The Exemplary Husband

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you know that PA Man “started” counseling back in Sept. I say “started” because he’s only been 4 maybe 5 times? He only goes every two weeks, and several times he’s canceled because of traveling for work…he could’ve rescheduled but he chooses to let a few weeks to by before he goes again….I know how this game works…he’s not fooling me 😉

Anyway, in his first counseling appt. the counselor sold him a book “The Exemplary Husband.”

I sorta thumbed through the book…I was not impressed. But I kept quiet, waiting to see what PA Man did with it…so far, since he got the book 20 weeks ago…he’s read 10 chapters…145 pages….about 7 pages a week! WooHoo!! Now THIS is a man wanting to change his life around, Right?? <insert sarcasm> 😉

Well, today I decided to dig through the book a little more…and to be honest, IMHO, it’s full of crap!

This book is written for men who are NORMAL….ya get that? Normal men who don’t have huge control and anger issues….men who sincerely want a relationship with God!!

Not passive aggressive men who are going through life living a lie!

So if this is what Tom, PA Mans counselor believes….we are wasting our money!

YES, PA Man NEEDS a true relationship with Christ….but as far as I can tell….it ain’t happening!

Oh, he TELLS me it is…but he’s not. I haven’t seen any changes in him…oh sure, he’s nicer now, a little “softer” maybe??

Things have been pretty calm around here…no arguing, getting along ok…

But in all honesty, I think it’s because I haven’t been pushing for anything in the marriage….just kinda going with the flow….staying quiet, keeping busy with outside activities…but I do wonder how things will be if I start pushing back, start asking for more communication, more talking about the past so we can deal with it.

His behavior at that time will tell me ALL I need to know and I’ve decided that I’m going to do that tonight, I’m going to ask him if we can talk and see where it goes.

I’m going to see if the changes are real…or fake.

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4 thoughts on “The Exemplary Husband

  1. Well, Lonelywife, my PA man, who I call Gregory, has had that book for over a decade. I never did look into it past a quick peek, but I can tell you it didn’t do him any real good – and he used to carry it around with him everywhere. It even came out again in the last year.

    I am not surprised with what you are describing. It reminds me of what is going on here. I have been living separated within the house for a few years now, and it blows my mind to be part of the scenario that unfolds. At the beginning of my pulling away, he pulled out all the stops to coerce me into being the obedient wife. He fought tooth and nail to try to force me to continue married life without any changes in the situation. It took a lot of pushback and guarding my boundaries and standing up for myself. It took rejection from one of his children (after this child tried unsuccessfully to work through relationship issues with him) to get him to try counseling. He went a few times and decided that wouldn’t go anywhere. I am now of the opinion that counseling does nothing for them other than give them more information and skills as to how to fake it, (if faking it is in their perceived best interests). Gregory has obviously decided that a surface cooperation with the boundaries I put in place is in his best interests. This is, of course, each time, after putting up a fight and being rude and judgmental, etc, etc. Then when he sees that my boundaries are firm, he acts nice and cooperative, until he starts to chafe under the perceived injustices (aka the insults to his entitlement) – or until the next time I have to call him on something or he gets fed up that he is not being treated properly.

    I have spent a lot of time on A Cry For Justice’s site and from what I have learned, I don’t believe these men are saved – yes, even the ones that are not physically abusing or threatening verbally. The traits of abusive men that come out more subtly in the more covert men are still there. I don’t believe that they will come to salvation through counseling either. I think it is a waste of time for them and a way to keep you on the hook so you won’t leave. I don’t doubt that your PA man felt certain things when he was on his trip and couldn’t reach you – mostly he probably felt empty and somewhat fearful of losing the security of his world when he couldn’t reach it. Repentance, empathy, love those things are not. I didn’t comment on your last post because I didn’t believe your PA man had experienced any real change, and I didn’t want to be the voice of hardening in case I was wrong. I have watched Gregory gradually shift to coming off a little more courteous, a little more helpful around the house, a little less demanding of his rights, and on and on. I believe it is simply behavior modification – which quite frankly takes a very long time and a lot of pressure from his life circumstance to bring about even small changes – and nothing more. He is trying to protect his own personal universe the best he can and if “being nicer” is required he will do it. But when the chips are down, he shows just who he really is, what he really thinks, and who is really to blame.

    As far as your PA man and the situation of women like us in general, I can only say, if you have to be the one to lay down an ultimatum, then you already have your answer. He doesn’t want it. If duress is the only thing that motivates him, and there is no lasting change of heart when the duress is lifted, then what is the point?

  2. Seeing….I totally agree! PA Man and I haven’t been “intimate” since June….after I read Leslie Vernicks book and realized that it’s is NOT my “wifely duty” because HE broke the marriage covenant by having the emotional affair…PA Man seems ok with it.
    Every once and a while he’ll ask about sex, and I just look at him and say “When I feel safe with you, and feel I can trust you, then we can have the RIGHT kind of marriage.” He says nothing.
    And that’s fine by me!
    We didn’t talk tonight after all…we decided to stay home instead of going out…I just wanted to be lazy, watch TV and take a long, hot bath!

    Maybe tomorrow….but things are peaceful now and I really don’t want to stir things up.
    Anyway…thanks for your great comment. Have a wonderful weekend, Seeing! 🙂

  3. I have also seen that it’s difficult to get therapists to understand because PA people are so good at being charming and engaging when they want to be. I gave up on the idea of individual counseling for Daniel. He comes off as the model husband who loves his wife so very much. People say that everywhere we go. They always have, even during his affair. Only the kids and I saw him as he truly was at that time.

    Even though it doesn’t have to be my role to “fix” him, I did take the lead in finding things for him to read. Never a whole book – it was too much for him. But passages worked out well. Then he could read it right in front of me as I read something else. Results were not immediate. I just prayed for God to open the doors for him to see, and God did. Many things happened to us that demonstrated to him, over time, that he needed to make some changes. Things still pop up often, and he is more and more open to noticing them.

    I don’t know if God has that in mind for your husband, but He will guide you. We’ll all keep praying.

    Love you,
    DJ

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