Several weeks ago,  I wrote about talking to a realtor/pastor who works in my building who offered to counsel my husband and me.  (see this post)

Well, my husband and I met him for lunch today.

It was awful.

It didn’t start out bad.  He told us a little about himself.  No problem.

He asked us how we met and how we envisioned what would make a happy marriage and stuff like that.  No problem.

But as the conversation went on, my husband would tell half-truths.  Or, maybe I should say, he would tell the truth, but not the whole story.  And then when I would try to fill in how I viewed it, I would end up looking like the bad guy.  Or in this case, the bad wife.

For example, one of the things we discussed was money.   At one point, the realtor/pastor asked if we had done Dave Ramsey (link) or anything like that.  So my husband said, “I’ve done Dave Ramsey, but she hasn’t.”

Okay, so that’s the truth.  He did a Dave Ramsey online course.  I refused to take it with him.

And here’s the back story, the part he didn’t tell.

For YEARS I asked my husband if we could do a family budget, and then, when I learned about Dave Ramsey, I asked if we could do Dave Ramsey’s course.

And my husband would not.

Then, suddenly, about three years ago, when I started working and opened my own checking and savings accounts, then, he wanted me to do Dave Ramsey with him.

Why the change, you might ask.

Well, Dave Ramsey advocates that in a marriage, the money is not “his” and “hers;” it is “ours.”  To me, this was a way my husband thought he could manipulate me to get his hands on the money I was earning.

For the record, I agree with Dave Ramsey.  However, I also believe that there are times when a woman (or maybe a man, depending on the situation) may need to protect herself.

So that was one example of my husband telling the truth, but not the whole truth … and I ended up looking bad.

I did tell the realtor/pastor that for years I had asked my husband if we could do a budget and he wouldn’t, but that by the time my husband wanted to do the class, that I had a bad attitude and wouldn’t do the class with him.  The realtor/pastor said, that’s sin.  You should have jumped at the chance to take the class with your husband.

When lunch was finished and it was almost time for me to go back to work, the realtor/pastor said something about attending church.  Oh, he was telling us that we had to do things together – eat together, spend time together, go on mini-vacations together, go to church together.   He stopped and said, you do attend church?  My husband said that he attended church but that I didn’t.

Okay, so technically, that is true.  But, once again, it is not the complete story.  Yes, my husband attends church.  He shines at church.

While I do belong to a church, I don’t have a physical congregation to attend and I watch and/or listen to services online.

But then this pastor starts preaching about that if you don’t attend church, you are going to fall away from Christ, etc. (quoting Heb. 10:25) And my husband knows my church situation, but he said nothing to defend me.  I was stunned by the preacher and my husband.  And then I was offended; this man knows nothing of my relationship with God!

Anyhow…  his “assignments” for us are for my husband to find us a Dave Ramsey class to actually physically attend, for me to buy the book “Love and Respect” and its accompanying workbook(s) and for both of us to decide within the next week whether or not we want to council with him (my husband does).

(I’ve read reviews that say that book is heavy on the “respect” stuff with very little on the “love” stuff, but I have not personally read the book.  Have any of you?)

So, I ended up feeling shredded and crazy.

I should have known better.

Oh, and “always the gentleman,” in public, at least, my husband paid for my lunch.

Chalk up another point for him.

This entry was posted in codependency, covert abuse, emotional abuse, family, marriage, money, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, passive aggressive husband, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to counseling…

  1. PLEASE DO NOT COUNCEL WITH HIM. That pastor revealed how clueless he is about the nature of abuse. He is already, after one meeting, taking on your husband’s agenda and minimizing what you say.

    Please do not hate me for saying this, but no amount of counselling will make your husband change and stop abusing you. Only a regeneration of his heart will change him, and Christ alone has that power.

    PAA, you are not obligated by man or God to stay in a relationship that murders your soul. As C.S. Lewis said, we don’t have souls, we are souls. You are allowed to protect yourself from being killed!!!

    Many hugs to you!

  2. Also…

    I did tell the realtor/pastor that for years I had asked my husband if we could do a budget and he wouldn’t, but that by the time my husband wanted to do the class, that I had a bad attitude and wouldn’t do the class with him.  The realtor/pastor said, that’s sin.  You should have jumped at the chance to take the class with your husband.

    Excuse me pastor, but why didn’t you chide Mr. Husband for his sin in having a bad attitude toward his wife. And HE should have jumped at the chance to take a class with his wife!

    Ugh! I am so disgusted with double standards!

  3. WritesinPJ's says:

    I’d give that pastor the book co-written by Jeff Crippen, and for that matter, if you contact Jeff Crippen, I bet he’d be willing to answer any legitimate questions that pastor could have. I’ve corresponded with Jeff Crippen before, and he’s extremely respectful and helpful.

