Various strange personal questions.

Various strange personal questions.

This is a discussion on Various strange personal questions. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Anyone in here that knows, have used or can recommend me a marriage counselor or a marriage therapist in the California area- or anywhere else? ...

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  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Daniella's Avatar
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    Various strange personal questions.

    Anyone in here that knows, have used or can recommend me a marriage counselor or a marriage therapist in the California area- or anywhere else?

    And how do I get my husband to go with me to such a thing? He is just not into talking about it..

    As you all know I wanted to go to Arizona when I went back to school. My husband was not really eager to talk about and on we went. Until we one day talked about it and my otherwise very supportive husband was gone..He scared the crap out of me with yelling and could not for the love of God figure out why I needed to go back to school..

    We are going to try to work out our problems but that brings me to my other question;

    If we go our separate ways, do I get to keep his name that I took when we married, or do I have to back my French name?

    And I am not used to a lot of fighting so let me ask you,
    how much do you and your partner fight during a week?

    Thanks for all input and responds.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    People (not just couples) have disagreements, arguments, and conflicts of interest. Successful couples have them too, but the difference I've noticed is that either a) they just don't matter, you both know it, and you just do it to keep from being bored and b) both people in the relationship realize that although they each had their own lives before (and continue to do so after) entering the relationship, the reason they sought companionship in the first place is because they had a void in their soul that needed to be filled by someone else. With that said, my wife and I squabble, bicker, and even argue sometimes... but "fight" is never a term I would associate with a successful marriage.

    As far as your particular needs go, unfortunately I cannot help you - but from what I hear of California family courts, I'd think you could legally keep your married name.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about that, Daniella.

    I can't offer any specific counselor recommendations for California since I'm not near there. As far as him not going with you, I've seen this situation many times. One partner wants to go, the other refuses. Often a counselor will recommend the willing partner go to counseling alone. That may seem self-serving by the counselor, but I do agree with it. A trained counselor can still help one person if the partner refuses to attend.

    Yelling: he sounds like he's threatend by you going back to school. Is it financial, ego, or insecurity?

    If you go your separate ways, I think you can use either last name. I've seen some keep their married name, and some revert to their unmarried name. But I'm not sure of the laws in California.

    Fighting: my wife and I used to argue a lot. Rarely anymore. The biggest change was I stopped tolerating inappropriate behavior, stopped trying to reason with her when she was unreasonable. I started holding her accountable for her actions, and when she did something inappropriate, I ensured she paid a price. She began to change quickly when she began to suffer the consequences of her poor choices. Only took me about 20 years to figure that one out.

    May I ask how long you've been married?

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Daniella,

    While I am not in CA, a phone call to any recognized denominational church would probably get you a recommendation for a counselor.
    If you are a person of faith, that would be a good place to start.

    If not, and specifically want to shy away from faith-related counseling,
    ask friends. More and more people are pretty open to counseling and can recommend someone who has helped them.

    There may/probably will be a Women's Resource Center in your area. Call them. Last resort would be the yellow pages.

    If there are substance abuse issues in any of this, 12-step programs like AA or NA or Al-Anon would also be of great help.

    Good luck and God Bless.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    The Lord has blessed with with 25 years of marriage with only a couple of arguments in all those years. I am sorry to hear about your marriage. I'll be praying for you and your husband.
    Psalms 144:1
    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
    Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    I can't help you on finding a marriage counselor, as I've never used one.

    I believe you get to decide what name you go by after the divorce. If the state you are in does not allow you to keep your married name, you can always legally change your name to whatever you want (within reason).

    My wife and I don't fight much (almost never). She isn't confrontational and she tells me I'm passive-aggressive. But if we have a question about what the other wants or does, we ask. Likewise, if it is a minor thing, we let the other do it. If it is a big thing, we talk about it a lot.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Daniella, I sorry to hear of your troubles. Without knowing many of the facts or much about either of you, I will offer that your husband appears to be threatenend by your desire to grow and develop your education further.

    As for arguments, we have few - maybe 2 over nearly 20 years of marriage. We love and respect each other and work on the areas we disagree. We are partners and it is give and take with full support and respect.

