The Most Critical Marriage Lessons I’ve Learned In Couples Counseling

Colleen, our marriage counselor said. That’s what we call armchair psychology.

His delivery was direct.

Has anyone told you that you have a little Dr. Phil to you? I said jokingly. It was my reference to some of our recent dialogue and how he didn’t pull any punches. Our therapist said it like this.

“Why yes,” he said. “I’ve said that before.”

There was a reason he was calling what I said armchair psychology.

RELATED: My Marriage Counselor Told Me I’m Being Too Responsible For My Husband

That was the infancy of couples counseling for my husband and me. It was our third appointment and I should have listened more and talked less. But we went to marriage counseling because we were unhappy, frustrated, and needed to vent.

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Some marriage counselors are Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and some are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT). Ours is a psychologist.

I commented on my husband’s behavior.

Why?

Because naturally, my husband is the problem.

Don’t we all go to couples counseling? We believe that the finger will be pointed at our husband. I’m sure that’s the only reason my husband even went: to put the blame on me.

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One day I met with our counselor alone, Colleen, she said. Your husband is who he is but you made all the choices you made to stay with him.

That’s not what I want to hear. It’s like someone is being blamed my way.

Good counselors teach us to heal and we cannot heal unless we take responsibility for the choices and decisions we make. We remain stuck in victimization mode. An attitude of, “Someone else did this to me. I’ve been wronged.”

My ex-husband was diagnosed as lacking empathy and having narcissistic personality disorder on the extreme end of the spectrum. Some would believe that would give me a get-out-of-jail-free card. I cannot be to blame for any of our marital problems.

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