Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 705020

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Trying to deal with husband's reaction

Posted by All Done on November 18, 2006, at 17:57:33

I think it was about six months ago when I was going through a particularly difficult time that my T left me a voicemail message. He said he called to let me know he was thinking about me because he knows it's important to me that I know he thinks about me. He said he hoped I was doing alright and I didn't have to, but if I wanted, I could call him back.

I saved the message and listen to it on a fairly regular basis. Anyway, my husband heard it the other day and asked about it. He seemed upset (for him anyway) and kept asking me how I would feel if it was a woman leaving him a message like that. I told him if that woman was his T, I would understand. He looked pretty skeptical about that. He's never been in therapy and I don't get the feeling he quite understands.

I tried to tell him (briefly, we only had a short amount of time to talk...before I left for therapy :-( ) why it's so important to me to feel like I matter to my T. My husband asked how many clients he has and do I expect him to go through his Rolodex and think of each of his clients all the time? :-( :-( :-(

I feel like this is all difficult to explain. I talked to my T about it and asked him to "fix it". He suggested my husband coming in to see him (with or without me). I think I'll offer for my husband to go see him without me. I'm also going to show my husband an email that he (my husband) wrote to me that helps me like my T's message helps sometimes. Because at one point, my husband said, "so you need to know he's thinking about you because you don't know I'm thinking about you?" Sigh. It's not so simple, you know?

I haven't seen my husband all day, but we just talked on the phone. He sounds perfectly fine. In a good mood, actually. (Unlike me stewing about it all day.) Should I try to talk more about it or no?

It's also triggering lots of old stuff where my mom would accuse me of things she thought were "bad" or "wrong". I got in huge trouble for reading "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" when I was about 13. As an adult, I realize so much of it was her own stuff and I wasn't doing anything wrong.

But I still feel like I've been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. :(

Thanks for reading even though I've been avoiding everyone and not responding to anyone's posts. It's been a difficult time for me the last few weeks. I'm sorry.

((((Babblers))))

Laurie

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction

Posted by Jost on November 18, 2006, at 21:47:14

In reply to Trying to deal with husband's reaction, posted by All Done on November 18, 2006, at 17:57:33

Hi, AllDone.

Towards the end, you say it's as if you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar. That could be part of what happened-- that you felt a bit defensive and guilty when your husband initially voiced his concerns-- which might come across to your husband as some disturbance or anxiety that you have about your connection to your T.

I mean, your husband might not understand yet and you might need to explain, but it sounds as though he's receptive.

Esp. if he was in a good mood, and that holds up-- he might have been momentarily unsettled, but it also might not be that hard to reassure him. Unless you feel a little "disloyal" to him, or as if you shouldn't need, or have such an intimate connection to, anyone else. That's not true, but I understand the feeling.

It could be that if you feel okay when you tell your husband, and are letting him know rather than justifying something (that you yourself don't quite feel okay about), he'll be able to listen and accept it-- even if he has some bit of uncertainty of his own.

He could pick up on your being comfortable or not-- as a clue to whether the relationship is safe and non-threatening.

Jost

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction All Done

Posted by annierose on November 19, 2006, at 7:33:04

In reply to Trying to deal with husband's reaction, posted by All Done on November 18, 2006, at 17:57:33

Not knowing your husband of course, and I'm the worse person to try to "guess" at what men are thinking, so I may be way off base ---

When you called him later in the day, he was probably "over it" by then. He heard the message, it kind of freaked him out a tad, then you explained your point of view, he mulled it over and chalked it up to not really understanding the depth of the theraputic relationship.

For better or worse, my husband doesn't understand the attachment I have to my therapist either. But because she is female, the sexual part does not play into the relationship (or complicate matters from his point of view). He'll make comments, "I just don't understand why you need to go so often. (translation = it costs so much money and/or you talk about her and what happened in your session)" And I reply, "You don't need to understand. You have never been a therapy client. I obviously have some attachment issues to work out and she is the person I have chosen to work this out with. All I ask from you is your support. You don't have to get it."

I'm surprised your t offered to see him. Most t's find that a difficult position to be in once you have entered into a long term relationship when them. What are your feelings regarding this? I would think it through carefully. I could see positive and negatives, but when I weigh it in my little head, the scale always tips to "NO WAY" (not that she would even offer though).

You did nothing wrong. It's okay to receive comfort from your t via a voice mail. It's a perfect way to soothe and take care of yourself. I remember when he left that message. It's so wonderful that you have that.

