PA Man and Counseling?!?!?

PA Man is out of town again…he left Monday, will be back later this evening.
We actually had a good weekend, we were able to talk some…and PA Man told me he will go to counseling!
Really?? Yippee!! YAY!! Woohoo!! HaPpY DaNcE!!

Oh yeah!! Lets do this!! Counseling!!

SCREECH!!!!! That sound is the brakes being applied to all that “happiness” because I no longer believe his empty promises…Yep, I’m now a passive aggressive cynic!!

Will PA Man actually go to counseling? Your guess is a good as mine…Will counseling help him…again, your guess is as good as mine.

I do wonder if the “No Sex” boundary I have set up is starting to sink in…that yes, I’m standing firm and not backing down…which I must confess, I have done repeatedly, especially when PA Man starts “playing nice” and “opening up” and sharing small parts of himself…I folded like a house of cards!
But not anymore! I am standing my ground…and maybe PA Man is starting to see the change in me?? I can only hope and pray!

In her book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, Leslie Vernick says that a woman has to find her CORE strength…and I’m working on that everyday!

It’s up to PA Man to determine how this marriage will be….either we stay broken, or he works on himself, so that we can heal and be happy together!

I do believe that “with God, ALL things are possible!” PA Man doesn’t HAVE to stay this way, God can change a hurting heart…but PA Man has to want it…and now that he’s told me he’ll go to counseling…I’ll sit back and watch and wait…time will tell if it’s just more broken promises and empty words….unfortunately the cynic in me thinks I already know the answer.


25 thoughts on “PA Man and Counseling?!?!?

  1. “It’s up to PA Man to determine how this marriage will be….either we stay broken, or he works on himself, so that we can heal and be happy together!”

    This is basically what my counselor said to me about my marriage – that if my husband showed up in my counselor’s office, my counselor would tell him that the burden of “saving” our marriage is on him, and if he really wanted it, he was going to have to work for it.

    If this were me, I would be cautious about being too optimistic, which I’ve noticed that you are doing. But I have also noticed a tendency in myself to be self-righteous where my husband and his behavior is concerned. I don’t think that tendency has been there for our whole marriage, but I do think some of my. .. attitude . . . is not very becoming.

  2. All I can say, is they start getting very angry when those crumbs they are used to getting a response from, finally stop working. If you make him work harder – my guess is – anger will follow. He doesn’t truly believe he should have to work any harder than showing up and every now and then being pleasant and nice, so you fold like a pack of cards. Mine went to counselling and came back with sayings like “I’m not responsible for your happiness’, “You are choosing to feel that way’ (about his abuse, swearing, name calling etc) – the problem became how I felt about his abuse and not his abuse or lack of reciprocity in the marriage. If I felt ‘unloved’ – that was ‘wrong because “I” don’t feel that way”. If he is PA – then everything he does will be seen from the point of view of him being the victim. Counselling will just give him more ammunition. I love your plan – keep at it. My week has been filled to the brim with having BRILLIANT, INTELLIGENT, scientific conversations with many young and middle aged men. The ones who got my project and engaged with me intelligently – I’ve got to say – I wish I was younger, lol… I have loved this week and the talking and bouncing ideas and learning etc. You will never get that with your spouse. When I would come home from Uni all fired up – he would ask me to ;’please, can you shut up – your talking is annoying and I can’t understand you’. I had spent years making the effort to understand his work and life and none of that was ever reciprocated. If your passion is shut down by your spouse and not encouraged, it hurts. I encouraged all of his hobbies – even going to the effort of learning a foreign language that his hobby was based in. Their selfishness and self focus is never ending. I can tell you – he is not going to counselling for you – he is doing for himself as he senses he is about to lose something. If there was no threat to him – he would be doing nothing. It will always be about him, even his so called actions he says are for you.

    • Bronze, you wrote “All I can say, is they start getting very angry when those crumbs they are used to getting a response from, finally stop working. If you make him work harder – my guess is – anger will follow.” This is so true, so very true. And if you don’t fold, it just gets worse.

      I heard the following words in church the other day. My question is have you ever thought about these words in regards to you husband?

      Matthew 13:15-16: For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

      How many times have you heard “I hear you”, “I see you”, “I understand what you’re saying”, etc. They definitely have hardened their hearts and have not turned to the Lord to be healed. It’s their choice and their lives, let them go.

