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Author Topic: MC used the A word - what next?  (Read 850 times)
maxsterling
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« on: May 05, 2021, 01:42:06 AM »

Our MC takes an approach that I have seen mentioned here and in numerous other places that MC is pointless and/or potentially dangerous in an abusive situation or where one partner has mental illness such that relationship issues cannot be discussed in a constructive fashion.  In previous sessions with this MC it seems like she suspected this because she suggested that each of us work more with our individual therapists and should only meet with her twice per month.  I should add that this is the fourth MC that W and I have seen.  Two lasted about 3 sessions when W abruptly ended things when the MC failed to validate W's complaints about me. 

Last weekend was quite bad, with W spending what felt like entire days blaming me for things I didn't do or had no control over, emotional manipulation, and constantly crossing boundaries when I refused to participate in arguments.  Saturday ended with W self-harming when I basically refused to "validate the invalid".  In may senses, I am proud of myself here for not allowing myself to be walked over here and letting the inevitable conclusion come, and also in not abandoning the children.  I consider that personal progress.

I'm surprised W still wanted to have Monday's MC session.  The session went badly from nearly the beginning, with W starting with her list of complaints of the things I am doing wrong, with MC then wanting more details about her complains, such as wanting details of how the children are unsafe when I am watching them, or how I am "gaslighting" her or being "passive aggressive".  Example:  W complained that I was unsafe on a walk with our children because I let S4 "walk in the street".  MC asked if it was a busy street, if cars were coming, what "in the street" meant (the reality is I was holding his hand, and he was walking "balance beam" style on the curb on the edge of the sidewalk on a residential cul-de-sac).  I think MCs asking follow up questions  to Ws "serious concerns" felt invalidating, and set her off.

W then went on for a period of time refusing to let me or even MC talk, calling me names, and then refusing to participate in any constructive discussion, to which MC responded "this is sounding abusive".  This set W off further, to which W then tried to get MC to validate that I was the abusive one for being passive.  MC did not do that, and instead stated that the conversation has become abusive because it is not respectful.  MC then asked questions regarding the children.

W was then in an extremely volatile mood after the session with me needing to take progressively longer and longer "breaks" (boundaries against further abuse), to which W kept violating.  The best I could to to get W to calm down was when I took an hour long walk, after the 10 minute - 15 minute, and 30 minute breaks failed to be respected.   

So my question is - what do I expect going forward from MC?  What action can I expect the MC to take?  W did say afterwards that she did not want to meet with this MC anymore.  Is there a reason for me to contact this MC on my own?  If W changes her mind and wants to meet with this MC again, what do I do here?  I don't think at this point MC is constructive in any way, and I don't think it is even appropriate to meet with a MC again even if "boundaries" are discussed beforehand because I do not feel W is capable of respecting boundaries. 

I should add that W seems to have "snapped out of it" some this afternoon.  She did have T this evening, and also spent some time talking with friends last night.  Some of her actions today hint at some amount of remorse and acknowledgement of her actions, but no outright admission or apology.  My next T is tomorrow night.  I've been trying to work with my T on longstanding personal issues that are less dependent on the current r/s, mainly because the last Ts I have worked with concluded I am in an abusive relationship and would focus on my Ws mental health issues.  So far T has helped me re-establish a little more self worth and assertiveness and re-focus on myself and my needs.  I just don't want that progress to get polluted by too much discussion of my Ws issues. 
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 06:56:38 AM »

The question isn't what will the MC do Max, it's that now that another person has validated that you are in an abusive situation-- what are you going to do?

For any therapy to work, two people need to have some investment in working with an MC and also the ability to work with an MC. They aren't able to change seriously disordered people who are unable to work with them in this manner. Why would any professional want to keep working with a couple when what they have to offer is innefective?

It's a good thing you are working with your own T. This may be the only effective intervention for you Max. It seems you keep hoping for your wife to make some kind of positive change for the better, but it's been more like an up and down pattern. The abuse cycle is also an up and down patter with moments of remorse in between and it involves dynamics between both people.


