A Divorce Busting® Coach can help you save your marriage, even when your spouse wants out.


Save your marriage singlehandedly
with Divorce Busting Telephone Coaching
SPECIAL JANUARY OFFER -- SAVE $60
THREE DIVORCE BUSTING TELEPHONE COACHING SESSION FOR ONLY $330

CALL 303-444-7004 or use code: SAVE_$60 in the Divorce Busting Store

A Message from Michele
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75937
12/04/01 01:53 AM
12/04/01 01:53 AM
Joined: Jan 1999
Posts: 3,315
Boulder, Colorado USA
Michele Offline OP
Member
Michele  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Jan 1999
Posts: 3,315
Boulder, Colorado USA
Habibi
Member
Member # 3313
posted October 30, 2001 08:32 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michele,
I thought this was a very interesting question and figured you were the best bet for explaining what the proper handling would be... can you help...Thank you... Habibi
Posted by Project Me
Member
Member # 3931
posted October 30, 2001 07:52 AM
My wife and I have each had a couple of individual sessions. But the last 3 or 4 have
been joint. Since they were designed to improve the relationship, W did not cooperate
at all. I have a session tonight a 7:00 PM, and I'm scared as hell. I got about 3 hours
of sleep last night.

QUESTION: Do you DB during the session? You can't avoid talking about OR. It's hard to ACT AS IF while you're delving into feelings, etc. I don't see how you can continue to DB while you're doing counseling!!! And if you don't do it in the session, doesn't it look inconsistent when you return to it as you leave??? This part is really confusing me.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Australian
Member
Member # 2716
posted October 30, 2001 09:56 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seems to me if your in a thereapists office and your delving into "feelings" (linked to cold coals that conveniently provide you and the so called therapist with the "excuse" to rake them over....thus making it appear that you are "doing something") your money and time would be better spent elsewhere..like getting some real help from a SB Therapist....the "why the wherefores and whens" mean nothing in comparision to the "WHAT are you going to do about it now!"
MICK
[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: Australian ]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

gd1
Member
Member # 3554
posted October 30, 2001 10:21 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Listen to the Aussie!
Traditional therapists waste time and marriages talking about how you are FEELING and were FEELING, bringing up the past hurts. If you are lucky enough to be in counseling, make sure the counseling is helping you to GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE in your marriage. So, what were you giving each other when it was good? You were being nice weren't you? You were overlooking the small thoughtless hurts and giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Ask your therapist if you can set a goal of one thing that you would like to do between sessions to engender good feelings from and to your spouse. Maybe you can set a goal to LISTEN and offer your shoulder instead of a lecture. Or maybe you can stop complaining for a whole week and just say positive things. Get it? Do something active and positive as opposed to talking about what happened to make it bad. Read the book, maybe ask your therapist if he will read it and perhaps try some of the methods. Or write Michelle and ask for an SBT in your area. Good luck, gd1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

ProjectME
Member
Member # 3931
posted October 30, 2001 04:38 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for your help Habibi!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Michele
Administrator
Member # 450
posted November 02, 2001 12:10 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A good question, indeed and here's the answer. I do a great deal of training for marriage therapists. I teach them that it is a cardinal sin to continue to see 2 people who have divergent goals for their marriage conjointly precisely for the reasons you're suggesting. Let me explain.
If the therapist sees both spouses together and they disagree about the future of their marriage, over time their disagreements and differences will become even greater. Here's why. When therapy begins, the therapist wants to know what the goal is. Person A states s/he wants to stay married and offers reasons for this position. Person B, hearing this, feels the need to let the therapist know about his or her ambivalence about the marriage and offers a somewhat negative view of things. When Person A hears this perspective, s/he counters by sharing positive memories or thoughts about the marriage, which triggers person B to dredge up even more pessimistic thoughts and feelings. By the end of the session, or several sessions, things escalate to the point of the couple being completely polarized, even more so than when they started!