      • GS, yes, Leslie addresses that on her blog and in her book….That a lot of times our husbands hearts become hardened….and there is nothing we can do about it, except protect ourselves.
        And that’s where my 3 yr plan comes into action….I’m protecting myself by planning ahead….and having an exit plan that won’t hurt me to badly financially.
        I’ve been a stay at home mom for 28 yrs and that’s a bit frightening to decide to just join the workforce…so I need to prepare carefully!

        My sister and I were talking and she wants to take some night classes after she gets moved here and settled in…so I’m excited about that!
        I think having her here is really going to be a help and encouragement to me in the long term 🙂

    • Wow Bronze…he’s got a doozy for a counselor, doesn’t he? He/she can’t even see through the PA act…but I’ve read that is common when it comes to PAs…they can be so charming…
      I felt that way with Richard, PA Mans first counselor. I now know that it was wrong for us to go to couples counseling with him, after PA Man had already had a few sessions…they had “bonded” and I felt that Richard didn’t see what I was saying at ALL!
      And yep, after our counseling sessions, PA Man would use the words that Richard said to me against me!
      HA! In fact, it’s been well over a year since we stopped counseling, after only 3 sessions, you understand….and PA Man used a phrase that Richard said to me when we were in counseling, something about me being like a Mack truck and running all over PA Man with my words…so we were having an argument and PA Man said that to me…that I was like a Mack truck running over him!!
      I laughed and said, “Really PA Man? REALLY??? You remember THAT from our counseling but you don’t remember the other things that Richard told you? Like plan a date night, take me out for some adult time so that I can talk without being interrupted by the boys? Or sit and hold my hand and ask me how I’m feeling…do I feel safe? Are you doing the work needed to make me feel loved and secure??
      Right!! You don’t remember THAT, but you remember the Mack truck comment!! Good job PA Man…good job!”
      I then turned and walked out of the room, laughing!
      Can this marriage be saved? I think NOT!!!!

    • Bronze, reading your post is truly just like reading my own story/experience. Your PA man is just like my Norman and I agree with everything you said- especially about the counseling and how they are masters at gaining sympathy from their therapists. Norman’s therapist is a ditzy dysfunctional woman who is in therapy. Can you believe that?
      My life couldn’t be more strange than it is at the moment.

      • Exodus…I read a blog every now and then…ugh…can’t remember the name at the moment, but the therapist who runs the blog deals with PAs, and she said that she loves her PA clients…that they are often very witty and charming…so there ya go!
        She’s not fooled by them, but she does enjoy their company!

    • “All I can say, is they start getting very angry when those crumbs they are used to getting a response from, finally stop working. If you make him work harder – my guess is – anger will follow. … If he is PA – then everything he does will be seen from the point of view of him being the victim. Counselling will just give him more ammunition. ”


    • Bronze, That therapist’s blog sounds a bit disturbing. I hope she realizes how dangerous these guys are. When Norman told me that his therapist kept yawning last week, a red flag went up because yawning is often a symptom of being in the presence of a narcissist ( as their energy sucks the life out person). I wonder if the therapist even noticed her symptoms. I’m certain that Norman is witty and charming in the T’s company. He’s obviously charmed her enough that he likes her. In the past, if a therapist was dynamic and required any ‘ real’ participation from him, he would quit and tell me that the T didn’t like him. So, here we are wasting our money each week on Norman’s entertainment.

      • Exodus…I’m not pushing for counseling…because deep down….I feel it won’t do any good.
        And yes, PA Man seemed to come across as the innocent victim, and I was the pushy broad when we went to counseling…all three times!
        In fact, in the second session, Richard, the therapist, looked at me and said, “You don’t seem as angry this week…” Like it was MY fault for being angry??
        I don’t trust counselors anymore…I’ve read so many horror stories…it’s shocking just how many BAD therapists are out there!

  3. Lonely, that sounds great, to have your sister living near you and taking night classes together! To have someone close by you can go stay with when times are trying, priceless. And as an added bonus that someone is on your side and vocalizes it. I think I may be a bit jealous of you! 😀

    I am/was a stay at home mom, too for more years then you. 😀 My abuser and his lawyer think I have great earning potential! Yep, that minimum wage job that’s waiting for me will pay rent, utilities, feed me and maybe buy me some clothes! It’s things like this that just point out to me that he doesn’t love me and never did.