 I think working with your own T is the best way to go from here.

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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 08:02:33 AM »

I think you need to keep going to MC for a few more times.  "lean in" to the observations of the MC.

Yes...even if your wife doesn't want this....especially if your wife doesn't want this.

Keep taking those breaks...draw a hard line...no participation in abuse.  You can't stop what she is doing by herself/to herself (if it doesn't meet criteria to call authorities).

Note:  I'm not arguing with or presenting an alternate choice from Notwendy, I think I'm building on the question..."what is Max going to do????"

When your wife runs from counseling...what will Max do (go back..I hope).

Make this a turning point...leave the door open for it to be one for your wife...but make sure it is one for you.

Quick FF history:  I've done lots of unproductive MC, yet I stuck with it to a point where I was convinced of things...vice accepting my wife's judgment.  As in early FF would go along with her whims to go or not go.

More FF history:  I found this website by staying when my wife literally ran from the room.  MC was neutrally stating facts about how she was dominating the conversation and my wife snapped...jumped up and danced/hopped around the room wagging her finger at both of us that she wasn't putting up with this, was never coming back...blah blah blah...jerked open the door...hopped out of the room and slammed the door.

It was quiet for a while, I told the MC I was going to stay and wanted to understand what was going on.  She said she didn't have enough to diagnose but gave me SWOE and mentioned BPD for the first time ever.  It was a turning point.  I've never been the same since nor has my relationship.

Second major turning point was when my wife sent me nude pictures of another woman.  At the time we were in MC with a female counselor.  Of course all the theories about me banging my harem were in full swing....no evidence of course.  Then she sends me...not me searching out..but FFw sends me nudes of another woman.

To say FF came unhinged is "polite".  I most likely sounded a lot like your wife at MC...  MC sat a listened...FFw looked ashen and didn't move.  I ranted about all her theories with no evidence yet here I sit looking at a naked woman that FFw sent me.

Essentially I said that the reason I spend so much time thinking about other women is that FFw puts them in my head..and now I have proof she puts them in my eyes..and I would never discuss other women with her again

Here is the thing...that was likely around 2014 or 15 and for the most part...that dysfunction has left our marriage (the other women thing)

So Max...back to you.  My hope is that this is a turning point for you.  No more abuse...just say no.

Best,

FF


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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 11:16:46 AM »

I agree with FF that you should continue to see the MC whether or not your wife attends. That way you can focus on your personal issues in your own therapy and not be talking about your wife.

Your MC is a valuable resource now that she’s seen your wife decompensate. And to call out abuse seems to be something that you’ve ignored, excused, overlooked, justified, thought you could deal with, etc. over the years.

Max, I think you need to take a very close look at the dynamics that keep recurring here. It’s now affecting not just you, but two other much more vulnerable little people.
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 12:28:44 PM »


  ignored, excused, overlooked, justified, thought you could deal with, etc. over the years.
 


Max,

When you read this list...which one do you align with more...which one less?


Best,

FF
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 12:52:19 PM »

Good advice here, folks.

My first experience with T was in grad school.  Nobody in my FOO ever sought out T, and as an adult even though I went through periods of depression, I didn't know what to do here.  In grad school, a neighbor mentioned the counseling services the school offered, and I did attend a few sessions and was on antidepressant for awhile (I went to grad school in a "culture shock" place). I had one other experience with T when I was dealing with a lot of work stress issues.  

Other than that, my next experience with T was when W (GF at the time) convinced me that I needed it because of my "lack of r/s experience and communication issues".  There was conflict in our r/s, and somehow W convinced me that the issue was mostly mine, partly because I had similar issues with a previous GF.  I had it in my mind that I was doing something wrong that was really frustrating to women.  It also didn't help that in my FOO, my mother would occasionally blow up at my dad for reasons I could never figure out.  I thought this was normal.