There's a better way. I see spouses separately. This way, I can help the pro-marriage person strategize about a better, more effective way to try to turn things around IN THE ABSENCE OF THE OTHER SPOUSE. I can give the reluctant partner time to voice concerns or negative feelings about the marriage and make sure this spouse feels heard and understood. Once people truly feel understood, they often give themselves permission to look at things with more of an open mind. Reluctant spouses when seen alone often tell me, "Well, things aren't that bad, but I didn't want to say this before in his/her presence because I didn't want him/her to get his/her hopes up."

But the fact of the matter is that once the words have been uttered- "Things aren't that bad," the dye is cast. It's a good thing. I thank this spouse for his/her honesty and send the person home focusing on some individually-oriented goal. We work toward saving the marriage slowly and subtly.

The long and the short of it is that you can't talk "honestly" about your feelings in therapy if your spouse has half a foot out the door. It doesn't work.

Another option is that the DBing spouse continues for therapy alone, not for "saving the marriage" but under the guise of working on personal goals. Then, of course, working on the marriage singlehandedly becomes the goal.

Hope that helps.
Michele


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Habibi
Member
Member # 3313
posted November 02, 2001 02:41 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michele,
Thank you very much!!! Further proof - you are the BOMB!! An intellegent answer in plain english..... Gotta love your style.
[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: Habibi ]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

ProjectME
Member
Member # 3931
posted November 02, 2001 04:55 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And thanks to you, Habibi, for getting me that answer. Since our C is a friend, I'm not sure how, but I think I need to find out if W has an interest in R. If not, I'll push for separate sessions.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

hey_chrisw
Member
Member # 3890
posted November 02, 2001 06:22 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So how do I explain I no longer what to go to the therapist that is focusing on the old pains? We've been going for about 2 Months and every time she comes out more ready to leave. We've talked about it, and she acknowledges that fact. I have an appointment w/ Michelles partner tomorrow (yea me!) and she knows about it, I asked her if she wanted to join me, and she said that she wanted to know more about the "system". Up untill now I've backed off answering her, and she's not asked again. We agreed to cancel our next appointment w/ the former therapist untill we could reschedule, but I'm not sure where she stands on the subject, and not sure I want to bring it up.
Still confused by the physicobable.

Chris


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

timesRchanging
Member
Member # 3697
posted November 02, 2001 07:19 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michele & others,
How do you find a SBT C? I am seeing my second C (H won't go) but haven't been able to locate an SBT counselor. I am in PA, an hour North of Philly, close to NJ border.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

hey_chrisw
Member
Member # 3890
posted November 03, 2001 05:22 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't remember exactly where, but somewhere on the front page of this site there is a list of people that practice these techniques. I appoligize I don't have time to look up the page now, but if you can't find it, let me know, I'll go looking for you. There's also the possibility of phone consultations. That link I know is on the home page. I've been to one session w/ Michelle's partner, and was very happy with it (I live close enough to Illinois to drive for the day).
Good luck and let me know if you still need more info.

Chris


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

ProjectME
Member
Member # 3931
posted November 03, 2001 05:29 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Times:
I found a link to E-mail them, and they e-mailed me back -- the closest SBT to me was about 3 hours each way!
Chris:
The critical question is: What is your wife's expectation of the therapy. For me, the only reason she agreed to go is because she's a minister and has to appear to be reasonable, and because she thought it would make it easier to D and still be friends so that our 4 kids would have an easier time. The C has not worked at all. I think in my case I'm going to ask C to see us individually. Michelle's answer above made a lot of sense to me -- can't see how we can counsel together when we have different goals (I want to RESTORE my marriage -- she just wants out cleanly.)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Australian
Member
Member # 2716
posted November 03, 2001 10:10 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If your sitting in a theapists office and all your talking about is "the pain" and your "feelings" then the pain and the feelings will be your focus...nothing else, and when you leave the office it is'nt with a sense of "Gee that was good,now we know where we need to go from here and how to get there"..but one of doom and gloom,not much hope of things being different....and this is why the old style of marital therapy fails to help marriages,they offer little hope to the distressed couple thats things can be different.
MICK
[ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Australian ]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

