Shayla
Not really sure where to put this post. Our first MC appointment is this Wednesday. I'm feeling really anxious about this appointment. I've never been to any kind of counseling so I have no idea what to expect. I'm not sure if counseling will help us. I hope it doesn't cause more problems. I'm not sure how comfortable either of us are going to be talking with a stranger.

 Can anyone tell me what a first session is like? Maybe then I won't be so anxious.
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Kalmarjan
Shayla wrote:
Not really sure where to put this post. Our first MC appointment is this Wednesday. I'm feeling really anxious about this appointment. I've never been to any kind of counseling so I have no idea what to expect. I'm not sure if counseling will help us. I hope it doesn't cause more problems. I'm not sure how comfortable either of us are going to be talking with a stranger.

 Can anyone tell me what a first session is like? Maybe then I won't be so anxious.


I'll say this. My first session was a compete bust. That's because I went in there to prove that I was right and justified in what I did. In other words, I really wasn't looking to fix things, I was only going because I was guilted into it. Ha ha it was my BIRTHDAY.

But take heart. Both sides will need to want to get through this for things to work. If you gave a good MC, they will be interested in figuring out how to give you both the tools to figure out if your marriage will work or not.

That means, they will not be making the decision for you.

Get ready to hear some things you will not be comfortable with. But, it is a safe place, so listen with intent to learn, not to respond.

You know what? I ranted for an hour at my first marriage counselling appointment. My wife sat there and listened. Not a word. But, for the first time I think she finally heard all my anger, and it took her aback. But, she at that point she was a better person than I was. She got so much information there, and it was because she was listening for the first time in our relationship.

But no one can make the situation better. Marriage counselling isn't supposed to make everything better. It's supposed to make it so the two of you can work out what happens next, with a person (if they are good) who will be adept at cutting all the crap and baggage.

Our MC is amazing. He reduced me to tears at our last session because how he described me, and what I was doing and going through showed me that for one of the first times in my life, someone actually understood me.
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TimT
Shayla wrote:
Can anyone tell me what a first session is like? Maybe then I won't be so anxious.
A lot depends on your counselor and what approach she/he takes, but typically a first session is about telling your story and defining the shared goals you want to work on. If there is a lot of pent up emotion (on either of your parts), it may come out. That's okay; it's the start of a process. If you've got a good counselor, you'll leave with a sense of hopeful relief, I think, because you'll believe you've got someone capable of helping your relationship move forward.
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Intuition77
My first and only MC was also a bust. When your cheating spouse walks in to an appt they made & the therapist says tell me what brought you here today and their response is "well I guess I have a hard time talking about my feelings" and that's it. They don't even bring up the affair-let me tell you they have no intention of being honest or working at anything. I honestly felt sorry for our therapist. She seemed so taken aback and shocked by his behaviors, attitude and demeanor that I think she didn't know where to begin. She tried several times he wasn't getting it. She must have tried 5 different ways of bringing to his attention how he was not taking responsibility and shifting blame and he would literally say "I'm not blaming my wife at all! I own all my own stuff! It's just that if she didn't say this I wouldn't do this."

By that point she looked at me and said why are you here. And I said I really have no idea. Then her focus seemed to shift more to helping me realize he wasn't willing to see anything clearly.

But what she tried at first was just the basics. A history of our marriage and family and families etc. Trying to see how we interacted. Like for instance she brought up how when she asked him how he felt about anything or any emotion he looked to me as if I could tell him how he feels.

Wish you the best. I hope your spouse takes it seriously and really wants the help. And if your not comfortable with the therapist it's ok to change until you find one your both comfortable with.
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Shayla
Our first appointment went fairly well I think. There was a good bit of time spent on confidentiality and the best way to get in touch with the counselor and how he works. We told him why we were there and what our goals are. I did more of the talking than my husband did, which is what I expected. I think I half expected, maybe more than half, my husband to say he didn't want to go back after the first session, but he said he liked the guy and would keep going. I don't think either of us was very comfortable talking with a stranger, but the counselor does have a very easy going demeanor, so I think he is someone we can both get comfortable talking with.

I guess the only thing I am kind of questioning is the homework he gave us. We are both suppose to list the 3 things that we have done to hurt/disappoint/anger the other person and how we think it affected them. I'm not really sure what good this is going to do. Also I don't know what I am going to write. I know I haven't done everything perfect, but my husband doesn't really complain or tell me what bothers him. The only exception was during his second affair, when we had a horrible fight, he pretty much told me I didn't do anything right. Much later on after the affair was discovered and we were working on recovery, he told me that he just said a bunch of stupid stuff because he was mad at himself and wanted me to be mad at him too, but that it backfired and he watched me try to "fix" every stupid thing he complained about. He said he saw how hard I was trying to make him happy and he knew he was cheating, so it made him feel worse about it. All of that was a good thing in my mind because he was the beginning of the end of his affair. Anyway I'm rambling.
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