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It’s the Marriage, Stupid!No Comments

  1. My xH admitted in the early hours after BD that he had been to see a therapist who encouraged him to follow his desire to leave me. "You can leave your wife without leaving your children," she told him. Finally, the professional advice he'd been seeking–leave your wife, follow your heart's desire–stamped with approval.

    She may have thought she was doing right by him, and he is her only concern as her client. If she'd interviewed me, anyway, without notifying me of the betrayal he'd already committed himself to, she may have seen my hostility and contempt, borne from years of his lack of commitment to me, and especially from his more recent inattentiveness, forgetfulness, shirking all responsibility (except "work"–always having to run off to "work" for "special projects," and I was proud of his commitment to work….) His uncharming boyishness (thanks for the new vocabulary word, "puer" describes my xH), his defiance, his bizarre mannerisms did not sit well with me, but I didn't have any idea of why. When he told me he was seriously thinking of taking a job out of state (well, an ocean away!) I found that my patience with his appalling lack of judgment was non-existent. "You go right ahead," I dared him. And, so, the therapist may have correctly determined that I was worthy of abandonment–for the sake of her client's wishes. And, what therapist doesn't want her client to "be happy"?

    Ah, well, as it turns out, my xH is most certainly NOT happy, and that is where the therapist has failed her client. Her flippant, expedient, and inconsiderate opinion has failed her client miserably.

    Wouldn't you know that my xH found out, not long after he'd decided to walk away from his life, that the good therapist has no children of her own, and is her husband's second wife–a step-mother to her husband's son.

    What does she know about the love a parent should have for his children? What does she care about breaking a child's heart? How could she have predicted that advising a man to operate against good values would indeed prove to be such a disaster?

    Well, it's her job to know, of course. And she is herself a failure. She has no business telling broken people how to fix themselves. She has no clue. She is clueless.

    And not considering a client's family, FOR THE SAKE OF THE CLIENT, is another typical failure of many in the therapy field.

    You're doing good work here, RCR. It's about darned time someone brought proper attention to this epidemic.

  2. I think IC, and more specifically, perhaps, analysis, are likely to lead an MLCer in this direction. It did mine (IC, not analysis.) Garbage in, garbage out. There was a lot of muck in his head. You stir it around, it's still muck. I'm not sure how I feel about these books. I reacted the same way as RCR… like what a pot of horseshit… we are not in the equation when they are talking about how unhappy they are in their narcissistic abyss.

    But the reality is, this is the reality. At least mine. He left. So here I am wondering if this is just the way it is. They are not thinking in terms of morals and marital vows. That's clear. Those boundaries are meaningless, so what is meaningful to them? I have no answers. I found these books very difficult to read, and I'm thankful to RCR for talking about them.

    RCR, always interested in your take on things. I would love you to review the Robert A. Johnson books He, We, and She… which I found profound.

    Best wishes to everyone. This is hard stuff. The hardest.

  3. I read these books in the first year after BD. My opinion of them wasn't very high. I'm sure I would like them even less if I was reading them today.

    Carl Jung had numerous affairs and, for over a 30 year period was essentially a polygamist. He was married to the same woman, Emma, for over 50 years but had a "second wife" relationship with a fellow analyst, Toni Wolff, for 3 decades. He traveled with Wolff and spent every Wednesday night with her. Wolff even had Sunday dinner with the Jungs and their children(!) Emma Jung was unhappy about the situation but came to an "understanding" about it and, supposedly, became friends with Wolff at some point. Yuck.

    The more I've learned about Jung, both his ideas and his personal life, the less I like him. No wonder he was so hell bent of "individuation." Of course he would have to put the individual's happiness before all other relationships! How else could he rationalize his own behaviour and the pain he put his family through. I have also read that Jung's children were very unhappy about the their father's relationship with Wolff. Duh.

    I don't care if he was a brilliant man. He was also a narcissist and a selfish womanizer. His theory of individuation is highly suspect to me.

  4. 'No Regrets' my story parallels yours. Facts may be different but the thread and plot are the same.
    RCR – My H had all the support and encouragement for free from colleagues at work who he called his 'close' friends after I found out about OW. "They were so supportive". I could never understand why these people would support a man to leave his wife and 4 very young children until I found out that he had been telling them we were separated a year before he actually left and while still in counselling. They believed his lies and gave him the approval stamp and affirmation he so desired.

  5. My experience with my wife's therapy was that while therapy tackled the first obstacle – "own your past" as in understanding the childhood roots of the MLC – it never went on to step two, "reconnect your past to your present" as in seeing how one's childhood keeps on defining one's present day actions and emotions or even strep three, "reparent yourself" as in removing the hold of the past on present day actions and emotions. At times it seemed as if the only goal of therapy was to look for excuses for the MLC, the infideltiy…Obviously I only had limited information on what was going on during therapy as I was never allowed to join and obviously I am biased but I would definitely agree with all of you regarding Indiviudation being the no. 1 priority, at all cost

  6. I believe my wife is in the early stages of MLC. Our BD was several weeks ago and that is when I discovered her affair. We had agreed to see a marriage councelor, but she wants to see IC first. Shetells me she is 50/50 with the marriage and thats why she want so see the IC. Any advice on this as to wether or not this is a good idea, or should I push the marriage counceling?

    • I don;t really have advice regarding whether her seeing a counselor on her own is a good idea. But it does concern me because as you may jave learned from this series, I am not always trusting of counselors because so many claiming to be marriage counselors (and the author of the books I review in this series was not doing that, he is a Jungian Analyst), but so many who do claim to be marriage counselors are really divorce counselors in disguise–and they don;t even know it. They think they are marriage counselors, but the also think that their client is the people rather than the marriage. If she goes as an individual will it make it easier for the client to be the marriage? Will this counselor buy into and encourage the happiness facade and tell her she has to do what will make her happy? Or will the counselor support the marriage or at least refuse to pass judgment and remain somewhat neutral until meeting with both of you?
      Individual counseling can be a wonderful thing and yet it can also be dangerous–it depends on the counselor and on what the counselor is being told.
      Hmmm, what to do? Pushing is a synonym for pressure in this situation and I advise against pressuring. But how about stating your case without adding overt pressure–she may feel pressured anyway and that is her choice. Validate her feelings about being 50/50 and tell her that you think a better way to resolve those not to help her decide whether to stay or go or become more certain of leaving, but to go to counseling together so that you can immediately begin working toward bettering your marriage together by learning what you need to do to repair and change. That is not something that will happen if you do not go together. By going to individual counseling she is not letting you in on how she feels and what she feels are the problems and that means if you don't know you won't do anything about those things–unless you guess right in your lone search for solutions to unknown problems.

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