So this T (a woman) asked me about the issues, and I told her I was totally confused by them, mentioned how I will try to make various conversations with my W and she will explode, scream, yell, call names, etc.  Half an hour into my first session with her, pulled a book from her shelf called "I hate you, don't leave me", said W likely has BPD, and from that point on every session with her focused on Ws mental illness.  She is actually the person who directed me to this website.  During one of our last sessions, I remember her finally using the Abuse word, saying something like "you are in an abusive relationship, and I can't really help you with other issues because the abuse will magnify other issues and make them difficult to address."

At the same time we were seeing a different MC.  I felt this MC was pretty sympathetic to W.  She did seem to recognize that Ws issues were a major factor in our r/s issues, but was never bold to call out abuse.  During one session, W went on a similar abusive tirade.  I said the session had had become unproductive, and said I was going outside to sit for about 15 minutes.   W then remarked to MC something about this being the issue of me running away and abandoning her rather than deal with the issues.  MC in no way tried to intercept here, and I felt completely on my own.  

I think all of this has put my head in the wrong direction, thus making things feel quite different to have a MC call out the abuse.  I don't know if that is a typical thing a MC will do, if that changes their approach.  There is another issue here in that for insurance reasons either one or the other of the couple has to be the "patient", and in this case W is technically the "patient" of this MC and she can't see me on my own.
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 01:06:13 PM »


Max,

When you read this list...which one do you align with more...which one less?


Best,

FF

Probably "excused" in the sense that W has a diagnosed mental illness to which she is seeking help for. 

I least align with "overlooked" because I am very aware that it is there and how it affects me. 

If not for W being open about having a MI and seeking fairly intense treatment it would be easier for me to respond to the abuse at face value.  I think I also run into an issue of trusting that Ws Ts will recognize issues and respond professionally in appropriate ways.  In the sense that they have not on their own taken more serious action such as in-patient hospitalization or getting social services involved diminishes the seriousness in my mind.   W is very open to her Ts about her behavior...
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 01:13:32 PM »

There is another issue here in that for insurance reasons either one or the other of the couple has to be the "patient", and in this case W is technically the "patient" of this MC and she can't see me on my own.

Don't let this stop you from going to a couple of sessions.  There has to be an insurance code to see a spouse privately.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 05:12:23 AM »

I may be less optimistic due to having seen this kind of dynamic persist in a long term marriage.

We think of an abuser as having a victim, and while I don't think it's right to blame the victim, one has to also look at the dynamics between these two people and why that bond is so strong. Outsiders might think "why do they not leave" but it's more complicated than that.

Not that the person who is on the receiving end of the abuse is OK with it. It's difficult. But somehow the pair are still bonded in an abuse cycle. It's a cycle because after the abusive episode, there are moments of relative peace and remorse, until the abuse starts again.

Max, clearly it's tough and you are not OK with it. Whether it's with the MC or your own personal T, I hope you can gain some clarity and are able to tone down the dynamics.







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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 07:02:58 AM »

  I hope you can gain some clarity and are able to tone down the dynamics.

And/or stop participating in the dynamic...stop validating that it will get a response.

Please don't hear me saying that this will "fix" the issue...but "tone down" is an accurate way of describing it.

After I finish this post, I'll likely post about a paranoid experience I had with my wife this morning...in the big scheme pretty minor, I'm just looking for backup that I didn't "feed the monster" AND figure out if there is a healthy way forward..or just drop it.

So...what does "not participating" look like? 

When she starts the "abusive talk" (let's use what MC called out as a definition), identify it and leave the conversation.

I would also stop "validating" that it's ok for an adult to stay at home all day, make messes..not clean them up...and then rage at their partner that works all day...that the "worker" didn't clean up properly.

There needs to be a direct cause and effect.  I eat in the middle of the night..leave the mess...I get to see the mess in the morning.  It really is that simple.