    • Gaining..I hope you have a GREAT lawyer that is will be all over his sleazy lawyer!! I’ve read that divorcing a PA Man is awful…that it really pays to get a lawyer that knows how these guys operate…and be prepared for the long haul! Scum, all of them!

      • YES, find a woman-centered attorney that knows about PA. I consulted with an attorney a few years ago that had a website on PA abuse and a free handbook on how to plan the divorce. One of things he kept telling me was to make a very quick and clean break with as little notice as possible.
        SO pack up what you can without PA man noticing, save money, etc…and don’t ever use divorce as a threat unless you are ready to leave that day. The other advice is that YOU need to be the one to file for divorce, NOT them.

        You may have read a few of my posts about my brother who married and divorced a PA woman. I tried to warn him and even sent him my copy of the handbook but he is such a nice guy who simply couldn’t imagine someone being so cruel and abusive and most of all, he never imagined that his wife would want to make trouble that would hurt their daughters. WRONG!!! Not only did she make the financial terms extremely unreasonable but she was so pissed that my brother filed that she kept the negotiations between the lawyers in an almost daily volley for over 6 months!!! that drove up legal costs. Additionally, when her lawyer would contact her with a new offer, she would sit on it for a week or more. She really did not care at all about putting her daughters through hell. And get this..she would not agree to a divorce but forced my brother to move out anyway for one year which forced him to drive to their house every morning to get the kids ready for school and on the bus and then forced another 4 months of volleying after that. In VA, it’s not required that a couple physically separate and we can have an in-home separation but she wanted him to have to pay for two houses, etc.. He didn’t want to live with her but he didn’t want to disrupt his daughter’s lives until it was absolutely necessary so he would have been willing to agree to the inhome separation just for their benefit. She refused. She also demanded joint custody just to piss him off even though she never wanted to have kids ( that truth came out after she had the kids and blamed her husband for forcing her to have them). Apparently, she got sick of taking care of her kids so she eventually let the girls live full time with my brother.

        Find an attorney that specializes in women in divorce in your state. Here’s the link to the handbook that might help you even if you’re not in VA . It asks you for your name and such but they really don’t harass you and nothing comes to your house with their name on it.

      • Lonely, I don’t know if I have a GREAT lawyer, but she seems to know what abuse I’m talking about. The only problem I’m having with the divorce is the alimony/maintenance. He wants to give me zero and he thinks that’s fair. So, to court we will go…sigh. I believe I’m not having other problems because it’s community property so he knows our assets will be divided 50-50 (he doesn’t like it because I’m taking HIS money and HIS savings, but he can’t do anything about it). Also, he moved to another state so there was no problem over dividing the household goods, he took very little and left the rest for me to clean up. He says I’m packing a lot of stuff! 😀

        It looks like another problem will be for him to help pay for the maintaining of the house until it sells. He told me I will have to pay for it myself if I want it (cable, internet, phone, etc.). Our joint account is almost empty. I always have the option of leaving the house empty to sell, this does not seem to bother him either. The price of the house has been reduced and I think well there goes a couple months living expenses! :/

  4. Counseling? hahahahah Thanks for the good laugh.
    I shouldn’t be so cynical. I actually hope that something positive comes out of his effort.

    Norman has been going to counseling. He’s had two sessions thus far. According to Norman his first hour long session involved his therapist telling him about HER therapy sessions and her two dogs. He also told her numerous other things about us that were so ridiculously untrue and or inaccurate and she recommended that he not work so hard and spend more time vacationing and having fun. ( sounds like typical advice for any child, right?)

    Norman’s second session: The therapist yawned most of the time and ate a banana. Norman talked about his family and who knows what else.

    It sounds like you’re doing well despite all the nonsense and I’m so glad that you still have your sense of humor and bright energy about you. I depend on your wit to keep me going.


