I've been asked not to write about personal stuff many times.  It's been explained to me that what happens in my life or anyone else's in my life is none of your business and that well, you don't give a hoot anyways.  So I've been told. 

So I'm going to try to work around that here and try to respect the requests that have been made but I think I'm learning some important things that need to be shared and aired. 

Last Monday I went to a counseling session.  It was not my counselor.  It was someone else's.  I don't know anything about their credentials but in my prolonged attempts to recover and consultations with my own battery of counselors it's become painfully obvious: Going to see someone else's counselor in the way of getting third-party marriage counseling is a lose-win proposition going in and the odds get worse as the hour passes. 

It was my hope that perhaps I could shed some light on the matters at hand.  I did so.  But the counselor oft said in the hour, "I don't really buy what he's selling either."   She might as well let the other person call me a liar.  Well, she did that, too.  Sure, at one point there was a little, "Well, other person, what could you have done differently?"  Since I'm to blame for all the problems of the world, no clear alternatives were really discussed.  It was all my fault.

So for men or women out there who are seeking marriage counseling, I strongly, strongly suggest you never put yourself in a situation where you go to the resident counselor of someone else.  If you're going through a divorce situation, it puts you in a horrible position. 

For instance, think about the counselor who is bringing in say $100 an hour from their established client.  What happens if they tell their established client, "You know, he may have a point there!"  Uh, how about this answer: The established client says "You're supposed to be on my side."  And then at the end of the session, pays and never returns.  The counselor now has lost a client and business is business.   It's a HUGE conflict.  

And then what of the poor soul who ventures into the session hoping to shed some extra light on the situation so the counselor can get both sides of the story?  They spend the rest of the week reeling because they got stiffed and can't believe it. 

Counselors are supposed to work within a code of ethics.  Maybe some of you real counselors out there can weigh in on this, but one the counselors I've been seeing cut themselves voluntarily this week for the time being for a very simple reason: For my own benefit, they don't want to be hearing the same set of concerns and offering conflicting advice.  How about that?  

Marriage counseling should be done with a neutral party that has no history with either person.  I went through hell this week as a result of not doing this.  I went in thinking I had nothing to lose and all I heard was validation for the other person and condemnation of me, and while as a human being I am not perfect and share a portion of blame for what's gone wrong, it's not nearly as disproportional as I left burdened with Monday afternoon. 

Please if you're even considering such, man or woman, DO NOT DO AS I HAVE DONE.   It really hasn't been worth it and it's really, really been a crappy week.

  1. kimmy

    If her counselor really said that… I have to say.. What kind of counselor WAS that?
    Marriage is a relationship .. not a fault-finding mission.
    And if you (or I) might be deeply flawed in such a session.. wouldn’t healing be better?
    I don’t know all the details but… BOO… for you both and the kids involved.
    Unless you were cheating or beating.. I think therapy should have been good.

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