Dr you post so often I'll have to combine somethings. . .not saying it is wrong. . .It is actually very good you keep posting. Keep it up.
I love writing, and in turn, love posting here. I do need to be better in my rapid responses though as I look back at myself as a ping pong ball arguing opposing points too often. If someone calls my wife a horrible whore, I feel a need to defend her; if they tell me I deserve blame, I feel like pointing out that my wife's a horrible whore lol. Ultimately, you're all random people I'll never meet providing a vast array of different perspectives and it's a lot to take in (I'm receiving hundreds of thoughts from people analyzing what I'm doing; it's a unique psychological position for a non-celebrity). I've resolved to attempt to read a post and let it marinate a bit before coming back later, reading it again, and responding.
You are focusing way too much on your wife and not yourself. I would ask your CT what books she recomnends your wife to read. All you have shared about CT it sounds more like IC than MC.
The focus has been largely on my wife, so you're right--it's like she's doing IC in front of me often. I don't know if that's intentional or not--there have been times the CT has challenged me and I've been appreciative, and others where I pushed back. It's possible the CT just doesn't think I'm ready to explore our marriage issues until my wife is able to identify and accept her personal issues.
The CT began last session with the point that she really understands the source of my anger now--that I'm incredibly frustrated by my wife acknowledging her issues and then not having the self-awareness to not repeat them over and over. It's the point of my wife agreeing with things she doesn't agree with and it's keeping us in the first phase of this: identifying the problems. Every time we identify a problem and agree to it, we're back discussing the same problem again after my wife's mask slips.
MC was a disaster for me. I literally walked out of the middle of a session. We never did MC again. We both spent time in IC and it worked so much better for us. We both had things to work on individually and the debrief discussions after where the marriage benefitted most.
I'm never one to walk away. If I feel the CT is wrong on something, I push back swiftly and relentlessly--I force the conflict in the moment. It's happened a few times, but the only time I'd say it blew up a bit was when the CT was referencing how hurtful the word "whore" was (in reference to my wife being labelled by someone on this thread as a whore).
I pointed out that the CT might find it hurtful--either personally or as her group identity of being a woman--but the word itself was not hurtful. It's just a word. The hurt comes with what she was personally attaching to it. I challenged her that by avoiding specific labels (narcissist was the other word), we're doing a disservice to the conversation. Instead we should be unpacking what those words represent and if the traits that define them are appropriate.
No one *wants* to be defined as a whore, but by definition, my wife was acting as a promiscuous and immoral person--she was a whore whether one likes the word or not.
The point is, of course I was right and the CT, to her credit, acknowledged that she had let her personal feelings cloud the discussion. When she raised her voice and challenged me, telling me that "whore" was an insult, etc., I could have walked out and thought to myself she's an idiot who is incapable of controlling her emotions, but I didn't. It was an opportunity to open the conversation wider rather than just shut it down.
It's also worth noting that both my wife and I are also in IC, which is allowing us to go deeper on personal issues. We're using the MC largely for issues of the day.
My earlier comment that set your wife off seems to be closer to the truth than not.
The parent child dynamic and other co-dependency issues are likely best addressed in therapy. My sitch that was done in IC where the two ICs were allowed to collaborate. It made us both uneasy, but in hindsight it was invaluable.
FWIW you can ask all counselors to coordinate and share insights if you sign a waiver. Just like with medical
issues, second opinions, can be valuable foe you and your therapists. Although it might be harder with three.
Initially, my wife's IC and the CT were collaborating, but my wife moved on to a new IC and that hasn't been setup. I agree it would be good for them all to communicate with each other (at least I think that makes sense), so I can raise that suggestion.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 4:01 PM, Friday, June 3rd]