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Yet another therapist questioned the validity of my WH affairs

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Hurtmyheart posted 10/25/2020 12:37 PM

HouseOfPlane, thank you for your input but I think I'm done with therapists for awhile. I'm done explaining what happened and for them to come back at me and tell me that I'm imagining things. I'm done with them telling me that emotional abuse is acceptable and normal behavior... my bar is set way too high now to continue to stay in denial.

I get that I will never know the full extent of who he was but some things I can tell you today were facts and one fact is that he moved his family (my two kids and I) an hour and 45 minutes from his work and then he stayed at work sometimes up to 5 days in a row. I can also tell you that when I was done living in the boonies that he filed for divorce because he no longer could live his double life style and he knew that he was going to have to choose between me and her.

I can tell you around 23 years ago after my daughter was born he came home with a STD. I can also say that after he moved us to the boonies and also changed work locations that another COW followed him to his new location and somehow they began working together in the same office for at least 6 months. I can tell you that he told me to not get suspicious because it was cold in the building and she used his jacket and don't worry if it smells like another womens perfume.... and the list goes on and these are facts.

I can also tell you that he loved to flirt with other women in front of me to hurt me and the therapists that we saw insisted that this behavior was normal. Sorry but I can not go along with this... so now I have raised my bar high in life and don't have a desire to accept abusive behavior anymore because it really did happen. No lies, no add-ons and no joke. My WH was a sick man but he was able to cover his ass.

I truly believe it was easier to die rather to come clean with me. And I also believe that he knew that I was getting closer to the truth because I was relentless in wanting the truth and it was only a matter of time before everything was going to come crashing down. And I really believe that he couldn't stand the thought that his kids, especially my wonderful, awesome son was going to realize who his dad really was (interestingly though, my son is the first one who helped me to open my eye's to seeing that my WH was a fraud). Very sad but both son and daughter do have some idea about who he was but not to the extent I do.

Hurtmyheart posted 10/25/2020 12:52 PM

cptprkchp wow, thank you, you are spot on. Thank you for seeing the validity in my statements. And you are correct, if I were to look for another therapist which I'm debating on not doing, they would need to completely understand that infidelity is no joke and is not the time to question whether I'm making things up, or not, which I am not.

1stWife, I get you and always love your responses. I'm the same as you are about wanting to give a smart*** response and have done so to past therapists. Lol But I'm also kind of tired of trying to defend myself and the truth.

I know that you have stuck pretty close to my posts for quite awhile now and know the confusion my WH caused to me. And I'm sure today that you are beginning to see a different person emerge through the pain and confusion my WH created in me. Today, I am refusing to stick my head in the sand and to stay in denial. And although the deep pain and sadness is still there (and as you know this is not the outcome I wanted), a new more realistic person is emerging out of this and I'm still I am so sad over the outcome! And there is more to my story but for today I've shared enough. As always, thank you for your response.

RosesandThorns posted 10/25/2020 12:58 PM

Some therapists aren't a good fit for certain issues or certain people. I had one that minimized most things I said and didn't seem believe me about the things I shared about my parents, until I dug up some old letters of their's I'd saved and showed them to her. Then she changed her tune, but it seemed like she was too embarrassed to admit that she hadn't been taking what I said seriously. She simply pretended we'd always been on the same page. (Perhaps they are jaded by having patients that twisted things?) She was also quick to judge me by my physical appearance...if I wore concealer, she would comment that I looked well rested and must be doing better. If I dressed up for my appointment (because I had to for another event), she would exclaim that it looked like I was doing great. (????) She was so surface-level that in some ways she was useless.

The thing was, I like having an IC that challenges me. I don't want them to be an echo chamber, and I do what them to challenge my unhealthy thought patterns. I had a great one who cut through the crap, asked me very insightful questions, and called me out on some of my unrealistic expectations. But I will never waste time again on one who minimized. It's too close to gaslighting, and I've had enough of that for a lifetime.

There are some great ICs out there...if try out a few and they keep telling you similar things, then it's always good to try to look at things from both sides. But continuing to see a counselor that is a bad fit can cause harm, in mho. If I were in your shoes, I would keep looking. I know it's not easy, but a good IC is worth their weight.

Edited to add: By looking at things from both sides, I mean advice that is repeated from different sources that applies to you outside of infidelity. I don't see how you can question that he was unfaithful if he admitted to it. How could she question the truth of his infidelity when he said that??

[This message edited by RosesandThorns at 1:04 PM, October 25th (Sunday)]

Hurtmyheart posted 10/25/2020 18:08 PM

RosesandThorns, it is unbelievable to someone who has never experienced infidelity and the damaging affects it causes. I too hard a hard time believing that my WH would actually do these things until I came out of denial.