Yet I also know there are "tentacles" of these things that reach everywhere.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Best,

FF
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 09:40:11 AM »

Dear Max, I have nothing to add to what has already been said by the wise people. Just sending you positive energy. It is a tough situation, and I wish you well as you figure your way out of it.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 04:26:04 PM »

Dear Max, I have nothing to add to what has already been said by the wise people. Just sending you positive energy. It is a tough situation, and I wish you well as you figure your way out of it.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Ditto.

Rev
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2021, 06:30:38 PM »

Dear Max, I have nothing to add to what has already been said by the wise people. Just sending you positive energy. It is a tough situation, and I wish you well as you figure your way out of it.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

Thank you.  It's not an easy solution with a clear path.  To many factors to consider.

Right now my goal is basic self care.  I'm just too worn out to organize long term.  That's what I am working on with my T.  This could mean to take time off from work for me if I have to.  Little steps.  Feeling okay about sitting and relaxing.  It also means re-establishing trust with myself about what is right and wrong, and trusting my own reality.  It also means stepping away from W's abuse - and re-recognizing what it is - abuse.  Mental illness or not - it is abuse. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 09:40:23 PM »

Thank you.  It's not an easy solution with a clear path.  To many factors to consider.

Right now my goal is basic self care.  I'm just too worn out to organize long term.  That's what I am working on with my T.  This could mean to take time off from work for me if I have to.  Little steps.  Feeling okay about sitting and relaxing.  It also means re-establishing trust with myself about what is right and wrong, and trusting my own reality.  It also means stepping away from W's abuse - and re-recognizing what it is - abuse.  Mental illness or not - it is abuse. 

This is good, Max.

Yes, mental illness or not, it is abusive.

It is good that your wife is in treatment and that she is open about her behavior with the T (as you say she is...are you sure that she is completely honest?)

Even with therapy and a commitment to change, issues may persist for a long time. This is true for any mental illness.

For instance, I have been working with a trauma focused therapist for two years. I have tried talk therapy, EMDR, and recently, LENS neurofeedback therapy. I have just now experienced a breakthrough where I am no longer clinically depressed...after 30 years.

Treatment is a process and it may take a while for behaviors to change. If those behaviors are abusive, you may have to ask yourself how long you are willing to expose yourself to them while you wait for your wife to have a therapeutic breakthrough.

Abusive behaviors take a lot of intense therapy to correct. You will need to focus on protecting yourself from them as long as you are exposed to them.

It's not the good faith of the other to change that should guide your decisions.  It's the actual impact that the current behaviors have on you that should take precedence.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2021, 06:40:00 AM »


Abusive behaviors take a lot of intense therapy to correct. You will need to focus on protecting yourself from them as long as you are exposed to them.

It's not the good faith of the other to change that should guide your decisions.  It's the actual impact that the current behaviors have on you that should take precedence.

I could not agree more with the wisdom of these two very short but very spot-on paragraphs.

Rev
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2021, 07:25:30 AM »

  I'm just too worn out to organize long term.  

And..if you were trying to organize the long term...I would advise against it.

Handle tomorrow...next week..next month and handle them in a better way than you did before.  Wash rinse repeat. 

Next thing you know, time has passed and your life is better

At some point you will realize that you have something stable you can plan with.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2021, 07:53:52 AM »

Although work is a stressor, I would caution against taking a lot of time off.

Work is probably your only contact with the outside world and a reality that isn't filtered through your wife's thinking.

The more you are home, the more available you are to "meet her needs".

Work is also probably your only source of validation.

Possibly "increasing" your work hours is the direction to go. Not more work, more time at "work"- ie away from your wife's behavior. Then you take midday break. So if your hours are 9-5 , you now do 8:30 to 5:30 and take an hour off for yourself.

I observed these dynamics over a decades long relationship between my parents. Although my father chose to stay, I also watched how he managed to carve some time to himself when he was working. He might go out to lunch on his own, take a walk. Once he retired, he was considered to be "available" to BPD mother all the time. He had already taken on most household tasks and then, he also took on more caretaking tasks.

