you love each other, there's a good chance each of you can get the other to say what those are, which is a crucial first step. It's a fairly common misconception that "if you loved me, you'd already know what I need."

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It's a fairly common misconception that "if you loved me, you'd already know what I need."

Yes Malign I am guilty of this. I quietly seethe when I don't get the reaction I want from my husband. Like he should be able to read my mind.

It is a new concept for me to let people know how I am feeling and what my needs are, not only with my husband but with others too.

Couples therapy is something I am a bit afraid of, maybe there a things there that I don't want to face.

Goose

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Hi Goose,

I have 3 quick thoughts- I wasn't suggesting that your husband go to therapy with you as much as that he should sit in for the first 15-20 minutes (1 time) while the therapist explains what changes he should expect/will be seeing in you, what he can do to be supportive and what not to do. I get an agreement >90% of the time from the husband that he will be supportive and help his wife. I do this frequently and then the husband is dismissed.

Secondly, I'm not a great fan of couples therapy. I've found, as have many who have been in the field for decades, that couples coaching is frequently (not always) far superior. Couples therapy tends to dig up hurts and past damage, unearthing details of what went wrong where and when, and how each person has been deeply wounded. Couples coaching looks at what the couple wants the relationship to be like in an ideal way, it's goal oriented and forward looking, and then works backwards to get them there thru various exercises and lots of homework. Dredging up, knowing and understanding the cause of the pain and the breaking of the marital bond is rarely required to solve a problem, In fact, too frequently the solution has little direct connection to the problem. For example, I had a couple come in awhile back in which the husband was having huge raging tantrums and was destroying the house with his fists and head, screaming at his wife and cursing up a storm. The solution was simple-- increase sleep from 3-4 hours per night (he was up all night watching videos and playing video games and then spent the day irritable, angry and edgy) to 8. After 1 month on this plan, there were no more tantrums, he was able to get a job and has kept it longer than he has his previous 7. 3 booster sessions followed and then therapy ended. It took us 5 sessions to get here, but we approached it from the opposite direction and worked away fro past pains, hurts and damage. 1 year later, we saw a decrease in the frequency, duration and severity of his rages by >90%. This approach doesn't work 100% of the time, but is effective >75% of the time.

Finally (I think this was supposed to be short), if one partner is in therapy and makes changes, the other partner, should they stay in the relationship, usually will make adjustments. You can't control how he reacts to you or how your children behave; however, if you change, generally the family follows since the homeostasis has been unsettled. This has it's hurdles, but is doable if one is very consistent.

I hope this helps.

Edited by David O
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