darmar
Member
Member # 3712
posted November 03, 2001 10:41 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is one. How do you get WAW to go in the first place? She has seen my alcohol guy a couple of times but mostly for her own sanity from the disease. He told me the next session, "Well I think she made her decision"...What the flip is that?????? Do I get her to go under another guise. If so what. ?Old sage Aussie???
DARMAR
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

doer42
Member
Member # 3642
posted November 04, 2001 01:24 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Darmar,
I may not be the best person to answer this, but the way I see it, is you can't force them to go if they don't want too. You can only control what you want to do. If they are trying to convince themselves that the marriage is over, by going to C, they are admitting in a way that there is a chance, which is in direct conflict with the way they are currently feeling. Given time, they will become less confused and C might be an option. But asking your W to go will only drive her farther away..trust me..I have tried...maybe Mick can put it more eloquently...good luck
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Wintergirl
Member
Member # 2515
posted November 04, 2001 03:21 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wow, that's what happened to my H and I...we became polarized. H was labelled ambilivant, I was the 'save the marriage person' and the MC sessions went no where but downhill. We stopped seeing the MC after 3 or 4 meetings (her suggestion) and met with different individual therapists (her suggestion). It would have been much better meeting with the same therapist though, but individually, like Michele does.
Great question Habibi...reading Michele's response was a eureka moment for me!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Iambill
Member
Member # 4012
posted December 03, 2001 04:58 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
^ nice topic.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Wintergirl
Member
Member # 2515
posted December 03, 2001 06:01 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michele's reply is a must read. I hope those DBers whose spouses don't share the goal of saving the marriage, reads her response.
Having one counselor meet separately is a great idea. Our MC refused to do this tho...saying one might feel favored over the other. My H has since quit seeing his therapist and I have no clue if he was offered solutions or not. H did say the therapist helped him realize that it's not necessarily better staying married for the sake of the kids.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

shaken not stirred
Member
Member # 4166
posted December 03, 2001 06:31 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Habibi, great question. Michelle great answer.
Project Me, I am a bit concerned that you say your C is a friend. Seems to me that whatever way you look at it that must muddy the waters. I'm frankly surprised that a proffesional C would consent to such an arrangement. Well, thatt's just my two bits worth of course.

SNS


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

BluesBoy
Member
Member # 3648
posted December 03, 2001 06:47 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Michele:

If the therapist sees both spouses together and they disagree about the future of their marriage, over time their disagreements and differences will become even greater. Here's why. When therapy begins, the therapist wants to know what the goal is. Person A states s/he wants to stay married and offers reasons for this position. Person B, hearing this, feels the need to let the therapist know about his or her ambivalence about the marriage and offers a somewhat negative view of things. When Person A hears this perspective, s/he counters by sharing positive memories or thoughts about the marriage, which triggers person B to dredge up even more pessimistic thoughts and feelings. By the end of the session, or several sessions, things escalate to the point of the couple being completely polarized, even more so than when they started!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am thinking of a way that I can use this information in my next C session in 2 days.

Wife and I have gone to 4 previous sessions with no real movement from the original - I want to work on marriage - She wants to make it easier for me. We haven't polarized our positions, but we ain't getting any closer either. Each session usually begins with a restatement of these positions.

But, what if I begin session by stating I am perfectly comfortable the way we are (or something to that effect) and see if that gets any response from her. If my comments that I want to work on the marriage gets a response from my wife that she doesn't, would a 180 from me cause my wife to rethink her usual response?