    Right now, that man is not only clueless, but potentially can do great harm. He’s causing distress to you, but he can unwittingly be an accomplice to your husband’s spiritual destruction.

  4. WritesinPJ's says:

    I just wish I could give you a real hug, and am I ever tired of these people living in lala land and dishing out what they call ‘counsel’.

  5. giorge thomas says:

    Counselling sounds like the best thing for your husband. It’s a great platform for him. This way, he can sit in front of a third party and have all of his views vindicated. It’s already occurred on the first session, and will continue to occur because your husband is good at ‘playing the role.’ Most abusers are. On top of that, it will be a great ego-stroking exercise, and your husband seems to live by his ego, as in, whatever occurs in his life in order for him to feel better about himself, or feel greater than himself.

    With regard to finances – any person who champions the ideas that couples need to combine money, and who believes this is the best course of action, is a fool. Just because you are married to someone does not mean you need to ‘combine’ money. The world continues to forget – the tax man certainly does – that we are individuals in this world. Partners need to equal expenses, sure, but other than that, it’s no one’s business. I’ve no idea how much money my husband earns. It’s none of my business. What you earn, or do with your money (after you’ve paid your share of the household bills, of course) is none of your husband’s business.

    Thirdly; church. What does religious beliefs have to do with a marriage? A couple do not need to have the same religious beliefs to have a successful union. If you support each other in your beliefs, that’s all you need. Telling you you need to go to Church with your husband is just this pastor’s way of telling you that you need to conform to his doctrine. Which you do not.

    Do not continue anything with this bloke, he seems like an absolute fool.

  6. Expat says:

    Ugh! Please don’t meet with this idiot anymore. Please. I have a feeling that now your husband feels backed that he’s going to want to have another session. :( Don’t give in, this pastor is only going to mess with your mind and sense of duty like your husband does :(

    It’s funny… or rather not – same thing but different scenario – when I was pregnant my ex husband didn’t want to acknowledge it at all. At ALL – until 2 weeks before I gave birth, then he told his parents, who are also PA/Narc. Then he was all about talking about how he wanted to discuss it but how I was in the wrong about how I didn’t want to anymore and that I gave up on him. After awhile it’s like what is the point? There is none, either they give a crap or they don’t and these men don’t until a third party becomes involved.

  7. Sofia Leo says:

    Counseling with that pastor is NOT a good idea. You’ll be setting yourself up for more guilt and confusion while hubby comes off looking like a saint for putting up with your “crazy” ways. You need to get OUT.

  8. Newshoes says:

    Ah! We met with a quack too at the beginning, apparently my pah abused me because I let him….! The counsellor had the nerve to concentrate on my problems and let my pah off the hook… We didn’t go back obviously…

  9. ChickenLadyMovedToTown says:

    Just let ‘er blow!!!!! State the pure, simple, truthful facts on why you’re not going to engage in this ill-equipped-to-handle, inexperienced counseling session. Then gird up your loins and stand your ground. You can’t worry about what everyone in the world is thinking about you. Do what you know is right. Look after you, because he’s not going to. You already know he’ll covertly attempt to take you down.

    Most of us here are givers. We now know that’s how we were hooked-in. Remember there’s a difference between being selfish and looking out for yourself.

  10. marsocmom says:

    I’ve read Love and Respect, and the theory is good, but it lays a heavy burden on the woman. The theory is that men need respect more than they need love, and women need love more than they need respect. If we just show him the respect that he craves, he in turn will show us the love we crave, and vice versa. We’ll keep trying to show him respect, hoping that eventually he’ll soften and show us the love we need, but honestly, haven’t we been doing this all along? Does not work with PA and narc men (or women.) It just leaves you feeling more guilty that you aren’t doing enough to make him love you. So your husband has to find a Dave Ramsey class and drag you along, and you have to buy the book and workbook and learn how to respect your husband more? What about your husband? Doesn’t he have to do it too? That is just wrong.

    • Chiming in to say, I tried the give him more respect and got no love…I got abandoned instead. Marsocmom, is right…it does not work with these abuser/manipulator/narcissist/ppassive aggressive men. It isn’t respect they crave–they want the ability to control and manipulate you.

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      What marsocmom said!

      • lonelywife07 says:

        H E double hockey sticks!! Oh forget it..HELL!!! That’s some crappy “counseling” advice! You need to buy him a couple of books and ask HIM to read them! Leslie Vernicks The Emotionally Abusive Marriage is one, and take your pick on the other..anything by Crippen, Dr Henry Cloud, etc..
        Don’t waste your money on Love and Respect…I read that book about month after I found out about PA Mans emotional affair….I “thought” it was a marriage saver…HA!!!
        PA Man and I even went to TWO L&R conferences!
        The theory is fine,..BUT when you’re married to an abusive person…that crap don’t cut it!!
        And yes, I felt that the wife bears the burden for making the marriage work!

