Should We Try Couples Counseling?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Im a believer and I decided to pray for my situation. I went to a psychologist, her theory is: I have a trauma from my childhood that led me to look for a man with the same type of relationship I had with my father (a man that took care of me and that I didnt like sexually at all, my ex). My boyfriend went to a session, the psych said he also has his traumas…

The other side of the story before I thought about my ex is: At the beggining of the relationship my boyfriend tried to sleep with his ex girlfriend, I found a series of conversations through facebook. I also found 8 or more conversations of him, hitting on other girls. This was the main reason of our break up. After this, I felt really bad and thought I wanted my ex back.

Anyways, He said his friends signed in his FaceBook and talked to her but after he found out about my “thoughts about my ex” he told the thruth, “I was looking for sex”… And, during our break up… In that month, he slept with her and 2 other girls…

We got back together… Have 6 months NOW (I miscounted). And we feel great together. The only thing is trust. I’m afraid he still talks with his ex girlfriend. He did it while having a great realtionship with me, why wouldn’t he do it now? He says he woulnd’t do it now because: “now I love you. And then, I didnt know you like I do now, I thought you were just like the other girls”.

Anyways, he says I also cheated on him, maybe I did, mentally…
What can we do to build trust? Should we go together to therapy?

Thanks you for your time,

A: Thank you for writing. I hope you got more from the therapist than an analysis. Being told you both have trauma histories isn’t particularly useful unless you also are helped to use that information to forge a more mutually compassionate and supportive relationship. Being given only an analysis is like being told that it’s raining but not being helped to get out of the storm.

If you two feel great together and really love each other, you both need to stop keeping score. You weren’t together for awhile. He did some things. You thought some things. You both decided that you wanted to try again to make a good relationship with each other. That was like a reset button. Once you push it, old stuff doesn’t apply.

Trust is a gift we give people we love. If you both want this relationship to work, offer it lovingly and wholeheartedly but with the understanding that trust is easily broken. Pledge to be faithful and keep that pledge. Neither one of you wants to live with the constant anxiety that your partner is looking for someone else. If you can’t both, at the same time, commit to this, then wish each other well, say goodbye, and learn from the loss.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Should We Try Couples Counseling?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/08/should-we-try-couples-counseling/