    • Exodus…how’s the moving going? Still packing?? Still watching your back? I KNOW you’re going to do great once you’re on your own! You are a well educated woman…you had a full life before Norman…you can get that right back!!
      Let me know how you’re doing!! And yes, not much can get me down…I’m a bubbly type of person anyway…and I refuse to let PA Mans issues get to me….some days are harder than others, but for the most part, I can get through each day ok.
      PA Man isn’t like a lot of PAs…it confuses me to be honest! Going to write a post about it…I want to get some input from others on it! 🙂
      Oh!! And so far, he’s not said a word about counseling to me!! LOL! I KNEW he wouldn’t! He told me what he thinks I want to hear…but the jokes on HIM!!
      I really don’t want him to go to counseling, because it don’t think it will help him at all and it’s a waste of money…that money could go into my getaway fund, LOL!

      • Thank you thank you for the encouragement ((( Hugs ))) I agree that the counseling is a waste of money and I even thought that Norman was deliberately going only to waste our money on purpose to prevent me from having my get-away fund! Your husband is in the pacifying stage. Norman has played that role many times with me regarding counseling. In the past he would go once and expect me to be completely satisfied. The shelter counselor that I meet with even asked me if I have proof that he actually goes to counseling and advised me to check my bank statement.

        Several years ago,I met a man who wanted to have an affair with me. He was married and had kids and I told him no way. A week or so later, I saw him again and asked how he was doing and he told me that he was going to therapy and that his therapist told him that it might be good for him to have an affair with me and explore the other options in his life. Can you believe this?!!!! I didn’t believe that a therapist would tell him that – especially given that he had kids BUT after probing him for more information, I realized that she actually did!! I even asked for her name and he very reluctantly gave it to me and come to find out, she was the same therapist that Norman and I saw back in 99 that told me to put key locks on all our doors and gates and carry the key with me all the time so that I could let Norman in an out in order to prevent him from leaving the gate and doors open. She also told me to pay all the bills myself, do all the cleaning myself, etc.. This woman should have her licensed revoked.

        Lonely, PA behavior comes in all sorts of flavors and it’s even become very ingrained in our very competitive culture today as so many folks walk around full of anger and frustration all the time. PA shows up in the workplace, in families, between teachers and students, etc.. Every reality show and every soap opera and most sitcoms promote PA behavior as being harmless and funny. The PA’s bad character isn’t always dangerous but its never funny to know that someone has manipulated you or your circumstances in an effort to punish you without being direct and honest.

        PAs like my husband have other issues and personality disorders and PA is just one of the behaviors associated with his Borderline Narcissism. Not all PA behavior becomes abusive or causes permanent damage. Take for example that in the southern culture, playing coy could be considered PA but most of the time, dropping that handkerchief on the sidewalk is a harmless manipulation. hahahha However, Prissy in ‘ Gone with the Wind’ exhibited more PA harmful behaviors when she lied about her qualifications, took her own good VERY SLOW time to find a doctor when Melanie was in labor and returned to the house without a doctor, singing and acting as if nothing was wrong and then took all the credit for being the helpful one. Her character reminds me of Norman in many ways. Norman is emotionally bankrupt and psychologically impaired and his PA behavior is truly so ingrained in his personality because of all the repressed shame and anger that he lugs around with him all the time.

        Yes, I’m still packing and I’m still looking for work and most of all trying to be patient. I’m doing alright though. I have a sense of calm and peace in me and every time that I make a small leap toward independence, I gain strength and confidence. I was terrified to take that short trip this week but it really did give me a much more positive outlook. Last week, I was so anxious and depressed that I honestly didn’t think I could survive this. I went back to my hometown on Tuesday for a couple of days and I’m going to move back there. Norman isn’t acting as manic and weird as he was a week ago but I stay away from him for the most part other than to briefly discuss business. Norman told me that he went to his parents house last weekend to do some yard work. I knew the only reason he went there was because he was feeling afraid and wanted to connect with them. He has been on a mission to connect with old coworkers and family ever since I began packing. It’s sort of sad actually to observe how desperate he is. Anyway..back to his family visit…..He told me that he had a great time with his mother and that he has no hard feelings toward them and that he just accepts them as they are. I had a very difficult time listening to this because it is because of them and all the hurt they have created in him that he is so abusive. He told his mother that I was leaving and I asked how she responded and he said that she didn’t say anything at all and just kept on pruning. Hello? Is anyone in there? Lonely, is it just me or is it just too weird that a mother would not be concerned about her son? They have not called him once since last weekend to see how’s he’s doing. It really makes so sick to even think of his cold detached parents!!! This is how they have treated him his entire life and imagine being a kid and not having a single parent that hugs you or tells you that they love you. Norman’s parents make my narcissistic mother look like Mrs. Cleaver. Seriously! I never did like his parents really but I always tried to see the good in them despite what I was dealing with. Plus, I never really knew the story of Norman’s life with his parents because he never shared any real details. I only heard about how his father would beat him and even as Norman told me about that he seemed detached and talked about it with sort of sense of humor. Strange.

