MJ: Oftentimes only one person in the relationship wants counseling for the pair. More often than not, if I am not mistaken, it is also as a last resort. They’ve “done everything they can” and now counseling is the last thing they think of as their relationship hangs in the balance. This is their last hope before admitting defeat. What advice would you give to those who are suffering trauma at the hands and minds of an abusive partner as far as counseling? Separate counsel or together? When I told my abuser I should probably seek counseling because I felt like I had been a thorn in his side since the beginning of the marriage and, therefore, not a good wife to him, he told me he “had concerns about me seeking counseling.” That conversation happened within a couple of weeks of my leaving. Counseling had never been an option prior to or after that day. Did he have valid concerns about my seeking counsel? OF COURSE! Did it surprise me he didn’t want me to go? No. It actually validated I was on the right track in needing to leave. He had zero accountability or remorse for his actions throughout the marriage, and at the end of it, he didn't care if it failed.
Percell: Firstly, “doing everything they can and now counseling is the last thing they think of” is a huge part of the problem. Counseling should not be “their last hope before admitting defeat”. It should be an early-on sought and administered intention. Yes, we do this with practically everything, and it is completely insensate behavior. We catch a cold; ignore it, medicate it with over the counter symptom remedies, and finally, upon getting worse, go to a doctor for a cure of the cause rather than the symptom. We have a plumbing problem; we patch it, we rig it, and finally, upon getting worse, we call a plumber to correct the issue. In all cases, we wait until things are at their worst to seek guidance as to the best things to do to fix the issue. How many worst-case scenarios could have been avoided had we simply asked for guidance instead of playing arm-chair counselor?
Secondly, joint and separate counseling are mandatory. You might or might not have been correct in taking on the blame. Odds are that either way you were not the sole mis-giver. Of course, he had concerns of your going to counseling. Abusers are bullies. Bullies have their power in illusion. If you were awakened in counseling to the fact that the thorn was his abandonment and not you, he would lose his power over you and the situation.