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DH and I are going to couples counseling Thursday

bedazzled's picture

So we are going to a couselor that DH found through the church. I am very nervous. We have been to couples counseling before. It was not a good experience. Couselor said that if I had a problem with Skids that is my problem not DH’s. That I need to deal with it. He said DH should not be put in the middle. He totally blew off anything about me being abused and bullied for 15 years. He totally gave DH a free pass and said that DH should do what ever he wanted with his kids and if I didn’t like it I should learn to suck it up. 

He gave DH a free pass to gaslight me and put the blame totally on my shoulders with DH or Skids not accountable for anything. 

I went though hell. I finally am sticking up for myself. I I talked to a couselor on my own. He said That I have been psychologically abused and bullied for 15 years. It was not my imagination like the other counselor tried to make it. 

I have picked myself off the ground. The book healing from hidden abuse felt like it was written about my life  in stephood hell. Finally there was a  Name for what had been done to me. Finally I could see that I have been suffering as a victim of abuse. The book totally explained exactly what my feeling were. That it is normal feeling when you have been abused. I now know that I was abused very badly. 

I am scared that this will just be another couselor that puts the blame on the abused. That I should have never expected the skids to accept me. That they were a happy little unit with DH before I came along and they came first so I should be fine with being a priority below them. Once again having to defend myself for being abused. Once again for being made to feel sick and weak for being abused. That trying to break up our marriage is the Skids jobs. So it is all OK. Justifying abuse and abusers. 

Dh’s goal Is to fix it so I am OK with it. That they aren’t going to stop so I have to just get to the point that I can except that. They will always try to break up my marriage. 

How do you become OK with something that doesn’t stop? They haven’t stopped trying to break up our marriage, they have increased their efforts. SD has ramped up her games. How do you heal from abuse when it doesn’t stop?  

sandye21's picture

Was the last couples counselor chosen by your DH?  If so, tell DH it is your turn to pick the marriage counselor and do it.  After all, if your DH is dedicated to fixing the marriage, he won't have any problem going to a counselor that you select.  It appears DH is trying to bully you by hand-picking counselors so you are accepting stephell and suffering.  Don't do it.  Refuse to go to another counselor DH has picked unless you know who this counselor is and their views on blended families.

One good thing is your present counselor supports you - keep going to him while you are going to marriage counseling so you can say YOUR counselor believes you are being abused and you agree with him.

notarelative's picture

we are going to a couselor that DH found through the church

This stood out to me. Could be fine or your apprehension could be justified. Is it someone who another member of the congregation went to and found useful or is it someone who does "church" couples counseling following biblical scripture? If it's the later, I'd be worried aboout the counselor being the same as the first one you went to. If the counselor starts quoting bible verses, jump up and leave.

bedazzled's picture

Should your first session be you asking them questions about if they specialize in abusive situations? I want a couselor that understands abuse. I feel like that not all blended family couselors would be able to deal with situations that turn into full blown psychological abuse. 

I think it is past the point of trying to blend the family. There really is no family to blend.I think it is now a case of trying to save a marriage that has been the breeding grounds for psychological abuse. How to get both spouses on the same page of protecting the marriage. That has to be the number one goal. 

It is way way to late to ever expect a blended family.  You cannot blend with toxic evil. They don’t blend they consume. 


Rags's picture

Nope. No church counselors. They have an agenda and likely are synched with the church clergy and possibly any number of church members.  They are great at spiritual guidance but in my eyes they are suspect as counselors and therapists in non spiritual matters.  An abusive husband is far from a spiritual issue.

Pick one at random out the yellow pages rather than go with the one your DH picked through the church.

I lucked out with the one I picked out of the yellow pages when my XW and I were progressing through the demise of our marriage.  Doc M. was great.  She was no BS, affordable (she completed her Ph D while she was our therapist) and she helped create the boindaries that ultimately ran my adulterous XW off and helped me to reconnect with the man I like being.  As Doc put it. "You are a completely different person than the defeated man who walked in my office 9 months ago. I never would have believed that you are this confident, energetic and happy man with a child like zest for life. You are welcome to continue with our sessions but you don't need them or me any more. Go live your life. You are fine........"

Therapists work for you. If they do not deliver what you demand and need, fire them and find one that will.

Harry's picture

Of a church counselor?  Did he go to college for that ? Has a PHD ?  Or he attends church every day ?  Tell DH you want a a real counselor. Some one who does this for a living ? Who has some track record 

tog redux's picture

Find a real therapist who says he/she has understanding and experience of stepfamilies (not "blended" families, that's just a nice-nice term for what often is not blended at all).

As a therapist I personally hated when people called me and asked questions ahead of time (can't bill for that), but you can certainly spend the first session sussing out what they know about these type of situations).


ldvilen's picture

Your story resonates with what I just wrote for someone else on another post: Be leery of so-called professionals and esp. clergy, who seem to think that all women even in the year 2019 are supposed to be submissive to their man, no matter what. 

Don't let anyone try to tell you you are wrong for not catering to your SKs.  If you think your marriage is worth saving, then disengage.  There is an entire forum section dedicated to disengaging on this blog site.

As you found out the hard way, unfortunately, since SMs have such little support system, they make wonderful scapegoats and targets, and it is truly a shame that so many in our society have no problem jumping on this bandwagon out of sheer convenience vs. what is right or wrong, fact or lie.  They'd much rather beat SM into submission and make her literally sacrifice herself for THEIR family, than to have to take any responsibility themselves for how they messed up. 

Be careful and DISENGAGE from the madness, feelings of pain and hurt, and all of that junk that comes along with being little-miss-family-scapegoat.

You’re not obligated to take on thankless servitude just because you married your stepkids’ biological parent. You have the right to see your efforts appreciated.”

Merry's picture

Ask YOUR therapist for a recommendation for a couples counselor. Your therapist knows your situation and will be best able to match your needs with a counselors skills and approach.