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction All Done

Posted by Dinah on November 19, 2006, at 11:43:55

In reply to Trying to deal with husband's reaction, posted by All Done on November 18, 2006, at 17:57:33

I understand the feeling. Really I do.

Therapy's so far outside the normal experience of friend/lover/etc. that unless you understand it, it's hard to put it in the proper place.

I've never quite been able to figure out how my husband thinks about my therapist. I think it used to bother him that my therapist was (in my husband's opinion) attractive. And that he was relieved when he saw him again recently.

But overall my husband knows me well enough to know it wasn't a sexual attraction.

Still, I'm positive that some part of him was distressed to have his wife dependent on another person, especially another man. And he balanced that distress or concern with happiness that my therapist absorbed the worst of my meltdowns so that he didn't have to be bothered by them. He saw my therapist as sort of a protective barrier between him and me.

I'm not quite sure how he worked it all out. The language of emotions isn't my husband's native tongue. And that's ok.

Maybe your husband just came out with some of what he's felt for some time. Or maybe he was surprised with what he found, and had to comment on it. In any case, if he seems ok with it now, it's probably ok to let it lay. Maybe ask him when the iron is cold if he realizes that he's the only lover in your life, and that your therapist plays a different role. Something like that.

People do occasionally blow up about something and then get over it.

But if it continues to be an issue, you might want to think of other options to help your husband feel more comfortable.

No matter what, there's nothing inherently wrong with listening to your therapist's voice mail. My husband has seen my "T" section of my iPod. :)

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction Jost

Posted by All Done on November 20, 2006, at 11:17:18

In reply to Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction, posted by Jost on November 18, 2006, at 21:47:14

> Hi, AllDone.

Hi, Jost. :-)


> Towards the end, you say it's as if you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar. That could be part of what happened-- that you felt a bit defensive and guilty when your husband initially voiced his concerns-- which might come across to your husband as some disturbance or anxiety that you have about your connection to your T.

I think I was starting to realize that toward the end of writing my post. I think there is more going on with my own history and that always makes me read more into what my husband is thinking than maybe I should.


> I mean, your husband might not understand yet and you might need to explain, but it sounds as though he's receptive.
>
> Esp. if he was in a good mood, and that holds up-- he might have been momentarily unsettled, but it also might not be that hard to reassure him. Unless you feel a little "disloyal" to him, or as if you shouldn't need, or have such an intimate connection to, anyone else. That's not true, but I understand the feeling.
>
> It could be that if you feel okay when you tell your husband, and are letting him know rather than justifying something (that you yourself don't quite feel okay about), he'll be able to listen and accept it-- even if he has some bit of uncertainty of his own.
>
> He could pick up on your being comfortable or not-- as a clue to whether the relationship is safe and non-threatening.
>
> Jost

Right. I think between my feeling accused and anticipating his reaction to be like my mom's would have been and my own general anxiety about my attachment to my T, he must have picked up on my discomfort with the topic.

He has been fine since we talked. In fact, he seems better than fine. He was talking a lot and holding my hand, which he hasn't been doing much of lately.

I think more got stirred up in me than I initially thought with all of this. Now, if we talk about it again (or when?), I'll be more aware and hopefully I can be more comfortable with the topic.

Thanks for the response, Jost.

Take care,
Laurie

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction annierose

Posted by All Done on November 20, 2006, at 11:36:39

In reply to Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction All Done, posted by annierose on November 19, 2006, at 7:33:04

> Not knowing your husband of course, and I'm the worse person to try to "guess" at what men are thinking, so I may be way off base ---
>
> When you called him later in the day, he was probably "over it" by then. He heard the message, it kind of freaked him out a tad, then you explained your point of view, he mulled it over and chalked it up to not really understanding the depth of the theraputic relationship.

I think that's right - or at least I'm hoping he's "over it" and not just burying it. He hasn't said anything else and really seemed okay the rest of the weekend. And I know with other things, he's able to let things go much faster than I am. He always wonders why I think about everything so much and am not able to just "forget about it".


> For better or worse, my husband doesn't understand the attachment I have to my therapist either. But because she is female, the sexual part does not play into the relationship (or complicate matters from his point of view). He'll make comments, "I just don't understand why you need to go so often. (translation = it costs so much money and/or you talk about her and what happened in your session)" And I reply, "You don't need to understand. You have never been a therapy client. I obviously have some attachment issues to work out and she is the person I have chosen to work this out with. All I ask from you is your support. You don't have to get it."