Contact with the outside world serves as a reality check. Although we kids weren't allowed to say much about BPD mom, once we were young adults, we were a source of "reality" when we shared what we were doing in school, or other things. Dad's work and his co-workers were also a source of conversation that wasn't only about BPD mom and her feelings.

Dad was somewhat enmeshed with my mother, but once he retired, and home with her all the time, listening to her point of view, I think they became one person. Things he says and things she says sounded the same. She listened to his phone conversations, read his emails. And she is verbally and emotionally abusive.

So I think I know what this situation looks like if decades of emotional abuse is tolerated. What I don't know is what it would be like if it wasn't. So Max, the longer you tolerate this, the more likely it will still go on. Maybe you don't have the energy to address it, but I think it's a wise statement from I am Redeemed to not look to your wife for the good faith to permit you to be treated well.

The abuse serves the purpose of ridding her of her own uncomfortable feelings. It works for her, even if she doesn't intend to do it, this is what works for her and as long as it does, it's going to continue. It's also working for you somehow, and while that might not make logical sense, you would not be continuing to tolerate it if it wasn't. That's the key to discover for you with your T.

My hunch is that less time at work and more time at home will not be good for you.

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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2021, 08:50:47 AM »



I would like to add to Notwendy's thoughts.

What would happen if you let your wife work through the natural consequences of her decisions at home.

We know she wouldn't like it...yet I have to think she would adjust.  I'm not suggesting you come home, prop your feet up and do nothing...

I do think it would be great to "get the kids out of her hair" and let you build a connection with them..independent of her.

Bottom line...I can't imagine "continue toleration" of abuse.  That's very different that if your wife still tries from time to time.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2021, 12:08:01 PM »

I’ll add my two cents to the wonderful feedback that you’ve received from all of the above posts.

Going out on a limb and drawing from my own experience, I ask myself, what keeps Max paralyzed and the recipient of abusive behavior? My guess is that Max doesn’t want to be viewed as the bad guy.

All those insulting words can trigger childhood wounds. And if you are anything like I was, you bend over backwards to disprove allegations of selfishness, thoughtlessness, being uncaring. It’s painful to be perceived that way.

It wasn’t until I was able to embrace my less than noble side that I was able to free myself from feeling attacked by these allegations. Yes, sometimes I am selfish. Who isn’t? And yes, sometimes I’m thoughtless. I don’t purposefully intend to be, but it happens. Then there are times I’m uncaring. When one’s partner acts like an azzh-ole, that’s probably the best option.

Choosing to be kinder to myself and not expecting perfection that I never was able to live up to anyway, has greatly reduced the stress in my life. The other benefit is that not being rattled by insults also has decreased their frequency. After all, if something no longer works, why bother?
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2021, 06:39:50 PM »

Sorry for the late reply.  I appreciate all the advice.  I've been taking some time to focus more on me the best I can.

Wendy - regarding your last reply - I just don't know.  I just feel overwhelmed by it all because I have no experience being treated this way and it greatly conflicts with my logical mind.   I assume others to be logical and rational as well.  I don't really have fears of being viewed as a "bad guy", but I do want to respect Ws mental illness.  I've watched her self harm and attempt suicide.  I have trauma from that.  This is something I need to explore with my T.

Regarding the MC - she basically bailed on us, saying that we need to work with our individual Ts before she can work with us.  I'm not sure what direction to take regarding MC now - but my feeling is it is pointless unless W can work on r/s issues in a rational way.  Clearly she is not capable of that.  If every session is going to be abusive, what is my motivation to participate? 
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2021, 01:07:19 AM »

Also worth mentioning that W did seem to take notice of the MC calling out the abuse.  She's not owning up to the abuse, but she is owning up to a serious problem.  She seems to be upset at MC for being so blunt about this, but instead thinks MC simply has no experience dealing with people with mental illness and has no business making comments like that.  She sees this MC as "abandoning" her at a time of need.  She can't see MCs point - that her job is not to deal with Ws mental illness - W has her own T for that. 

