I'm glad that she decided to attend the session with you. I think this is a good sign of her commitment to the relationship. You should just be yourself tonight and continue to treat your wife like the lady you fell in love with. Do not force anything, as it will just feel unnatural and pretentious. I would encourage the two of you to continue in couples therapy is she is willing to try. Tell her how much you appreciated her coming to your session. Give her incentive to want to come back. You will benefit from having her in session with you from time to time at least. By the way...do not be so hard on yourself about the listening thing. I am a therapist and even I have trouble listening to my clients from time to time. =) It takes practice to listen well...people take that for granted. You will be fine if you just keep trying...it will come to you eventually. It is not natural for a man to be a good listener...we are better at "doing" than "listening." I would suggest you just enjoy your wife tonight and don't allow your anxiety about moving forward to cause you to not enjoy yourself. Because if you are not enjoying yourself...Beth will not enjoy herself. =) Best Wishes tonight. Did you read Love and Respect yet?
In response to those questions...YES...you are doing the right thing. I suggest you take the advice from Love and Respect and put it into action. Do not listen to this pop psychology crap...that is, ignoring her phone calls and avoiding her. That stuff is BS! That only works on disturbed individuals, which I'm guessing your wife is not one of those individuals. You are reading this right. She wants to repair your marriage. She is invested. She would not have come to therapy if she was not invested in your marriage. Therapy WILL bring up some "tough stuff," but you must be willing to face your problems with her. Just admit that you struggle to listen well and promise that you will work on it. Use it as an opportunity to show her that you are really really trying to change. You are in good shape my friend. Good luck tonight!
just got back from the jim gaffigan comedy show, had a great time. beth asked me to reschedule my counseling sessions to wednesdays so she could attend. i interpret that as good news anyway.
slow and steady as we go. jr, i think the work is paying off.
I'm glad to hear that everything went well. I think it is great news that Beth is willing to come to your sessions. Keep up the good work.
Marriage counseling is as helpful as the therapist is skilled. I like the idea of having a co-therapist who is a female, as in your case with the Drs. Rice. It does bring up negatives, but you cannot pretend negatives do not exist. Some negatives are very large and need to be addressed in therapy. Don't be defensive in therapy with your wife...just be real. She will appreciate your genuineness. Admit your faults and commit to working on it. If it does not help after 2 months, then stop doing it.
You are going to have to deal with some hurt to get through this process. You already hurt your wife with your years of selfish behavior. Be understanding and listen to how your wife feels and validate her feelings. Do not dismiss how she feels...just listen and agree that you have done things the wrong way. Then commit to doing things differently. She will respect you more for that.