    In most states you have the choice of keeping your married name, or going back to your maiden name. Most women I know who divorced went back to their maiden names, but a few who were married for decades kept their husband's family surname.

  8. #8
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    I'm married 35 years. Maybe that let's me have something of some value to say. Plus, I've been on earth a long time.

    In some households, bickering and fighting is a daily routine and in no way indicates a breakdown in the marriage. In others, even of long standing, one major fight over something that means a lot to one partner and nothing at all to the other can destroy everything.

    I don't know your history, but it sounds from your post like you wanted to move to Arizona to go to school, and your husband didn't. Or, was it the other way around?

    Either way---
    You deserve to go to school. That should not be denied you. But, put into some perspective what you hope to achieve in school, whether or not it will improve your economic circumstances and happiness when you are done, and whether or not you really must move to another location to get the education you think you want. Generally, there are good schools almost everywhere nowadays.

    To find a marriage counselor, ask your personal physician for a suggestion. Or, let your fingers do the walking and look for someone with who is a licensed clinical social worker or a licensed clinical psychologist with appropriate credentials. Generally this will be a Ph.D. in clinical psychology or a Psych. D. degree. Some pastors are well trained in this area too; and if yours is, you might want to talk to him/her first. Even if the pastor doesn't do that type of counseling, he likely knows who the good marriage counselors are--as this information will surely have gotten back to him through the experiences of other congregants.

    If your husband will not go, there is little you can do. That is his statement to you that he will not alter his position on whatever contentious issues you have.

    In that case, you have to ask yourself the famous Ann Lander's question. Am I better off with him or without him? Think that question through thoroughly and carefully, because it is easy to make a rash and wrong decision.

  9. #9
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    Like Hopyard, I was a little confused as to what the original argument was. It sounded like you wanted to move to Arizona to go to school and your husband doesn't want to.

    If that is the case, I'd also have to agree with Hopyard and say that there are great schools everywhere. The location you are in should not prevent you from getting the kind of education you want or need.

    To me (and this is just Lima theory here), the vast majority of marital problems spring from one fundamental issue: the fact that you have two people, two INDIVIDUALS; with individual goals, dreams, likes, dislikes, wants, needs, hopes, desires; trying to somehow live a singular life. Sometimes those individuals can pursue their own desires and not cause conflict with their partner. Sometimes, however, that's not possible and one or both of the individuals is faced with giving up something their dearly desired or giving up the marriage.

    Therefore it comes down to what is more important to you: what you want, or your marriage.

    Before I got married I knew that "till death do us part" was potentially going to be very long time (and of course I hope it's a very long time). And while everything was going great for JD and I while we were dating and engaged I had enough sense to know that one day, probably (if not inevitably), we were going to have a conflict of interest. It might be slight or it might be huge, but either way, I knew it was going to happen. It's just part of being human and living with other humans.

    I knew that there might also be a time when I was tempted to choose my wants over my marriage. Such is the way of desire and feelings. Sometimes you feel like you'd be better off doing what you want and leaving behind the chains of a marriage that most certainly is NOT making you happy at that moment.

    A vow is a very important thing to me and I wanted to be sure that I would never break my marriage vows to my husband. I needed something in my life to ensure that I would always put my marriage and therefore my husband before myself.

    So, I sat JD down a couple days before we were married and I gave him veto power. That is to say, I promised him that if we ever had a major conflict and we simply could not agree I swore that I would submit to his sound judgment and reason and I would stand beside him, no matter how much it hurt me and my pride. I told him this was a gift not to be abused but to be respected and that it didn't mean he could walk all over me and that while I would follow him I expected him to at least listen to me and consider my words before making his final decision.

    He agreed.

    I thought I'd never actually have to take my own medicine, but about a year and a half ago JD and I had a conflict that was tearing us apart. I wanted something so passionately that I'd stop at nothing to get it and he wanted the opposite.

    It drove stakes between us for weeks and we had some of the most passionate arguments of our marriage.

    When the word "divorce" was thrown into an argument, more as a point of reference than as a suggestion I felt deep DEEP shame that I had allowed ANYTHING to get this close to our marriage. I had promised JD that I would submit to him. I had promised that if there was a conflict that we could not resolve that I would be the yield before it was too late and I wasn't doing that.