In W's mind, she seems aware she behaves badly, but excuses the "abuse" as mental illness.  Sounds like the FOG I am with myself. 

Years ago I was a member of a message board for people who had/were experiencing domestic abuse.  I was involved in that message board from a previous r/s.  The "personality disorder" topic came up frequently.  At that time I was out of the previous r/s and things seemed clear to me - no FOG towards my ex - despite her likely NPD, her behavior to me and her son was clearly abusive and not excused by mental illness (a year later I learned by random coincidence she was arrested for assault).  My feeling is that if I I had a couple weeks distance from my current r/s, the FOG would be mostly gone and my path would feel much clearer. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2021, 01:38:53 AM »

W then went on for a period of time refusing to let me or even MC talk, calling me names, and then refusing to participate in any constructive discussion, to which MC responded "this is sounding abusive".  This set W off further, to which W then tried to get MC to validate that I was the abusive one for being passive. 

I've been there and I can say tolerating it for as long as I did is one of the few regrets I have, looking back and wondering where I could've done better. It's not just unhealthy, it's symptomatic of the fact she WANTS to accuse you, she WANTS to join the #MeToo to get some validation, she WANTS others to gaslight you alongside her.
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2021, 10:59:15 AM »

I've been there and I can say tolerating it for as long as I did is one of the few regrets I have, looking back and wondering where I could've done better. It's not just unhealthy, it's symptomatic of the fact she WANTS to accuse you, she WANTS to join the #MeToo to get some validation, she WANTS others to gaslight you alongside her.

I agree with this.  W has been going to Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) meetings the past few months or so.  I think she goes because this is a 12-step program that doesn't require her to be sober, or confront that issue.  It also seems to focus less on personal issues, and instead focuses on dysfunctional upbringing.  And while it is certainly not the intent of this program, I think that puts W in "victim mode" where she can then pin her issues squarely on others and the way she was treated.  From what W tells me, her T seems no not be too keen on her doing ACA because it doesn't keep her rooted in the present. 

As for MC - I think W wants a MC to validate her feelings that I have all kinds of issues that cause W to act out or be "triggered" and that Ws mental illnesses are an excuse for her behavior.  When she doesn't get that, she doesn't want to see MC anymore.  I did message MC last night, told her that I did not know what to do next, but that I agreed that the last session was completely unproductive and that I don't want to continue unless sessions can have some basic ground rules. 
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2021, 11:30:35 AM »

FF -

"No tolerance for abuse"

My issue here right now is what constitutes "abuse".  Given the history, I feel like I want to put the bar quite low now.  If I was dealing with someone that didn't have a history of belittling or name calling or physical threats, then I could probably excuse some of the sarcasm and shortness as having a "bad day".  But when I hear that now, I know what will eventually happen.  I am not even in the mood to try to diffuse the small stuff right now, because I know where things eventually lead.

Yesterday W woke up in a bad mood because we had planned to visit her dad for his birthday.  I expected this, and did my best to be validating.  Nonetheless, her first communication with me for the day was her accusing me and asking me to change something that I did not do.  In this case, it was accusing me of doing the laundry wrong, despite the fact that I have not ran a load of laundry for over a week.  Even though she was using the world "you", I did my very best to accept that she was probably not trying to accuse me, but rather this was her way of venting a general frustration.  At this point, I knew the day would be bad. 

The rest of the day was okay until we took the kids for a walk before dinner.   Halfway thru, W wanted me to instruct the kids to walk on the rocky side yards of people's houses rather than along the curb at the side of the street (no sidewalk).  I informed her that I don't like them to walk on the uneven rocky surface because they trip, kick rocks, and get rocks in their shoes.  A few minutes later, S4 remembered he forgot to look at something, turned around to run back towards it across the gravel of the side yard, W then yelled at him, S4 turned back around, and tripped and skinned his knee.  W then proceeded to blame this on me.  When I told her that I was not going to participate in this, she felt invalidated cursed at me and called me a few names, and stormed home on the other side of the street with D4.  Once home, the verbal abuse continued, at that point I told her that I was staying outside to clean the yard.  20 minutes later, I came in, W accused me of being "inattentive" and "sitting on my ass", said that it was almost 7pm and the kids haven't eaten.  I reminded her of what I was doing outside, she then resumed the verbal abuse, at that point I told her I would take a 30 minute walk by myself for self care.  After the walk, W didn't say much.  I gave the kids a bath and made the decision to sleep on the sofa. 