        I’m so glad that you’re planning to leave and most of all I’m so glad that you are not dealing with a psycho that forces you to have to leave without planning. This is so tough. I feel like a penniless hobo right now. No one deserves to live such an unfulfilled life whether we are with PA people or not. Every minute of our life should be spent with people that want to create and nurture happiness. We don’t have to settle for less.

  5. Exodus, you wrote “He has been on a mission to connect with old coworkers and family ever since I began packing.” Oh my goodness! I found a charge for before he left! Was mine was trying to reconnect with old schoolmates? 🙂 40 years later and he’s searching? Strange. He wasn’t close to his family, but now all of a sudden family is SO important to him? Yeah, he just wants someone to take care of him and believe he is the victim. He tells people he moved to be close to his grandkids, but he moved near his mother not the grandkids! Strange creatures are these abusers!

    • Yep, that’s exactly what they do. Facebook, Classmates, etc.. and not only that he has even hooked up with the daughter of the woman who manages our office complex and stays in her house every now and then ( he claims alone). Please! Not that I care if he’s alone or not but it truly only took him a few minutes after noticing that I was packing to make his moves. The more I see, the more I realize that Norman is a narcissist. He needs to find his supply of admiration, sympathy, empathy and of course, someone to take care of him. So your husband reconnected with his mother after a long hiatus? And that whole bit about moving closer to the grandkids makes me cringe. That’s Norman. He’s such a spineless shyster. The only way they can live and lie as they do is because they have a non-functioning conscience.

      I will confess to you that it angered me that he could just suddenly rekindle all these new relationships while I’m doing all this work alone with no one because I’ve been so f’n isolated all these years because of HIM! He tells his therapist how lonely he his and how he has no friends. I deeply resent him playing that card. Norman goes along all happy and bouncy and I’m sweating it out packing another box. I’m also concerned about my future as a single 53 year old woman that has no money. I hate to sound like Debbie Downer but women are one of the fastest growing populations in poverty in America today.

      • Exodus, oh no he’s the favorite of his mother so he’s been in contact with her it’s his brothers and sisters that he wouldn’t call and only talked to when he saw them at his mother’s house when we visited.

        I’m concerned about my future, too. I’m not looking for any relationship, my abuser has soured me on that, at least for the foreseeable future. As far as money goes, I don’t know. That is why I have to wait and see if I get alimony/maintenance from him before I can make any concrete plans on where to live. I try to take it one day at a time. I have my up days and my down days…sigh. I tell myself soon, soon it will be over. As the days keep going by. :/ Hang in there, truly when you are physically away from them and don’t have to hear their voice or see them, it’s much, much better. Life will still be hard as we try to cope with the recovery from the abuse, but they will not be there to impede our progress. Freedom, hope, recovery, life, love and laughter, just a few things God has in store for you when you escape your abuser. I’m looking eagerly looking forward to it.

    • Gaining,re: your alimony. If you get a job that pays even slightly above min. wage, you can qualify for food stamps as a single person. Isn’t that just wonderful? It’s not much but it’s enough to comfort your husband’s conscience.

      • Exodus, you know what? Ahhh…..since he has very little, if any, conscience in regards to me, I think it’s the last thing I’ll strive for! 😀 He believes alimony is a form of welfare!!! Now add food stamps and he will tell everyone he can’t believe how low I’ve sunk! 😀 You know he CARES about me? Don’t you? 😀

    • Gaining, Almost every single one of my married female customers receives a paycheck from their husbands each week for being the housewife and mother. It’s not chump change either and they have complete freedom to do with it as they please. When I first learned about this, I thought these women were just joking and then I thought it was sort of cold and unromantic but now I feel like the fool. These are smart stay at home moms who were taught to value and respect themselves. They are not dummies who are willing to work for free like I was 😦 If I ever get involved with another man I will most definitely receive some sort of payment for my services. No more freebies from me. I’m no longer a non-profit!

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