    By golly, I was going to get what I want and it was doing exactly what I knew it would do, it was driving us apart.

    I had to apologize, set my head straight and fulfill the promise I'd made before I ever married him.

    OH IT HURT! It hurt my pride, it hurt my dreams, it hurt my feelings, but the one thing it stopped hurting was my marriage.

    There were a couple more nights of tears, but the arguments stopped. Instead of being afraid to talk to me in fear I'd bring up the dreaded subject JD was able to comfort me. He went out of his way to show me that he understood I was hurting and to salve my hurt.

    Over time it got easier and easier and the holes I had punched in our marriage through my stubbornness started to heal.

    In less than a couple of months we were back to normal and I can see how JD was right. There's a good reason I married him and gave him veto power and it's because he has a good head on his shoulders and a unique ability to see WAY past the WANTS to the NEEDS and the foresight to stand firm for what will be best for our FAMILY and not just for our feelings. He deserves to be respected as the head of our home because he's usually right.

    We still argue at little things and sometimes things go my way, sometimes they go his way. We've never since gotten into an argument as serious as the one mentioned above but that's not to say another issue might find us down the road. My only prayer is that I have the humility to do the same and to give up my will for the sake of my family.

    In our argument there was absolutely no room for compromise, it was one way or the other and that's what made it so hard.

    Could there be room for compromise with you? I don't know. I don't know the situation.

    If there were room for compromise in our situation I KNOW that JD would have tried. He was never insensitive to my desires he just knew what was best and couldn't give in just because I wanted it when in the long run it probably would have hurt us more. It hurt him to see me so upset but his motives were pure. I see that now.

    He tried in every way to find a compromise and to make me happy and to see if there was a way we could both have what we wanted but it just wasn't possible in that situation. He had to make a decision for our family and though it hurt him because he knew it wasn't what I wanted, it was right.

    I have no idea if your husband's motives are pure and if he's just having a hard time communicating with you what he thinks is best. I have no idea if he just doesn't see a way to compromise. I don't know if there is a way for you to compromise.

    All I do know is that if it comes down to a decision between what you want and your marriage you have a huge decision to make. If you choose your marriage than you are going to have to give up something and while that may hurt (and hurt a lot) you have to ask yourself what, in the long run, will hurt more. Loosing what you want or loosing your husband.

    The question is a non-issue for me. In the long run I'd be in far more hurt by the loss of my husband and soon the joy I found in my desire that drove us apart would turn bitter because I would know I gave up a good man for probably nothing worth the price of that loss.

    But I'm not you. Your priorities and your needs and even the value you have placed on your husband and marriage could be different than mine.

    It's good that you are considering counseling at least to get a non-judgmental look at your circumstances.

    If your husband refuses to go to counseling with you, well, there's not much you can do to make him. As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

    But the counselor could probably give you some other ways to reach him and talk to him and communicate with him that you hadn't thought of before.

    I agree that calling any denominational church would be a good start. They often names of counselors that they could recommend and if you happen to be of one of those denominations than you know that you are getting the kind of counseling you agree with.

    Good luck! I hope that everything works out for the best.

  10. #10
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    Another huge round of applause to LIMA.

    That was an incredibly insightful post on married life, and the important issues in marriage.

    I'll add one thing, but on the same theme. Someone has to be in charge on critical issues where safety, well being, future financial health, and similar high stakes matters are involved.

    But, with all respect to vows, there can come an element of self-defense that must be exercised. It won't happen in your life Lima, we can tell that from the things you and JD post here, but just as an example. Suppose you found out that JD was gambling your mortgage money. You would have to take charge to save your future; the prior vow to subordinate yourself notwithstanding.

    Vows must be taken seriously, adhered to and so forth, but not to the point of allowing self-destruction.

    Our OP needs to look carefully at her situation, decide if there is a way to achieve her goals without breaking the marriage, and determine if her husband's opposition is legitimate and reality based, or if it is a form of inappropriate control over her life.

  11. #11
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    Not much to add to the already good posts here except to say that it is hard if not impossible to change people who do not want to change or feel they need to change.