  11. marsocmom says:

    Also, in all the churches I’ve ever been to, I can’t think of one of the pastors I would have trusted to counsel me in a serious situation like this. They were all good men, but though they would counsel, it was only a tiny part of their job, so you could properly call them all amateurs. If you have to keep seeing him, I hope at some point he will ask to see you and your husband separately, but I really hope you don’t have to waste anymore time letting him play compassionate counselor.

  12. One Day @ a Time says:

    Please run from this “counselor”… God does not judge and he certainly does not appoint anyone the right to judge anyone else or call you a sinner… I would suggest you seek your own individual counselor for you and your daughters. I have been reading your posts for a long time.. Your posts gave me the strength to confront my own husband and I’ve since prayed everyday that you’d find the same peace that I have found.
    My marriage and myself struggled a lot until I found a good therapist and, trust me, I went through a few until I found one I was comfortable with. The counseling helped me find the strength in myself to stand up to him and leave until he got help and got himself healthy. My husband has since decided to the see my therapist on his own. We are nowhere near the end of the road but I have moved back in and will stay with him as long as he continues the counseling and stays the calm nurturing man he has become. Everything is different. We follow Dave Ramsey because I asked him to listen to the tapes and he did without hesitation. I cook every night because I love cooking, not because I am scared anymore. Our whole life has changed. I am telling you all of this because your blog gave me the courage to find help. I realized I was not alone. Please do not listen to this pastor/counselor. Please do not let him add another self defeating thought in your head.
    The one thing I learned in counseling was that there are two sides to every story but it does not matter if no one is listening. Find a therapist who has enough respect for you and your marriage to listen to everything and do not be afraid of what the therapist has to say… God does not judge us through man…
    May God bless you, your children, and your heart (however you decide)

  13. Sick of me yet? ;)

    A Cry For Justice had another timely post on issues you are sharing. Today touched on couples counselling:

    • lonelywife07 says:

      Marriedtohyde I got this from A Cry For Justice also….I thought it was so good, I even posted it on my blog!!
      Can Abusers Change?

      To say that abusers cannot change removes responsibility for sin. They can change, but the vast majority choose not to, which is what the experts state. When God punishes them, their punishment is just. Abusers have options for treatment and are accountable.

      Once the marriage covenant is broken through abuse, the abused partner does not need to stay in the marriage waiting for the abuser to change. The abuser’s recovery is a separate issue and his change is his own responsibility, not his wife’s. This is the mistake most churches make. These churches have over-sentimentalized marriage and are legalists.

      The key words?? “They can change, but the vast majority choose not to, which is what the experts state.”
      PAA….your husband can change…he chooses NOT to….your husband can have a loving relationship with his daughters, he chooses NOT to…think about that! And then, start making some major decisions in YOUR life!
      Your husband may not change, but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t!!

      • Yes!!! As painful as it is to accept, our husband-abusers absolutely choose to withhold, minimize, gaslight and otherwise hurt us. They don’t do this to everyone else. This evidence of behavior editing is proof that they can control their meanness and choose not to.

        Realizing he chooses to abuse is one of the hardest and most painful d@$* things in the world to accept. I felt like my world turned upside down when I realized it was true. That’s when the fog lifted too and I could look back and see all the manipulation that had been going on the whole time.

        You deserve to live honestly.

  14. lonelywife07 says:

    Oh, I forgot to add….my H started counseling last week….he knows this is his only chance to get his act together or we separate after the first of the year….anyway, the therapist wanted me to come with my husband…LOL!!!!! No Thank You!!! Been there…Done that!!

  15. fern says:

    Just wait ’til it comes out (and it will) that you are “refusing him sex” — hoo boy, I can just SEE the heyday they would have over that one. No, I think it’s best just do a ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ with this pastor guy — if your poor start is any indication, don’t see how you could end up with anything but the short end of the stick….

    • lonelywife07 says:

      Fern….my husband did tell his counselor that we haven’t been “intimate” for awhile, and that I’m talking about separation…the counselor told him “Well, that’s not good, we have a lot of work to do, don’t we?”
      So maybe this guy gets it…but since I never plan to meet him, I could care less what he thinks!
      Leslie Vernicks book and blog have given me strength to do what I need to do for myself!

  16. JD says:

    I’ve just read your blog for the first time tonight. I see how long this situation has been tormenting you. Seriously, why torture yourself any longer? It seems to be an insufferable marriage, one that you have long been emotionally ready from which to extricate yourself. For your and your children’s well-being, I heartily encourage you to leave. What are you waiting for? You will be fine on your own, I am certain of it. Godspeed to you!

  17. I sat through two hours of this with my ex. he sat there lied and when I would try to tell my side the guy told me how I didn’t need to be there. We were supposed to have been there to “save” our marriage. But because I felt it was to far gone then he wasn’t interested in trying to help us see if we could turn things around. He took my ex’s side all the way.

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