April 13, 2013
April 13, 2013

Conundrum

As a Counselor, it is not my place to be judge and jury as to who is being truthful or not. However, without the truth, no progress can be made to improve the situation. If I am dealing with a fantasy, then I can only fix the fantasy, not the reality in which one abides.

That being said in the 35 years of practising counseling; lately there has been an extreme change where an abundance of men claim that they have been monitored incessantly and also are accused of cheating when they are innocent. These men state that they have not cheated until the suspicions annoyed them to the point of rationalising that since they were innocent and blamed unjustly, why not justify the spouses accusations?

There are two sayings which seem to apply here: (1) the self fulfilling prophesy (whatever you fear materialises because ones actions determine the reactions) and (2) If I have the name why not play the game?

For those innocent men who really are being accused for actions never acted upon; in these cases the counseling could help the women deal with her trust issues which usually stem from insecurity. Today's culture has become so shallow that many women judge their worth from how beautiful they are rather than their intrinsic value.

When the woman is convinced that she is justified in her investigations, I can not proceed to try and influence her to trust. After all, it is not my role to determine who is telling the truth. I have to assume that each is telling their truth as they see it. Since I am getting two differing histories, I, the counselor have to determine how to proceed to benefit the couple the most that I possibly can.

I am concerned that these distrust situations are multiplying at a rate unusually higher than in the past 35 years. It certainly appears to be caused from the initial lack of trust in the relationship. In that men have complained to me in a state of resignation (usually privately, as they know it is useless to speak in front of their wife) of being badgered for years about where they go, who they speak with- to stop looking at strange women- to the extreme that every girl/woman/neighbour/stranger and even TV personage is a suspect.

With that abundance of surveillance one is inclined to believe the harassment felt by the man. However, since the wife refuses to accept that she had any complicity and is angered/hurt/furious to have it suggested that she might have created a problem or at least been part of the cause; it prevents any realistic counseling from happening.

This can and does happen in the reverse where the male is fearful of losing his wife, and therefore becomes unnecessarily distrustful and wants an accounting of every minute when the female is not in his presence.

This doubtfulness extends now to the internet and especially to Facebook exchanges.

Certainly any of these situations can evolve from an innocent inter-reaction with the opposite sex, but distrust breeds distrust. At the very least begin believing in each other. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Why create a situation that did not exist in the first place? Marriage is about trust. Without trust there is no relationship.

In the event that one cannot trust the mate either because they are guilty or because of paranoia a decision must be made to either stay and work on the relationship or divorce.

Those decisions are not the responsibility of the counselor to make. It is up to the individual to decide how they wish to proceed. I usually ask the client what they wish for me to accomplish for them and then I proceed according to their directions.

Often the client is confused about what s/he wants. In this case I will help them sort out the pros and cons of their situation.

Lack of directions by the client are the counselorís conundrums.