    Marriage is constant compromise... give and take... Some things are hard for a person to give up for the sake of a marriage. Especially when it pertains to personal goals or vision of the future. When you give up something that is important to you; or make a compromise for the sake of the relationship, it should be recognized by the other person of the sacrifice or concession being made. They should also recognize that compromise is a two way street.

    Marriage is a team of two individuals working together to create a union. It is not two individuals living as roommates sharing the same shelter. Yes, you start off as two individual entities, so naturally the growth in becoming a common union and growing into a family will have it's growing pains as each of you adjust your individuality for that common bond and union. As one loses part of their individuality, they should also be blending into the concept of becoming a couple. It takes effort from both participants. The other partner has to be making the same concessions regarding their individuality.

    It should not be expected for one person of the team to be the only one who makes all the concessions and makes compromise.

    Don't let things become a one way street and being the only one who is willing to compromise on every issue. That will lead to resentment and other emotions that are not healthy for your mental health.

    I hope that wasn't confusing.

    I wish you well Daniella, and hope you find the answers and guidance you seek. Remember, you have friends here and so far, everyone has offered some great recommendations.

    I hope everything works out!

    Thoughts and prayers going your way!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Another huge round of applause to LIMA.

    That was an incredibly insightful post on married life, and the important issues in marriage.

    I'll add one thing, but on the same theme. Someone has to be in charge on critical issues where safety, well being, future financial health, and similar high stakes matters are involved.

    But, with all respect to vows, there can come an element of self-defense that must be exercised. It won't happen in your life Lima, we can tell that from the things you and JD post here, but just as an example. Suppose you found out that JD was gambling your mortgage money. You would have to take charge to save your future; the prior vow to subordinate yourself notwithstanding.

    Vows must be taken seriously, adhered to and so forth, but not to the point of allowing self-destruction.
    Yes, very much agreed!! As I said, my promise to him was not permission to walk all over me or abuse me and I would never have given that kind of a promise to (or marry) a man I could not trust to do good in honoring that kind of responsibility.

    My promise to him was a gift presented to an honorable and worthy man in whom I could put my complete faith.

    In cases of abuse or sadistic controlling I would certainly NOT recommend being so accommodating.

    Our OP needs to look carefully at her situation, decide if there is a way to achieve her goals without breaking the marriage, and determine if her husband's opposition is legitimate and reality based, or if it is a form of inappropriate control over her life.
    Agreed.

    That is why I think it's a great thing you (the OP) are considering counseling, even if it's just going by yourself. It will help you to determine whether this is a legitimate argument or inappropriate control and help you determine how to respond to either.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    I would start with your local women's shelter. They have a number in the phone book and they will have referrals to counselors who deal with your specific problems. They are also discrete and KNOW how to deal with potentially problematic spouses if they call you back and he answers the phone.

    Whether you will resolve your differences depends on both of you. If you do not both get actively and seriously involved you will NOT succeed in mending your relationship. The level of understanding and involvement will indicate the level of commitment to the marriage. Sometimes, however, even both parties wanting to stay married won't save the relationship if the underlying problem is too divisive. Your problem may be such. But until you both get your feelings out in the open you will not know for sure.

    As for keeping your married name, if you are a natural citizen, yes you can. It is your legal name now. If you desire to return to your maiden name, you can do that also. It is your choice.

    If your citizenship is based on your marriage, I do not know the answer because the whole situation could get really really complicated, BUT a divorce atty WILL know either the answer or who to ask.

  14. #14
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    Great advice so far!

    First, are you safe? Any domestic violence? Any destruction of household goods?
    If you are in a situation that is violent to need to call 911, or go to the ER, or go to a police station ASAP!

    You canít force him to seek counseling. If he wonít go, then go by yourself. It will help you.

    Check with your insurance company, they can refer you to a covered professional with the right credentials in your network.

    I have been married 3 years tomorrow. We have had a few arguments, all my fault. Since I have been Born Again we have not fought once.
    Join the NRA!
    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  15. #15
    Member Array gg12's Avatar
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    There are many counselors in California. If you have health insurance and want it to pay, check and see what/who is/are covered and start there.

    I'm married (less than 10 years) and we argue at least every 4 days as well as having a good knock down-drag out fight every month or so. Our antagonistic moments increase dramatically around the holidays.

    Good luck!

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