Trying for a Non-Sex Date

Last night, I asked how long Arwyn's mother is staying and it will be about a week. I asked her if her mom might babysit for us one night so we could go out. She asked where we might go. My suggestions, her replies:

How about a movie?

No, there aren't any I want to see. Plus I don't really want to spend the money.

Arwyn has never much like movies. Last night I went to "Walk the Line" by myself. I might expand on that later.

How about we use the gift card we got from work to go to the steakhouse?

I really wanted us all to go, and take my Mom with us for that.

What about using our Stone Mountain Passes for just us?

Well, the boys really want to go there.

Three pitches, three strikes. And she never offered any ideas of her own. Maybe her mother will watch them while we go to therapy.

Since I left a comment at NSN's place on the subject, I'll give a brief go 'round here…

I have actively avoided the whole counselling route deliberately for several reasons, beyond cost and childcare. First, I see it as a last ditch effort. If counselling fails, that would pretty much be that. End of the line. Second, I don't see Arwyn complying with any competent therapist or counselor's advice. I have some knowledge of the field and she would not tolerate the work and disclosure necessary to make it productive. Finally, the marital counselling field itself is pitifully and woefully ineffective in improving marriages and marital satisfaction. If I won the lottery, I'd go into the field myself just to see if some good solid research couldn't be done that would show some degree of efficaciousness. As it is, divorce attorneys know as much or more about marital problems and conflict as counsellors!

I'm not ready to go that route, yet. I may down the road in the future. It's a possibility I want to keep open and I may try it. But not yet.


10 Responses to Trying for a Non-Sex Date

  1. This post has been removed by the author.

  2. Er…sorry about the deletion…weirdness here on Blogger…

    My WB is in counseling and has been for years. It’s done him very little good because, as I’ve recently found out, he’s done little more that blow smoke at the counselor. He’s not even scratched the surface of what’s going on with us.

    If he won’t be honest, what’s the point.

    I understand your hesitation, Digger.

  3. I understand your point on the counseling issue. When we went a few years ago Summer didn’t like the person so she just said what the counselor wanted to here we went on our merry way. She didn’t want to be there at all. It really does take 2 people who are willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. If one is willing and the other don’t want to be there then it is useless.

    So how was Walk the Line? I wnat to go see that movie so bad but
    i spent way to uch on Christmas that we can’t afford to go.

  4. Leela Lamore says:

    Digger, I understand your hesitation too.

    I think you are concerned with being confronted with what you already know deap down.

  5. Rob says:

    Well Digger, you already know my views so I won’t bore you with them (and no, I don’t get kickbacks from them – lol). I’ll leave you with just a few thoughts. Not all marriage therapists are the same in quality and expertise so I don’t think one can generalize. For every person who’s not had much luck, I bet there are just as many who have. Second, you have said previously that you and Arwyn are both “avoiders” . Would it be fair to say that your thinking is following along that path, true to form? And finally, granted Arwyn may/may not honestly comply with a therapist’s guidance but would that apply equally to yourself, given your stated biases? For if not in your case, there is nothing saying that, like in most of what you do these days, you might consider seeing a therapist alone, without Arwyn. Who knows, you might receive better ways to cope with Arwyn than left to your own methods. Anyway, I respect your situation. I have my own, which I might tell you sometime privately (if interested). So you think about it and do what you think is best. I will say though that I think it does not represent “a last ditch effort” and thus is not something else to avoid.

  6. C-Marie says:

    I don’t think counseling could ever offer much unless it’s all you have left and there’s not much else to lose.

  7. FTN says:

    Most people don’t think of counseling as a “last-ditch effort” anymore. I have quite a few Christian friends that told me they were in marriage counseling within a few years of marriage. Good friends, my brother, myself. It isn’t a last tiny thread hanging on the cliff of marriage, and neither is it a magic potion that heals all. It is a place to go where you are forced to be open and talk about your issues and problems in marriage with someone who has been trained to help.

