Marital Counseling Question

Online Users: 0 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 10


VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 12, 2010 10:28 AM

Hey ladies,

If anyone here has ever gone to marital counseling, maybe you could answer a question for me?

...Is a counselor allowed to tell you that you're a terrible couple, and that you probably won't last? This happened to one of my best friends at a marital counseling session she and her husband attended, and that sounds so wrong to me.

I know they're technically allowed to say whatever they like (since it's America with free speech, and all), but isn't that really against protocol? Especially if the couple is attending counseling as a means to improve their relationship and make it work? Has that ever happened to someone here?

I've never been to marital counseling, but I did see a counselor in my earlier teen years, and I know that if my counselor had said something along those lines to me while I was trying to work on my life, I would have been devastated.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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sassy411 Posts : 52 Registered: 8/16/10
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 12, 2010 12:23 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

Doesn't sound right to me, but then, I wasn't there.
My advice to your friend would be that since it's pretty clear that this counselor is not right for her, it's time to find another.

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VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 12, 2010 2:30 PM Go to message in response to: sassy411

That was my suggestion as well, and she was way ahead of me. She'd already canceled her next appointment and started searching for a new one by the time I said that.

But I am still really disturbed that they'd say that to someone seeking counseling to improve their marriage. I mean, granted, there are some really dysfunctional relationships in this world. There were no claims of abuse, violence, or anything. They were going to counseling to try and fix their problem solving & communication issues.

I don't know, maybe I'm being naive. I wouldn't expect a counselor to sugarcoat things for me, but at what point does it become okay for a counselor to say "You guys aren't going to make it, but you're welcome to try" instead of "It's going to be tough, and you'll both need to work at it"? They went to work on their marriage, not to be told that a divorce is in order.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 12, 2010 4:55 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

Dear Van,

It's one thing to say "Most reputable professional counselors would say..." whatever, but an entirely different thing to predict what one individual counselor would say on a given day or under given circumstances.

If your friend is not comfortable with the counselor, then she's free to seek counseling elsewhere.

I will say, however, there are messages here this board where my two-word response is "Dump Him".

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VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 2:22 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I've seen quite a few of the "Dump Him" threads, AOTB, and more often than not I agree with you. I will say this: they got married early in their relationship, so they definitely have some issues that haven't been worked out, but it's nothing worth ending a marriage over, at least not to me.

At any rate, I don't know everything about their marriage, or what goes on behind closed doors, I only know what I've been told. The only thing I find so disturbing/shocking in all this is that a counselor told them they wouldn't last, but they could still try if they wanted to.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 3:02 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

VTB - I took AOTB's 'Dump him' as pertaining to the counselor.

Which is what I would do.

There's a point where you sometimes need to hear the harsh truth, but there's no point in being willing to work on something with someone who doesn't believe you can do anything about it.

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VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 3:08 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

"There's a point where you sometimes need to hear the harsh truth, but there's no point in being willing to work on something with someone who doesn't believe you can do anything about it."

I think you just about summed up my feelings on the subject, PharmTox.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 3:31 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

dear PTG,

"VTB - I took AOTB's 'Dump him' as pertaining to the counselor. "

I was unclear. I apologize.

Yes, the couple seeking counseling is well adviced to find a counselor with whom they are most comfortable. Given.

My comment about "Dump him" referred to message threads where the poster is clearly in a bad relationship.

"He cheated twice, but swears he will never cheat again. But, he wants some 'space', and is spending the night at his male friend's house. When I called that house on the land line at midnight, the friend sounded surprised to hear from me and said he wasn't there."

Obvious bit of advice: Dump. Him. Now.

Sometimes no amount of even expert counseling can repair a bad relationship. I was in a bad engagement, years ago, and tried very hard to make it work. Well, it did not work. I dumped the guy and never looked back.

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 9:53 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

Sounds like their counselor was not professional. I am going to school to become a therapist and so far in my studies we are taught to never tell the client what to do. It's best to have them figure it out on their own with some guidance from the counselor. It sounds to me that that counselor doesn't know how to relate to the client and voiced her opinion too much.

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Re: Marital Counseling Question
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jackson132 Posts : 1,623 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Marital Counseling Question
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 5:04 AM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

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