At what point do I enforce a "no abuse" boundary?  I didn't stick around for it for nearly as long as I have in the past.  W sees this a "punishing her" when I leave and do something for myself.  An explanation to her as to why I left (explaining my boundary) would probably be quite bad, no?  I think I think  if I simply do the same over and over she may eventually get it.

I do feel better not having listened to two hours of abuse, but those under-the-breath comments and sarcastic tone does add up.  This morning I did make a mistake - we currently have one car, and I decided to work from home so that W can take the kids out for a few hours.  But I doubt she will, and instead I will be trying to work from home in this environment.  I should have insisted that I had to work from the office and paid for a rideshare.  I'm kicking myself for that right now, because I could use the time to myself.
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2021, 11:50:05 AM »

Max,

Have you ever had a joint session with her T?

You are at a turning point...a time to put cards on the table.  For a disordered person, your wife seems remarkably open.

I would encourage you to push for openness.  Let MC talk to her T and your T ahead of time.

Then have a joint session with each of them or at least "partially joint" where both of you guys are together for a while with each of your respective Ts.

Isn't it time to figure out if improvements can be sustained?

Best,

FF

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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2021, 11:56:00 AM »

FF -

"No tolerance for abuse"

My issue here right now is what constitutes "abuse".  

I would encourage you to ask this question directly to your wife's T...in front of her.  Perhaps give him a heads up ahead of time about the nature of the questions you will be asking.

Max...I think I know your heart.  If your wife's T were to ask you to respond in a certain way..for a certain period of time...for a certain reason...I can't imagine you would say no.

I'm just as strongly certain that continuing down a path without EXPLICIT direction from her mental health team is NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS.

Does this seem fair to you?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2021, 12:11:04 PM »

Have you ever had a joint session with her T?

You are at a turning point...a time to put cards on the table.  For a disordered person, your wife seems remarkably open.


No.  Well, I was there for one session with her old T.  That was a few years ago, before kids. 

Yes - my W is remarkably open.  She is at least willing to admit to others she has a MI.  On one hand that makes things easier.  On the other hand, it makes things more difficult because she uses this to play "victim" in that she somehow deserves more or different care than others.  I think she plays this to her advantage with her Ts, too.  She gets very resentful at Ts that challenge her in any way.

Regarding your suggestion on joint sessions - that is probably not feasible due to scheduling.  I'm also not sure about the current MC - we have only met with her maybe 5-6 times, and it seems like she wants to distance herself from the abuse situation.  I await her response to the message I sent to her yesterday, but I don't think she can be helpful here.
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2021, 12:45:35 PM »

that is probably not feasible due to scheduling. 

Can you expand on this? 

Best,

FF
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2021, 12:54:52 PM »

Can you expand on this? 

Best,

FF

Trying to get appointments with any of the 3 Ts has been tricky lately because they are all extremely busy right now.  The MC seems to have space only about every other week, my T usually is completely booked other than the time I have scheduled with him once per week.  W struggles to find a make-up-time if she has to cancel with her T.  Add childcare issues on top of that and things become very tricky.
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« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2021, 01:10:29 PM »


All fair points.

It would seem to me that substituting one of the currently scheduled appointments for a joint is the way to go.

How did childcare get worked out for MC?  Can that be repeated for 2 more joint sessions (1 with her T..1 with yours)

Has your T ever seen your wife in action?

If I could only make one of these happen..it would be you two with your wife's T. 

Thoughts?

Best,

FF
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