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Nervous about Counseling

Gelly

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Our first 'family counseling' or couples counseling appointment is in a few hours. For some reason I am all nerves about it. Here is my problem: over the past week or 2 we haven't really fought a whole lot.. Actually most all of the new year has been pretty smooth sailing. So when the counselor asks me what our problem is, I'm afraid I won't be able to name something. Does anyone know what I mean? When we are angry and arguing, I can easily find a list of 100 things he does 'wrong' or situations that cause us to fight or things we don't agree on. But when things going pretty good, my mind is just drawing a blank. I feel like the lady is going to look at us crazy and say we have nothing to fix and send us away!

Well, the plus side is that both DH and I are looking forward to this and neither of us are associating going to counseling with bad thoughts. I thought DH might be unreceptive to the idea but he's been willing so that is surely a good start.

 

 

I also wanted to track in my blog what my 12/31/15 goals were, because I forgot them already (kind of) and had to hunt through 7 pages to find my original post ;)

 

1. Pay off the debt ($5219 debt - $387 paid to date = 7% complete)

According to debt snowball worksheet using a low estimate on snowball amount, we can be paid off by June. But with taxes and bonus, I am aiming for payoff by APRIL 30, 2015.

2. Fund a comfortably padded FFEF ($3270 x 3mos = $9810; 0% complete)

I really hope we can get this funded before the trip. If we buckle down and continue being gazelle like we are right now, we will be on a good road to a FFEF this summer. Might have to look at how we can make #3 the most inexpensive trip possible.

3. Fund a weeklong east coast trip to visit family and friends in Fall 2015. ($2000; 0% complete)

$2k estimate based on quick search of airline ticket & rental car quotes online, adding $500 for spending/food. Would be flying to D.C., driving an economy vehicle from D.C. to Florida, staying with friends/family along the way, and flying back from Pensacola when we are finished.

 

 

Now that I have those down I am really looking forward to taxes this year. Just waiting for a lot of the pesky forms to come in: W2's and the 401k account ones..



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I am sure your counselor is not going to look at you strangely, and I am just as sure you are not going to be the first couple to head in there with nothing negative on the tip of your tongue. As this is her profession, I imagine she will know just how to tease out of you both what the issue or issues might be. If she can't, then she isn't worth her salt and you should find someone else.

 

Best of luck to you both!

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We started going to a counselor the beginning of Nov. Married 14 years, together 17, no real fights, just trying to improve communication/renegotiate roles. I don't think a counselor is going to think you are weird, part of their job is to help clarify issues. We are finishing up with our counselor now and have definitely improved communication/expectations. Good luck!

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Gelly - I'm involved with someone who has shared that a past partner of his fought with a "file drawer" mentality -- he has said that when they fought, it was like she opened a file drawer and starting pulling out files.  Your comment "when we are angry and arguing, I can easily find a list of 100 things he does 'wrong' or situations that cause us to fight or things we don't agree on" made me think of "file drawer" mentality.    Your counseling session today isn't going to "fix" whatever you're working on -- it's an ongoing process.  Overtime, the counselor will be able to help you draw out issues in your relationship and you'll be able to work on them.    If you are fighting about the same things over and over, the fight isn't about what you're fighting about -- you need to find the root cause of the issue and fix that. 

 

Counseling, especially as early in your marriage as it is, does not have a negative overtone.  If things move along the path that I suspect they will with the man I'm involved with - I've already said that that I want us to find a counselor from the get go.  We are both older (and are in different places financially), he has children from previous relationships, I have never been a parent, nor married , but we've been best friends for over 10 years. We both know that we'd be going into marriage with some challenges and sometimes knowing that there is a place where we can possibly get some help in overcoming those challenges with someone who can help us see all sides of situations, we know that we'll be better off.  Just a way to keep a pulse on our relationship. 

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If you mention that you are there to work on communication, the counselor will likely ask questions that will draw things out. You don't necessarily have to have "a list of items to fix". 

 

I'm excited to hear how it goes! :)

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I about threw up before our first counseling session. Luckily the Dr was very kind and asked all the right questions to get me talking. I did do quite a bit of crying but that was expected.

 

Good luck!

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If Dh and I ever end up in counseling I would have the opposite problem. I would come with a sign that said "His mother is the problem", they wouldn't even have to ask me.

 

But of course we are hoping to deal with it ourselves, we don't even want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she causes problems, because that's what she wants. To drive me off.

 

Anyway, good luck and I'm sure it will be fine! They know what to ask!

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Miranova, our therapist flat out told dh that his mother was the problem. I about fell over. Apparently her abandoning him when he was a preteen is the source of his screwed up coping mechanisms. I could have told DH that but it really helped that our male Dr told him ;)

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Female counselor, in her late 40's or early 50's.. and I vaguely recall her face from the church my mom and I went to growing up. I'll have to ask mom, but I bet she will know who our counselor is :)

Session #1 was pretty heavy on figuring out roles in our family, how we met, our childhood. She did draw a lot of things out of us. DH and I were in a really good mood so she was able to see the humorous, happy side of us. I wasn't nervous for long. I don't think I learned anything new about DH particularly, but I was able to kind of connect childhood events with triggers in our lives today. She told DH something I was kind of glad to hear her say- that him closing himself off from my family functions (something I brought up as bothering me) due to anxiety, is a problem he can and should fix because he will only wind up closing himself off more, and more, and more until he is stuck in a sad/dark place. And they also didn't shame me for telling them I felt he used his mental illness as a 'cop out' to get out of doing things. We have a homework assignment of writing down fight triggers (without mentioning them to the other) for next week.

 

We definitely can't wait to be back. We both liked her. When we are done with our initial 3 group sessions I think DH is going to be going in for just himself. He hasn't had a counselor in 5 or 6 years and ours even voiced that he would benefit from it, not necessarily having to be with her but any other counselor.

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Hi Gelly,   I have been very open and honest about the issues my DH and I had in the past year and really our entire 29 year marriage.  The biggest being infidelity on his part.  We thought about marriage counselling, but decided that individual counselling was best for both of us as we could only afford one or the other and we both have family related issues that cause us great problems with communication.  

 

Having said that, our counsellors are both great and have helped us greatly over the last 6 or so months.  They know we cannot afford the joint therapy so they both give us things to work on as a couple.  We have a totally new marriage and I really feel like I have been reborn with a different perspective on myself and our marriage.  

 

Please let the therapist do their job as they are trained on how to pull information out of you and can analyse what it really means and will get to the root of the problem.  I have learned I have low self esteem, poor body image and I am an enabler.  I have had a big wake up call and if you do the hard self examination hopefully it will work for you too.

 

Best wishes!

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Sounds awesome!!  There will be high and low points (or long periods) as you go through counseling, but if you have the "right" counselor (which is different for different people), it can make a HUGE difference in your life and in your marraige.

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