Dumped by our marriage counselor


I don’t know how to feel about this right now. Last night we were informed by our marriage counselor that she has done all she can do. We have all the kinks worked out of our marriage…except for that one thing I posted about a few days ago. DH is trying to decide if he can stay married due to his own issues (war related).

Quite frankly, I feel let down. Her answer: he needs to make a decision and I need to accept it; then we can both move on either way. It’s all so confusing. She is very strong in her Catholic faith so I can’t understand how she can “give up” on us.

I read the thread about choosing to love…it really helped. His words and actions towards me show me that he does love me. What I really need to know is how to help him see that he is deserving of a happy life? He has not been diagnosed with any type of depression which makes it so much more confusing.

Anyway, just an update. Thanks for all of the PMs…they have helped.


Well, she’s just admitting her own inadequacies as a counselor. Don’t take it personally. She would have been better to have told you all to wait a few months before your next visit to see how things iron out.

I would suggest you seek a new counselor. One with maybe a better understanding of veterans as well as Catholic teaching.

Hang in there. He DOES deserve happiness. If the situation were reversed and he were killed, would he want his buddies to spend the rest of their lives being unhappy? Does he think so little of them that he would believe they would think he owes their memory a lifetime of misery as payment for breathing?

I think they’d be more generous to him than he is being to himself.

Praying for you both.


Just find a different counselor. We cannot know what transpires in the counseling sessions to have your counselor make this decision.

Obviously the counselor was not a good match for you (in her own words -she cannot help you any longer) and to stay with this counselor will reap little progress so move on.

Her answer, “he needs to make a decision…” is somewhat true though, isn’t it? At least it sounds like he is at a crossroads where a decision needs to be made. No?
Your counselor can guide you and talk and hash out problems, but at some point you/he needs to make decisions.


I suppose she is just being realistic. She asked me last week what I would advise a friend to do in the same situation; of course, I said stick it out. That is what she instructed me to do but to have a backup plan for my own sanity. I really expected her to offer more encouragement/hope. This just gives DH more doubt that the tides will turn.

I get the impression that his counselor through the base (not a chaplain) even knows how the proper way to help. Currently, thanks to some good recommendations, I am reading up on the subject myself.

I have gained more insight through these boards. Some days I feel like I'm dangling by a thread...but I REFUSE to let go.


This is too important a decision to force on a counselor's own personal timetable. A hasty decision forced before someone has ironed through their own issues will not be as good as a decision made with patience and long consideration.

If he were a patient on life support, would you unplug him because the doctor decided he couldn't help him anymore? Or would you seek another opinion and hold out that progress could be made with different treatment?


First, praying hard for you and your husband. I also would feel let down; but your counselor probably feels she let you down, also, by telling you she did all she could. Please try to find a counselor who has more experience with soldiers returning from war/conflicts.

I was married to a military man for 30 years and towards the end of his military career, also in spec ops. He was not Catholic, who even lost his belief in Christ, at the end of his career. Your husband has faith, so I am praying this makes a difference and he emotionally comes back to you and your family. You seem like one tough lady and I admire you more than you know!


OK, here is my temper… I am a counselor!!!

First, you don’t “abandon” your client. It’s against professional ethics for the reasons you are experiencing (ie. thinking your situation is now hopeless). She had an obligation to give you referrals. To say she had done all that she could for you, leaves ambiguity regarding why that was so… she didn’t say clearly it was HER (a further indication of her incompetence! :mad:).

So, per the above, seek another counselor.

Incidentally, to ask you what you would advise a friend in your situation is a stupid intervention because you can only advise from the state of mind in which you find yourself. And if she said she couldn’t help you anymore right after you asserted your decision to stay with him, she is betraying* her *values about marriage right there! :mad: She should have been up front with that, especially if she knew you were Catholic.

Now, I might be reading too much into this but… I’ve seen this stuff time and time again.

I don’t know if you are located in a place where you can see a counselor off base, but I’ll share this website with you just in case.
www.catholictherapists.org (or com. – not sure)


There is one thing your counselor said that is true: You DO need to have a backup plan for your own sanity. Consider the following factors:

Your children are watching you. You husband may be a good father, but is he a good husband? Are you willing to let your children grow through their formative years thinking that what he is doing you, his wife, and their mother, is morally acceptable? If he will not respond to God's love and mercy, as well as yours, then there may be a time where he will need to face justice.

There is nothing wrong with tough love, and that includes the issuing of ultimatums. If he is unwilling to keep his marital vows, then he is no longer entitled to the home that you are providing. Marriage is an all or nothing package. You cannot chose which vows you keep and which ones you ignore. It is nowhere near sufficient to say, "At least I never cheated." That alone will not save him, or the effects of what he neglects from his duties. My wife gave me a final warning some years ago, and I was shaken to my core. I have never forgotten, and it was exactly what I needed, because I actually wasn't even listening the other times.

Note to everyone: this does not have to mean divorce, but there has to be some sort of standard somewhere. As for the OP, I am sorry to says this, but as much as you want to make it work, it will not work no matter what you do as long as he is willing to walk away. Also, you cannot hide this from the kids forever. If they don't know, it's time to tell them what's going on if they're past the age of reason. Nothing can straighten out a parent better than their own child pointing out their wrongdoings. I can vouch for that as well.

Don't give up, but don't put yourself in a position where you will break if things do not work out. You still have children who will need an explanation for what is happening so that their faith will not be shaken.


I am so sorry for your suffering and do hope you get another counsellor ( Catholic) ASAP.God bless


ahollars - Yes, he is a good husband, not perfect. He just feels undeserving. He has felt this way for a while but didn't mention it until recently. The kids know something is off but probably don't know what. We keep our deep conversations private. They don't see us argue because we don't. They see us treat each other with love and respect.

He is headed overseas (not a war zone) for a week right now. He is going to do a lot of soul searching.

I hope he doesn't come across as a horrible guy in my posts, he isn't; not by any stretch of the imagination. He's just broken.


He's not a horrible person. He's just hurting terribly, and when you're hurting that badly you don't make sound decisions. I have issues with any counselor that mandates someone fish or cut bait when in a situation like that. The fact that your conversations are quiet and deep and respectful show that he isn't a hopeless case. The fact that he hasn't taken his issues out on you physically show that he is a good person.

I just wish he knew he deserved to live and be happy. God still has a plan for him. And even if he doesn't think he does, you and his children deserve for him to find a way to be happy.


I went to counseling with my first husband briefly. After he called it quits, the counselor told me he could no longer see me. I felt hurt and betrayed. I didn't want to go through it all again with someone else. I'm thankful that he did though. I then went to a Catholic counselor( who was a woman) who helped me with ME.

If someone told me they couldn't help me any longer, without a reference for someone else, I would say it's their problem and at the very least, they were being honest with me. But I sure wouldn't recommend that therapist to anyone else!



[quote="tundramom, post:12, topic:179343"]

If someone told me they couldn't help me any longer, without a reference for someone else, I would say it's their problem and at the very least, they were being honest with me. But I sure wouldn't recommend that therapist to anyone else!



And I will repeat, it is against professional ethics to "abandon" the client. That therapist who does so without providing referrals can be reported to the ethics board for their profession. And you said above that your husband was not diagnosed with depression. I don't doubt that but if that same lady was doing the diagnosing, I wouldn't trust it. Everyone here is giving you terrific advice! Take care.


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