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TheIsland

I know she's married, I know it's unethical.

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I know my therapist wants me.
I know it's unethical.
I know she's married.
I know she's far older than me.

But I am still going to accept her advances. Even though some people would say she's manipulating me or using me. I want the sex, and I want my virginity to be lost to a woman of authority and power. I also desire someones closeness and love.
Am I crazy for wanting the sex even though it's possible she's using me? Maybe.
Will i enjoy the sex anyway and milk this out for as long as possible? Hell yeah.

In a world with so much misery and bullshit it seems only obvious to live in the moment and take advantage of every possible situation. I want sex with an attractive older woman, so why does it even matter if she's my therapist or not? I don't think it matters, however I guess others would argue otherwise. I don't see a wealth of attractive, older and authoritative women throwing themselves at me, It feels amazing that one is actually seeking me out. The fact she's married and my therapist may be morally wrong, but I am going to do it anyway. I don't even feel sorry for her husband. I feel like I am a terrible person for this, but I've had so much misfortune in my life it's hard to sympathize with anyone outside my immediate family/friends. Nobody ever cared enough to try and help me, so why would I care about anyone else?

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It's not crazy for wanting the sex. The emotions you're experiencing are called erotic transference. The idea that you're feeling cared about and feel like someone's trying to help you naturally lends itself to strong positive feelings toward your therapist. 

Why it matters whether she's your therapist or not is that it is illegal, not just unethical, for her to act on any sexual feelings she may have toward you (called erotic countertransference). Given the power differential that you've identified, and that you feel attracted to that kind of a relationship, it seems like it would be a really important dynamic to talk about and not act on to see what's going on with it.

It's also entirely possible that you're feeling strongly attracted to her and interpreting her caring about you professionally as feeling loved, and confounded with romantic love rather than platonic love.

In any case, if she's truly making advances toward you, she's NOT going to be a helpful therapist because it erodes the boundaries of the therapy relationship.

Have you talked about it explicitly with her?

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TheIsland -

Please carefully consider what Wooster has told you.

There are several things to consider here: First, you must determine whether your therapist is, in fact, making actual sexual advances on you with intent. What evidence is there that brings you to this conclusion without any doubt? Is it at all possible that you have misconstrued some behavior of hers? Is it at all possible that your strong desire or need for someone to behave in such a way is affecting your perception? If these are possibilities, then you must take a step back and re-evaluate.

Several factors argue against the idea that your therapist is doing so. 1) Such behavior is directly contrary to her professional training, her Duty of Care for you as a patient, and her professional code of ethics. 2) Such behavior is illegal, and she could face serious consequences as a result. 3) She is married, and swore vows to her husband. In order for you to accept that she is truly making advances on you with intent, you must accept that she is willing to abandon all the professional and personal vows she has taken, and risk serious legal consequences, including the loss of her livelihood, in order to have sex with you. This does not seem like a rational action on the part of your therapist.

For the moment, however, let us assume that you have incontrovertible evidence of her intent, and every reason to believe that she does indeed plan to follow this unethical and illegal course of action. The question then arises, why would you want to have anything to do with such an unethical, self-destructive individual, who, if she's planning on doing this, plainly cares nothing whatever about your mental well-being?

While the thought of enjoying the activity may be very tempting, you should also realize that there will be fallout. There is always fallout. 1) You will no longer have a therapist. Even if the two of you somehow managed to keep the affair hidden, it would fundamentally alter the patient-therapist dynamic, and it would be impossible afterward to benefit from therapy with her. 2) It is extremely likely that she will abandon you; and why not? A person willing to abandon her marriage vows would think nothing of leaving someone to whom she had no attachment. 3) In the aftermath of something like this, the difference between what you have said you yearn for, "closeness and love", and the adventurism of casual sex, is set off in stark and often dismaying contrast. I fear that you would, probably sooner rather than later, find that any closeness and love were fleeting at best; at worst, a tissue of lies used to lead you astray.

Now, let us set the therapist aside for a moment and consider your ethics.

You are aware that your therapist has a spouse, has an ethical bar to sexual relations with you, and could suffer serious legal consequences if she did so. You nonetheless indicate that you intend to go forward with it. Most of your post is taken up with arguments in which you attempt to rationalize this decision based on an observation that fate and other people have been unkind to you. From this you conclude that "it seems only obvious to live in the moment and take advantage of every possible situation" and care nothing about other people.