It's interesting what you said how the therapist judged you by your appearance in that moment. I always pull myself together for our Zoom meetings and she also told me that judging how I looked that day that she would never had guessed how poorly I was doing.

I do agree, having the right therapist is a good thing and I thought she was good until she questioned whether this really happened or not. That is a hard one to accept because I would not lie about something as sick as his behavior was.

I took the Monday meeting off but I think that I will email her next week and tell her how I feel. See what her take on this is...

RosesandThorns posted 10/26/2020 11:54 AM

Hurtmyheart, I went back and read through your threads. If she insists that he didn't actually cheat, then SHE needs therapy! I know some therapists treat infidelity as just another obstacle to overcome instead of the abuse and marriage-ending betrayal it can be. But to suggest that it didn't happen based on what you've shared...What. The. Heck?

Forgive me if I have the wrong poster, but I think I remember your beating yourself up over the fact that your husband might have passed not knowing how much you loved him. If I have that correct, you were not looking to blame him but instead spent the time he had left trying your best to care for him and make peace with him. Now you're free to process all that you weren't able to before, but it sounds like she is interrupting that process. Is she also suggesting it doesn't matter if he was unfaithful??

I am so sorry you have this added to your grief process. Hang in there. You have the freedom now to build a new life with no more gaslighting and no more lies.

[This message edited by RosesandThorns at 11:54 AM, October 26th (Monday)]

Hurtmyheart posted 10/26/2020 14:55 PM

RosesandThorns, I do believe that you may have mistaken me for someone else because my WH did know that I loved him and his diagnosis and death was quick... but on the other hand, he was a very emotionally sick (alcoholic, addicted) man who thought hurting his wife was normal, okay behavior. And apparently I must have thought it was acceptable behavior too because all I wanted to do was to stick my head in the sand and pretend it wasn't happening.

I emailed the therapist this morning and confronted her with facts and she emailed me back and apologized that I mistook whatever she was trying to convey to me out of context and that she does believe me 100%.

Now I also believe that she wanted to make sure that I don't continue to see my WH for who he wasn't; a wonderful, faithful, honest, true, loving husband. She was trying to get me to see who he really was; a lying cheating, emotionally abusive alcoholic, addict who didn't deserve my love.

I now understand when I communicated my concerns to her, that what she saw was that I was still continuing to want to put my WH on a pedestal and only wanting to see the good in him, whereas the real WH wasn't any of these things.

Was he nice to me? Yes he was. Was he kind to me? Yes he was. Did he take care of me from a financial perspective? Yes he did, very much so. But as I am taking a good, hard look at him, everything good that I saw in him should have been canceled out when I began to realize the lying, cheating, alcohlic, addict asshole my WH was. These behaviors were totally unacceptable.

But this was his true character, not what he did for me. Doing good for me was only part of what a good husband should do in the first place. But to tell you my truth, I also wanted the faithful, honest, truthful, sober, in love husband which he couldn't give to me 100% because he was so sick and broken, so instead of dealing with the truth, I stuck my head in the sand.

RosesandThorns posted 10/26/2020 15:47 PM

I'm very happy to hear that you were able to straighten it out with her! And I apologize for confusing you with someone else. So sorry! There have been several BWs who've had to deal with their spouse's infidelity post death. It's heartbreaking to read what they're going through. It seems they're left holding the bag, feeling like they have to continue to keep their spouse's ugly secrets...because no one feels comfortable speaking negatively about the dead, and friends/family try to relive all of the positive things, thinking they're comforting the widow.

It seems people often normalize emotionally abusive behavior in order to survive living in the type of relationship you described. We think, "it's not like he physically hurts me," or "he's chosen to stay with me, so I need to move on," or "he shows his love in other ways." You did what lots of other women (and men) do in order to keep a home and family together, so be gentle with yourself.


Ladyogilvy posted 10/26/2020 16:32 PM

Finding good therapists, like finding good doctors, is surprisingly difficult to do. In both cases, we are at our most vulnerable. I went through a few therapists when I was quite young due to childhood trauma. Most were useless. My husband and I finally found a decent marriage counselor on our third try. I havenít had decent medical care since my NP retired over a decade ago. I stuck with a doctor who was kind, at the expense of my health, because others had not been kind. What I have learned is, we have a right to feel comfortable with how we are treated, and we have the right to competent treatment. We, unfortunately, can not expect it. We have to be willing to refuse anything less than being treated well. If you are not comfortable, fire them. Find a new one, or not. Maybe find a good self help book on cognitive behavioral techniques instead. Maybe something on gratitude. Given your situation, maybe something on grieving. What I absolutely know is, no one can support us as well as people who have been through what we have been through... whether it is infidelity, or any other trauma.

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