Marriage Counseling vs. Coaching – by Jason M (DSO Fraternity member)

Fellas, grab a drink, or a smoke, sit back, and let me tell you a little story about a man very similar to yourselves. Once there was a teacher who was very content in his marriage, loved his career and kids, enjoyed hanging out with his co-workers, both male and female, and relished being able to raise his family in a nice home he could afford. And then just about 10-12 years into said marriage, he found things were starting to go, shall we say, not so well. He was the oldest of two, had a sister, and counted his best friends as his brothers. He came to these brothers with questions about his marriage and what he found was after the bravado-ish sex talk amongst them, there really wasn’t much discussed at all in the area of how to get what he wanted out of his marriage (intimacy, love, respect, sex, etc.) besides simple phrases like “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. Well, whatever he tried doing, the wife wasn’t too happy and he felt it, and in return, he wasn’t having a very happy life. 

So, at first, he turned on the affection that he yearned for. He figured that she must want what he wants, so if he gave her loads of affection and cuddles and just smother her with love, she’d reciprocate in kind. When that didn’t work, he’d compliment the shit out of her looks and turn around and lie about looking at and fantasizing about other women. Then when that didn’t seem to get the results he wanted, he put her on a pedestal and said she was the greatest mom & wife and could do no wrong, and he gave her all kinds of gifts hoping and expecting them to get her to want to fuck him. And pretty soon, he was avoiding any confrontation with her in hopes that if he didn’t upset her all day long, then possibly they could have sex that night. Finally, after many months and probably years (if I’m being honest here), he sat his wife down and told her how much her touch, her passion, her compliments, and sex meant to him and his ego. How he needed sex to feel like she wanted him. And guess what? It went great! For about a day or two, that is. But then when things went back to the way they had been, he felt even worse. Why? Because he felt he had expressed some of his innermost feelings about himself, which he never really did and the love of his life really didn’t care about him or his feelings. Pretty depressing. He started drinking almost every day, stopped going on runs and bike rides, and never really got out of the t-shirt he put on right out of bed.

He figured that was the married life and resigned himself to an unfulfilling marriage. That was until he heard through one of his female co-workers how marriage counseling was helping her marriage. Aha! Why the fuck hadn’t he thought of that? He was always under the impression he just needed to solve it himself, like the guy in the song Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies~

And I go: No it’s okay, you know I’ll figure it out

Just leave me alone I’ll figure it out

You know I’ll just work on it myself 

And they go: Well you know if you want to talk about it I’ll be here, you know

And you’ll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it, so why don’t you talk about it

And I go: No I don’t want to, I’m okay, I’ll figure it out myself, 

And they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging me

And it builds up inside

Little did this teacher know how right that guy in the song was. Because as soon as he agreed to do marriage counseling with his wife, things got progressively worse. Why didn’t it work for shit, you ask? I’ve known many couples it has worked for, you say? 

My response to that is, REALLY? Ask yourself, how is the husband now?

Is he in a platonic marriage; is he so agreeable now with whatever she says and does, he lets the wife plan everything, are he and/or is his wife on mood-altering medications, does he have a dad bod/has she let herself go, are they enjoyable to be around or does he seem just happy to be there/kinda lifeless and blah? 

I have at least three friends like this, and it is what it is. 

So why didn’t marriage counseling work for you, Jay? Well, glad you asked, gentle fucking reader! Here’s what I found:

First of all, no one goes to marriage counseling when things are going great, everyone goes when the shit has hit the fan. Not good odds. Next, the big thing in marriage counseling (and I went to three different ones in the span of over five years, ALL run by a woman, and get this, two of them divorced! Big red flag in my opinion) is it was focused mostly on the woman and any time the man tries to get a word in edge-wise, she cries and you become the bad guy. That’s the usual MO, and many times what they ask you to do is spew exactly what DSO tells you not to do- tell her how the lack of sex and intimacy is hurting you, tell her how you’ve been doing more chores around the house so she doesn’t feel so stressed, tell her she still looks beautiful in your eyes (even though she’s let herself go), how you need to communicate with her and tell her all your feelings, and even how you may be over-sexual or hypersexual because all you seem to focus on is sex. Basically, hand over your balls. Now, at some point, I did start going to see an individual therapist (because the wife demanded I work on my issues) and it was a woman. After we moved back to Cali from Colorado, I went to see another woman therapist. Shit hadn’t changed and I was even guilted into going to a Sex Addiction group because I was possibly a “sex addict”. 