BB


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Australian
Member
Member # 2716
posted December 03, 2001 06:55 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi BluesBoy
Yeah why not, it's something different to what you have been doing(and staying "stuck") and dont forget your in the C's office not the divorce court.A divorce wont be granted that day. Lose a minor battle now(on the face of it...although really it's a tactical retreat) to win a bigger battle later on. What you resist persists.
MICK
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP: Logged

Michele
Administrator
Member # 450
posted December 03, 2001 08:50 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bluesboy,
I really like the fact that you are thinking of ways to use the information you read here. That's what being solution-oriented is all about! Your idea isn't bad, however, it's a bit risky because you have to consider the context. by that I mean that you are stating publicly that you are okay with the ways things are and that's a bit different that your trying it out in the privacy of your own home. I'd hold off on that just now. There are other things- middle ground ideas- that you can try.
What about this...

What if, instead of saying you want to work on your marriage, you use her frame- "to make things easier on you." Then say, "fine, I appreciate that you care enough about my feelings to make things easier on me. So, if you really want to make things easier on me do this---

(You'll have to fill in the blanks here, but these are some examples that might work)
Let's work at being friends. I understand that we're not working on our marriage. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends. In order to be friends, we need to talk more, _____ again, fill in the blank.

Do you see what I mean? Use her goal but set the criteria for reaching that goal based on your needs.

I often help couples consider reconciliation by helping them learn how to co-parent their children as a team since they will need to do that afterwards. Guess what. Once couples get their act together to co-parent cooperatively, they start looking better to each other. So it doesn't matter what you call something, just work on goals that often accomplish the same ends. Understand?

And one other thought. Many counselors don't split up spouses because they feel that it confuses things, after all, which spouse is "the client?" What if spouses' goals are different, whose goals do you try to achieve? Which spouse is your client?

I look at this differently. Neither spouse is my client, the marriage is my client. I do whatever I can to help save the marriage. I behave in the marriage's best interest, not either individual.

Hope this helps. I will put this is wise advice section so that people with similar questions can read this thread.
Michele



The Divorce Buster
Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75938
01/18/02 02:10 AM
01/18/02 02:10 AM
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 843
Divorce Busting Center USA
Virginia Offline
Member
Virginia  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 843
Divorce Busting Center USA
~~~~~~~


Virginia Peeples
Assistant to Michele Weiner-Davis
The Divorce Busting Center

Transform your marriage with a private session with Michele Weiner-Davis.
Email virginia@divorcebusting.com or 303-444-7004.
Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75939
03/12/02 04:29 AM
03/12/02 04:29 AM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
Tia Offline
Member
Tia  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
^

Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75940
06/05/02 07:59 AM
06/05/02 07:59 AM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
Tia Offline
Member
Tia  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
^

Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75941
07/21/02 10:18 PM
07/21/02 10:18 PM
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 843
Divorce Busting Center USA
Virginia Offline
Member
Virginia  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 1999
Posts: 843
Divorce Busting Center USA
~~^


Virginia Peeples
Assistant to Michele Weiner-Davis
The Divorce Busting Center

Transform your marriage with a private session with Michele Weiner-Davis.
Email virginia@divorcebusting.com or 303-444-7004.
Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75942
08/04/02 09:48 AM
08/04/02 09:48 AM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
Tia Offline
Member
Tia  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
^

Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75943
12/16/02 05:05 AM
12/16/02 05:05 AM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
Tia Offline
Member
Tia  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 4,757
Hawai'i
refresh

Re: Counseling When One Wants In and One Wants Out #75944
03/27/06 10:46 PM
03/27/06 10:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,334
The GREAT Pacific Northwest
Jamesjohn Offline
Moderator
Jamesjohn  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,334
The GREAT Pacific Northwest
^


JJ

Read about Divorce Busting« Telephone Coaching here!

Moderated by  Virginia 

Save Your Marriage! Schedule Online

Schedule a phone consultation with a Divorce Busting® Coach! Call: 800-664-2435 or 303-444-7004