    I feel like we’ve made too much of a big deal about it here, but only because you (and NSN) don’t see any worth in it for some reason. Granted, as some people mentioned, it won’t do any good if one of you is LYING to the counselor. But I would hope the other party (you or Arwyn) would point that out. Be honest and lay everything out on the table, so to speak, and if she doesn’t, confront her on it right then and there.

    The counselor may very well reinforce some of your beliefs that Arwyn has some definite issues she needs to confront. But the counselor may also confront you about some issues, who knows. Mostly, it would be an opportunity for you to get everything out in the open. That you feel like this marriage is failing because of your lack of intimacy.

    I would probably recommend a Christian marriage counselor for the two of you. Many larger Christian churches or organizations have those kinds of ministries.

  8. Square1 says:

    All right… as to counseling… so… when you find out you have an illness do you go to a doctor as a last ditch effort to save your life? Or do you go in and be treated before it becomes life threatening? It’s something to consider. Also even if you don’t think counseling would be beneficial to the marriage, why would it not be beneficial to you? Anything beneficial to you, I can guarantee, one way or another will pay dividends towards the well being of your family.

    I used to think I had the art of avoidance mastered D. But it seems you have me far outdone. I’ve been to counselors for over a decade. Granted not for marriage… but for life in general. Marriage at this point is a part of my life. There are good counselors. There are shitty counselors. You’ll know you have a good one when you walk out of the session feeling like you’ve been backed into a corner and you don’t ever want to come back… Which is maybe the reason you get your ire up on the blog here lately. Some of us who have been with you for a while, are starting to see beyond your finger pointing at Arwyn, and pointing out your part in it… and I don’t think you like that very much. It’s much easier to have people side with you than to point out that perhaps you are contributing to the problem. Your avoidance of any MAJOR efforts to DRASTICALLY change anything being the biggest. So what if Arwyn goes and doesn’t do her part? You can’t control her. You can’t make her. However what have YOU got to lose by making the effort? Perhaps you lose the image as the martyr you’ve set yourself up to be in your mind. Your drudging war of attrition is fine and great… like water wearing on a stone… but do you really want it to take that long? Wouldn’t you rather see if you can do something to give it some forward momentum? Do you really want to look back and say, “I wonder if I had gotten us into a counselor sooner, would we be at a better place now?” Yeah, counselling might not work… but you don’t stop to consider the possibility that it might. You’ve set yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun, and you’re failing worse now because you refuse to try. There are no guarantees in life. There is no guarantee your war of attrition will work. There is no guarantee ANYTHING will work… Does that mean you just do not try at all?

    Your situation is tough D. I am in no way implying that Arwyn is in the right for her actions or inaction. But you seem to refuse to be the one to lead in taking the larger steps. You seem content to make passive efforts… that are set up for failure, in order to re-affirm to yourself that your wife doesn’t care for you and that the marriage isn’t going anywhere. Then you point out to her the efforts you’ve made in contrast to what efforts you think she is not making. That seems more a wedge between you, than a spur to motivate her to me. But what do I know? I’m just some arm-chair psycho-babbling sahm. Why should anyone listen to me?

    The point is, it’s becoming hard to take your smaller and very real fforts seriously, when you’re not
    making a hugely serious effort. That is to say, someone who is truly serious about improving or saving their marriage… does not balk at whatever it takes to do so… be it counseling… be it a weekend away… be it standing on your head just to see the person you love smile… be it a little bit of money invested despite the fact that you are drowning in debt. Show us how truly serious you are Digger. More importantly… show Arwyn.

  9. Denise Regan says:

    As far as I can see, she seems to want to stay in the space she’s in. She doesn’t want to explore her options; she doesn’t want to say what she wants. She probably has no idea.

    I think a therapist would at least make her look at herself from a different perspective.

  10. O272 says:

    I look forward to your opinion about Walk the Line. I can’t wait to see it!

    As for counseling? Never been so I don’t feel qualified to tell you whether or not you and/or your wife should go. I do wish you and your wife happiness, though. Keep talking to her…and don’t forget to listen. 😉

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