It wasn’t until I got to my breaking point, where I had decided to move out of the house and had rented a two-bedroom apartment about two miles away so that the kids could at least visit me, that one of my co-worker female teacher buddies, who had gone through a divorce herself said to me, “Why on earth are you seeing a female therapist, Jay? Not in a million years would I go to a male therapist!”  The lightbulb went off and I started seeing a married man with kids for about a year and a half. This at least was a little help in working on myself and my mental issues. Someone that could relate to me and listen to me bitch and moan about my lack of intimacy, while dealing with childhood drama.

And then I found coaching here in the Fraternity and HOLY SHIT, that changed everything! I had read The DBF and had begun implementing the principles within it, and then DSO offered coaching and that’s where things really started to take off for me. I began to make gain after gain because I had someone that would hold me accountable, man to man. I found it was easier to not follow through when it was just me in charge. I needed to have that person there to check in with and bounce ideas off of. There’s no pretense there, no one is trying to blow sunshine up your ass, nothing but great advice over and over again.  And you start to feel better about yourself almost immediately because you see it working, instead of just hoping and praying that she’s going to listen to what you told her in a counseling session in front of the therapist while she’s crying. 

Speaking of crying, marriage counseling is built around making the woman feel like she can emote and say things she can’t say to your face without feeling like she’s nagging. In front of a therapist, she has someone there that allows her carte blanche to say all these things to get off her chest while you sit and are told to listen and let her speak: “you’ll get your turn”. Like Public Enemy said back in the late 80s…Don’t Believe the Hype, fellas! You get maybe 5-10% of the allotted time to speak and when you do, it’s hurtful because you’re speaking the truth and you’ve made her cry. Or worse, she’ll interrupt you and not be held to the same standards, especially if it’s a woman therapist. 

With Coaching, you can say your true feelings with no repercussions. True, your coach may not agree with you, but he’s going to tell you why and steer you away from your self-pity or deprecating self-talk and give you honest feedback. Not sugar-coated, but stuff you need to hear. Whether you take that valuable advice in, that’s up to you. But it’s always there, within every single coaching session. I’ve even talked to Dr. Scott before he was a coach, and that guy shot straight from the hip, no chaser. I can see why he was a perfect candidate for being a coach. And every time I read a post from Scott Morales or Thomas H Stephen, I notice how I agree with everything they say.

I must say in almost every marriage counseling session I went to, except for the final one where I researched it and found a husband/wife team who ran it, I came out feeling worse about myself. It was like my innate sexual drive and desires were bad or out of control or not normal, like I was some kind of deviant because I wanted to have sex with my wife multiple times a week and she maybe would give me pity sex once every week or two if I guilted her into it enough. There were times where I thought “yes, she finally heard me” and I’d be utterly disappointed the next day when I saw it made no difference in her attitude or mental state. The sessions made me feel worse because I was told to explain everything to my wife. To let her know what’s on my mind, why it hurt me, how I felt, all those things that seem to work for women but in the end, really don’t. 

Coaching sessions within the Fraternity are almost the complete opposite, in my experience. I come out of these feeling like I can take on the world. Sure, I fucked up royally early by jumping into buying sex toys after the second week of my DBF journey, and then I repeatedly made mistakes over and over, (man, I am a sloooooow learner), but I don’t give up easily. I got that wrestling mindset to keep at it, keep pushing, and after every fucking coaching session I feel like I have a game plan that I can implement. And that makes me feel confident, which the wife notices coming out of my pores/attitude/personality, and in turn makes things that much better and easier to do. Even if I am going at a fucking snail’s pace, I wouldn’t go back to another couple’s marriage session with her ever again. 

Lastly, marriage counseling is hella expensive. I know I’ve spent over $10,000 dollars in total on marriage counseling and therapists! For example, I went for a good 1 ½ years with my wife 2xs a month at $200 a session. When I was finally ready to call her out last year and say we need to change something or it’s over, that husband/wife combo was $400 per session. Thousands of dollars wasted on very minimal gains.

I’ve had Coaching sessions with DSO, Jack London, and Austin and I learned something valuable and worthwhile from each and every session I had with them. That right there is worth the price of admission, in my eyes. Valuable lessons and tangible homework that you can use to empower you and your marriage and make you a better man.  And it’s a freaking steal at under $100 each time.

To sum up, because of coaching, the DBF, and the Frat, I have been happier and fulfilled in the last year of my marriage than I have the previous ten years before. I truly believe that without coaching, I would not have celebrated my 20 year anniversary this summer. I feel confident and secure in my masculinity and thankful to have the opportunity to get individualized coaching. This has helped mold me into a better father, a leader of the house, a husband the wife can’t stop gushing over, and one very happy and content dude. I keep telling my wife that she can keep going to her therapist because it seems to be working for her and I’ll keep going to my coach because that seems to work best for me. Her agreement is all the validation I need from her.

Keep pounding away fellas…both literally and figuratively! 

Dead Bedroom Fix
Now What?

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