Next: Lora saying before that she hadn’t had therapy ever, and then now saying she did, and that it didn’t work.
Turns out that when Lora said she’d never done therapy before, she meant as an adult. As in, “legal adult”. She wasn’t counting the therapy she had as a child or an adolescent when she said she hadn’t had therapy. So she had therapy multiple times for her anger and anxiety, and it was terrible, and it didn’t work for her at all. She felt it was a giant waste of time and money.
If Lora has tried therapy and it didn’t work, that is a giant red flag. Not that it’s impossible to find a bad therapy, or even a couple of bad therapists. And I don’t know how many times Lora tried to have therapy and it didn’t work well for her. But I do know that Lora emailed me two things that caused me to wonder if the therapy/therapist was the problem or if Lora not wanting to get better/not be willing to do the work to get better was the problem.:
1) She wrote that she was going to couples therapy with Jon to gain confidence in their relationship
2) She wrote that she’s worried that therapy will bring things up that she doesn’t want to revisit and will not revisit for any reason.
About #1, I wrote to her that ALL the therapy in the world would not help her if she doesn’t take ownership for the part that is HER problem. Her insecurities are HER problem. They are NOT a relationship problem, and couples therapy will NOT build her confidence in her and Jon’s relationship. The only person who can do that is HER.
For the second one, I didn’t write back, because…I just didn’t want to. I didn’t see a reason to. Because I know that therapy will bring up painful things for her. Probably those things that she doesn’t want to face. But in order to get better, she has to face all that really awful stuff.
If she cannot do that, she will not get better.
So reading those things that she wrote, coupled with her continuing abusive and controlling behaviors cause me to believe that she is truly not willing to do the things she must do to get better – especially if she HAS tried therapy multiple times before and it failed.
The entire time that Jon and I have had a relationship, we have been trapped in cycles where the problems might seem to get better, but they always backslide. Or they turn into other problems. Her texting and/or calling Jon constantly? We’ve gone through that cycle several times. Times of quiet and times when the two of them are fighting nearly all the time and she’s saying awful things to him? We’ve gone through that several times. Times when she’s monopolizing Jon’s time and he has to lay down rules to her about that? We’ve gone through that several times.
Now we’re in another quiet period. In theory, it’ll be different this time, because Jon and Lora are going to couples therapy, and we’re all going to solo therapy.
But given knowledge of the past, I’m worried that Lora is going to refuse to deal with her problems in therapy and then be convinced that therapy doesn’t work and blame it on bad therapy instead of admitting that she doesn’t want to face her problems.
I pointed out to Jon that Lora is supposed to love him. But he couldn’t convince her to get therapy (he told me during this email exchange that he tried a number of times, and she consistently refused). It took the big blow up between the three of us where I told her that if she didn’t get therapy, we couldn’t live together anymore in order for her to agree to get therapy. Why did she agree to that? Probably because she’s smart enough to realize that:
1) She has been heard by me being abusive and controlling multiple times to our shared partner
2) It is completely reasonable for me to say I’m not living with that
3) She knows that JON hates the way she talks to her, and she knows that she can no longer say things to him like “you’re as shitty to me as my drug-addicted ex” because he told her that if she didn’t stop, he WOULD end their relationship.
4) Therefore, it is her fault – her abuse – that makes it unable for us to all live together and is also something that she knows that Jon hates about their relationship
5) If those things are true, will Jon break up with her, because she “ruined” everything?
(No, he wouldn’t ( at least, I don’t think he would). And she didn’t “ruin” everything, she just turned out to be someone that I can’t live with. But he might take it as a huge blow to his relationship potential with both of us. Maybe it’d have given him a wake-up call to how awful she is (in her mind). It’s one of the few ones he can get, since nobody else knows about how she treats him because she doesn’t want him talking about his relationship with her to anybody.)
So, she agreed to get therapy. Which changed from her getting solo therapy to getting couples therapy. Where (I pointed out to Jon) she can blame him for problems that are squarely on HER, and try to direct the therapist to work on Jon, instead of working on Lora.
I really don’t think therapy is going to help. Everything I have seen, and heard, and read that has to do with her tells me that it isn’t going to help. Her emails, the way she talks about things, the way she still acts, it all looks like she’s just waiting for things to blow over, so she can be the abusive and controlling person she is right now. She doesn’t truly want it to get help (I think).
Which would also explain part of why she went back to saying she doesn’t need therapy. She truly doesn’t think she needs help. Jon needs help learning to “manage” her or do what she says. In couples therapy, she can twist things around so it’s all about him needing to help her. She herself doesn’t “need” therapy because she’s actually content in some way the way she is. And even if Jon tells her the way that she behaves isn’t OK, or I say it, as long as we’re not threatening to change the status quo, she’ll just keep on as she is not getting therapy.