I have spent thousands on person therapy after my marital separation. I feel that everyone should because whether you’re the instigator who wants to leave or the person who was asked to leave, there’s a lot of baggage left behind.
I was chatting with a friend the other day and I noted to her that her ex didn’t even have an opportunity to embrace singlehood. No, he like many others, went from one relationship into another like it was a Chinese and Canadian buffet. How does one seek closure when you’ve already opened another door? I hope that gave her perspective on how her journey is so much more fulfilling and satisfying, as painful as it is. I recommended a good therapist would help you find your way through the things you can’t see through.
Today, I had therapy. I have it once a month. She is my first therapist I’ve ever had and she lives in Ottawa. I refused to switch simply because telling my story vocally kills me; even today. I’m happy paying her price, which is Ottawa pricing, and I trust her. That’s all that matters as I’ve heard finding a therapist who “jives” with you can be really difficult. I got lucky. I found her two days after I wanted to kill myself.
Here are some examples as to why I feel therapy is good for anyone going through a marital separation, especially when there is infidelity, addiction or trauma involved. Note: These are my feeling and not of those as a certified therapist. I am where you were or are today; a betrayed spouse.
- A Therapist listens and asks the important questions. They provide you with documents and questions that makes you look deep within for answers.
Very early on in my therapy, it was all about getting it all out. Deciding to stay or to leave. She listened. She didn’t pressure me into a decision. She gave me worksheets to read and do. She would ask “Why is this important to you?” This was probably to gain knowledge about me, but most importantly, it was for ME to gain knowledge about my morals, my boundaries, and to guide me to an answer for my indecision.
- A therapist will call you out, gently, to your bullshit
If you are fortunate enough to trust your therapist, they become a friend in many ways. A paid friend with a lot of knowledge, but a friend who knows probably more about your psyche than anyone else. They will not hesitate to review their notes and say “But in the last session, you said this.” or “You were so angry a month ago, what changed?”
- A therapist will tell you when it isn’t time
I was supposed to start therapy with my daughter in two weeks. We reviewed what my goals were during these sessions. After much thought, she advised that it wasn’t time. It wasn’t time because half of the angst that I’m dealing with isn’t directed at her. When it’s time to deal with her, it will be at a place where I can discuss the issues that deal solely with her and I. I fought it, my therapist won with reason and explanation.
I come from an Addict’s world. My ex comes from an addict’s world. My daughter is part of an addict’s world. There is a reason for everything we feel and we should never ever disregard or neglect how we feel. It’s how we deal with it that matters. So, I wait…..
- A therapist with confirm or correct your feelings
In my last blog post, I said that I mailed photos. Well, I did receive a response. I drove all day Saturday writing a response in my head. It drove me bananas how much I wanted to respond. I told a few friends and they urged me not to respond, however, I always pass it by my therapist. She asked me, “Why haven’t you sent the response yet?” I replied, “Because all of my responses were never read in its entirety and I always received a note back stating that I write too long or a snide comment about not wanting to read that. I will never be heard even if I do respond; I’ve never been heard in 30 years, and all this effort wasted writing in my head and not sending anything, proves it.”
She applauded me for not responding, as the letter sent to me was vague, flat, and again, truly a sorry, not sorry, kind of approach.
- A therapist will applaud your victories; even though they don’t feel like victories
This has been a busy two weeks for me relationship wise and with personal growth. I told her about my friend and I parting ways. She has already heard about this friend several times. I read her the letter I received. We chatted a bit about our connection, I showed her his tinder photo beside my ex’s (she was floored at the resemblance), and his relationship with his ex.
She asked me, “Are you ok with this happening to you?”
I replied, “Yes, there is a deep void in my life right now, but I’ve managed to focus on school. It’s hard to not have the “how was your day text?” or a two-hour phone call every night, but it was truly going to end some day.”
I also talked about our toxicity, and how maybe I was jealous that he was holding on so tight to his ex and his family. What he always called “His Purpose.”
I am jealous as I was willing to throw away close to 100K to get my ex into a place where he needed to be and live in a dump, outside of Ottawa, to work through it all. I was jilted, but he/she still tries. So maybe a lot of our arguments was jealousy based. It wasn’t because I wanted him as a partner, it’s because he still wanted his wife after six years of trying.
She made me recognize that with the issues we both face, I made the right choice for my life and that she understands that feeling of jealousy. My history showed that saving my relationship would have been a spinning wheel waiting to fall off without immense support and counselling. Did I regret walking away from that that spinning wheel? I know if I was at that point today, I’d be making all kinds of excuses of why the relationship doesn’t work aside from the obvious.
“No, I left when it wasn’t a possibility. I left because I wanted my kids to understand what a person deserves in a relationship. I left because I deserved better treatment.”
I said I loved my friend dearly, and I hope that he/she does achieve victory in the end. We need to see a victory when it comes to relationships and addiction.
She responded that after hearing his letter and me speaking, he was a good experience for growth. We both changed each other’s lives, even if it was supposed to be short lived. He was loved and I was loved at a time in our lives where we needed to feel it. It was a “non-relationship” breakup that meant something deeper than many married couples.
I have lived in an Addict’s World since I was five, love is very different and with therapy I will learn how to love myself, respect myself, create boundaries, and accept true love without restrictions. This was not true love but it was better than I’ve ever experience from a man before. I will never ever make him feel like he is lesser than. He is my saviour in understanding the difference between a boy and a man. Thank you Mr. F.
- A therapist is all about you
In discussing my daughter, she and I had a conversation about our relationship between therapist and myself. I explained that I wanted to have my daughter in this as “she”, my therapist, may learn more about me and the experience from a second person. It may expedite the process when dealing with me. She assured me that she was my therapist first, and that she doesn’t need a family member to tell her more about me. We will get to the root of all my fears, anxieties, and growth without any input from anyone. She reiterated that I’ve been cold stone honest with my actions and that assists her in helping my core issues to help me grow. After all, personal therapy is all about you, your growth and your success. She stated that there were many times that friends and family told me that she wasn’t a good therapist, but I still stood with her. Why did I stand with her? I stand with her because it’s a long road and I trust her to get me to where I need to be.
Therapy is not using your $1,000 in benefits and you’re done. Personal growth should be like personal training, you pay for what you want to get out of it. You’re in it for the long haul. It’s nothing to cheap out on when you come from an Addict’s World. One’s life journey goes far deeper than the separation, the deception, and the moving on.
I’m so blessed that I’m dirt poor, but I commit to my personal growth FIRST. I’d much rather to do therapy than take vacations, have nights out or buy stuff. That shit does nothing but put a bandaid over what you don’t want to face head on.