Over the past three and a half years with my T, I do know my husband has come to accept a lot of "strange" things about my therapy. Overall, he's been pretty supportive and understanding. I think he's getting used to not necessarily understanding but accepting.

I like what you said about the attachment issues and choosing to work them out with your T. I might have to use that one. :-)


> I'm surprised your t offered to see him. Most t's find that a difficult position to be in once you have entered into a long term relationship when them. What are your feelings regarding this? I would think it through carefully. I could see positive and negatives, but when I weigh it in my little head, the scale always tips to "NO WAY" (not that she would even offer though).

I'm glad my T offered to see him. I pretty much made it clear that I'm not comfortable with a joint session. I think that would invade "my" space too much. I did say, if he saw him, the rule is they have to tell me what they talked about (umm...sort of joking). My T said he would rather have him come in than talking over the phone. He thinks it's hard to get a good first impression without being face to face. He wants my husband to see he's "not some weirdo". :-)

I haven't extended the offer to my husband. A while back, I asked if he ever wanted to meet my T and he immediately said, "no! That's *your* therapy. I don't want to mess with it." I'll ask him again, if I feel there's still an issue. Or maybe mention the offer from my T at some point when things aren't so fresh. I imagine the offer alone would afford some level of comfort to my husband.


> You did nothing wrong. It's okay to receive comfort from your t via a voice mail. It's a perfect way to soothe and take care of yourself. I remember when he left that message. It's so wonderful that you have that.

Thanks, (((((annie))))). Have you been able to soothe and take care of yourself lately? I hope things are okay through the holidays.

Lots of hugs to you,
Laurie

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction Dinah

Posted by All Done on November 20, 2006, at 11:49:38

In reply to Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction All Done, posted by Dinah on November 19, 2006, at 11:43:55

> I understand the feeling. Really I do.
>
> Therapy's so far outside the normal experience of friend/lover/etc. that unless you understand it, it's hard to put it in the proper place.

You aren't kidding! I have a hard time understanding and grasping it myself. How on Earth am I supposed to explain it to someone that not only has no experience with therapy but hardly understands his own emotions?


> I've never quite been able to figure out how my husband thinks about my therapist. I think it used to bother him that my therapist was (in my husband's opinion) attractive. And that he was relieved when he saw him again recently.
>
> But overall my husband knows me well enough to know it wasn't a sexual attraction.
>
> Still, I'm positive that some part of him was distressed to have his wife dependent on another person, especially another man. And he balanced that distress or concern with happiness that my therapist absorbed the worst of my meltdowns so that he didn't have to be bothered by them. He saw my therapist as sort of a protective barrier between him and me.

Yeah, I think my husband's pretty grateful that he doesn't have to deal as much with my meltdowns. What he doesn't know is that my T has been trying to get me to depend on my husband more often than I currently do (or don't).


> I'm not quite sure how he worked it all out. The language of emotions isn't my husband's native tongue. And that's ok.
>
> Maybe your husband just came out with some of what he's felt for some time. Or maybe he was surprised with what he found, and had to comment on it. In any case, if he seems ok with it now, it's probably ok to let it lay. Maybe ask him when the iron is cold if he realizes that he's the only lover in your life, and that your therapist plays a different role. Something like that.
>
> People do occasionally blow up about something and then get over it.

This is something I'm very unfamiliar with. :-( Well, the getting over it part. My mom (it's always about the mom, isn't it?) used to blow up and keep bringing stuff up for days, months...well, even years after. I would never know when the other shoe was going to drop.


> But if it continues to be an issue, you might want to think of other options to help your husband feel more comfortable.

I think, if nothing else, talking to my T and coming here has helped me to be a little more prepared if it comes up again. I'll have less anxiety and some better words to describe what I'm feeling.


> No matter what, there's nothing inherently wrong with listening to your therapist's voice mail. My husband has seen my "T" section of my iPod. :)

I wish I knew how to transfer his voicemails to my iPod. After all this, we're looking to change our phone service and I'll probably lose them all anyway. :-(

As always, thanks for being here for me, ((((Dinah)))).

Laurie

 

Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction

Posted by Dinah on November 20, 2006, at 11:59:15

In reply to Re: Trying to deal with husband's reaction Dinah, posted by All Done on November 20, 2006, at 11:49:38

If they're on tapes I can let you know. In fact if there's any way to plug earphones in whatever you have, I can let you know.

(They transfer over very softly though, and I have to turn the volume all the way up).


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