I'm looking for "triage" for our relationship, including recommendations for Seattle-area therapists.
October 27, 2011 12:10 AM Subscribe
I am looking for "triage" for our relationship, including recommendations for counselors in the Seattle area.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My live-in boyfriend and I have reached a point in our 1 1/2-year relationship where it is untenable to remain together if certain issues aren't resolved, and we can't seem to resolve them on our own.
We need relationship triage: A therapist who can step in and make a practical difference to our relationship now, not after 12 sessions during which they get to know all the major events of our respective childhoods.
I'm also open to seminars, books, or anything else that you've found helpful in repairing a relationship in extreme distress.
There are some incredibly good aspects to our relationship: genuine mutual love, shared creative work, rare ability to follow and participate in each other's bizarre comic flights of fancy, a deep appreciation for cuddling and snuggling each other (though even that has cooled lately), strong physical attraction, some rare shared worldviews. I am stubborn and keep hoping things will get better but I don't think I can hang in much longer if nothing changes or if it continues to get worse.
Big Issue #1: There have been episodes where he has made very nasty accusations of infidelity (I have never cheated). I am still sometimes cross-examined if I so much as get lost when driving and arrive a few minutes late, or if I commit the sin of wanting some privacy and personal space rather than accounting for every second of my time spent apart from him. I have not given him any real reasons to mistrust me, and it deeply hurts me that he does.
He seems to understand that some of his behavior inspired by his jealousy has been extreme--even a bit insane--but has been unable to meaningfully change how he operates thus far. The impetus for our most recent fight was that he suddenly mentioned that he still wasn't sure I hadn't cheated on him last winter. I thought that had been resolved months ago and felt really hurt and angry that he'd been continuing to harbor this fear for all these months, and interpreting my innocuous actions in a suspicious light.
Big Issue #2: There's arguably been some abuse. Not hitting, but he has physically blocked me from leaving the house a couple of times when he wanted me to stay and continue "discussing" (arguing), and once held me down on the bed and prevented me from getting up.
Big Issue #3: We can calmly discuss our differences in, say, politics, but when it comes to discussing problems we have in our relationship, it goes thermonuclear very quickly. I'm even aware of some of the ways this process gets triggered, but don't seem to actually be able to stop the process from happening. A therapist who can give concrete suggestions on ways we can avoid progressing from discussion to argument to fight to thermonuclear emotional war would be ideal.
There are other issues as well, but as I see it these are the things that if not resolved, are going to kill our relationship in the near term. So therapists who are good at helping to work on these issues would be especially welcome.
Neither of us has any health insurance that would cover therapy. I say this because it is my understanding that some therapists won't accept new clients without insurance, not to ask that suggestions be limited by rate. We don't have money to burn but a genuinely good therapist would be worth incurring some credit card debt.
We would both feel more comfortable talking to a male therapist. If you know a female therapist who is completely awesome, then maybe we can try to get over this prejudice.