This is a nihilist/Nietzschean perspective that, taken to its logical extent, ends with sociopathy and anarchy. You say that you feel like you are "a terrible person for this" – we are not here to stand in judgment on you. That's not what this site is for. But I would gently suggest that you posted here because something in your heart of hearts is telling you that no matter how much you reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally want to do this... it's wrong. There is a Better Angel of Your Nature saying, "Don't do this, buddy, this is Trouble. Run far away." I think you already know it. I think you already know that even if you did it, you would feel like dirt later for having done it. I think you already know that it would all end badly, badly, badly, badly, and you would end up hurting worse than before.

And it's your virginity, for God's sake. Save it for someone who actually loves you, or at least for a friend.

Think hard, and be at peace.

Edited by Cerberus

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I have not spoken to her about this. Although she makes it clear she's interested in me. My conversations with her are riddled with hints. Some of what she says is very inappropriate. From the very beginning of the first session it was more like general chats rather than actual therapy and it's been this way for a very long time. She's asked me if I have a girlfriend, told me multiple times that she thinks I am attractive, asked me to watch romantic/sexual movies, and expressed how she feels she's gotten to know me extremely well over the past couple of years. She also keeps telling me how she feels lonely and has asked to meet me outside of therapy before. I've also found out about a book she's been reading. It is about a lonely depressed woman, who begins having an affair with a much younger guy. It seems highly likely to me that she wants to have a similar relationship with me. Half the time it feels like there are no boundaries at all, whilst at other times it feels like she has gone back to being professional with me. It's weird I guess, but I've recognized she's clearly getting more bold with her hints lately.

I believe you can love more than one person. I also believe that there are multiple kinds of love. I am not naive with this. I understand she'll choose her husband over me. I understand it probably wont even last long term, but I want new experiences and I feel just as lonely as she does. Surely even if she uses me, it isn't so bad because I am using her also. We both gain here and I feel like I won't get another chance with someone like this.

It's never really felt like full on therapy. A majority of the time it feels like a general chat between friends. Very little therapy occurs and it's more like: I tell her how I feel, she tells me how she's feeling, she tells me about her day or what she's up to, then she tells me about a movie/book/show she's watched and we talk about that. I've made no progress with her. It feels like she is being paid to be my friend, however the boundaries are very unclear. It feels like she is my friend a majority of the time and then a therapist 20% of the time.

Everyone I know will abandon me anyway. My friends already have, I don't have family. I might as well take advantage of this even if in the end I'll be alone anyway. That is my reasoning behind this. I am alone and always will be alone. Why not take a chance of a bit of happiness even if it'll end with solitude? Either way it'll end with solitude anyway.

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On 2/22/2017 at 11:19 AM, TheIsland said:

It's never really felt like full on therapy. A majority of the time it feels like a general chat between friends.

FWIW: My very first therapy was with someone exactly the same. It felt like a chat between friends. That is NOT therapy.

I went through about three therapists before I found someone who I was willing to work with. It is all about you being ready and willing for therapy. Taking your life into that room and actually making a difference. Making something HAPPEN. 

It is not a conversation. YOu can have that with your friends. It is not about being understanding, nice or even empathetic. A therapist is a professional, trained to listen and very occasionally give advice. Everyone single person is so different - the chemistry has to work. I ended up with a male after 3 females and that did the trick. I started out going 3 times a week, went twice a week and eventually once a week. After a long number of years, I 'graduated'.  And if I went back to therapy tomorrow, I would not use that same therapist even though it was wonderful. Fucking hard work, never boring, always difficult.

She has been wasting your time unfortunately. Find a new therapist. Go on tinder for girlfriends. There are many many older women on there dating younger men.

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She also keeps telling me how she feels lonely and has asked to meet me outside of therapy before.

Run fast and far away. This is NOT ok for a therapist to ask.

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It's not okay for her to be using you to fill her loneliness, either. I work in a much more casual client-centered business (event planning) and even there - I don't become friends with the people who's parties I do. That's because I see them when they're stressed, and scared, and vulnerable (and sometimes quite intoxicated). It blurs the professional boundary when they become my friends, and it's not alright.

This is even more crucial when it comes to therapists and friendships. They're not there for friendship, or because they're lonely.

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Here's another thought.

If you feel attracted to older, powerful women and you're willing to pay a therapist who would be doing something incredibly illegal and unethical, why not hire a sex worker instead?

Seriously.

Bottom line is that if all these things are true about her behaviors, as opposed to benign actions being filtered through erotic transference, you are NOT actually having a therapy relationship.

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TheIsland -

You're still justifying it under the thinking that it would be an equivalent exchange - you're using each other, but it's tit-for-tat, no harm, no foul... except that you're mistaken.

You accept the false automatic thinking that "I am alone and I always will be." In fact, such a statement is both irrational and impossible to prove, as it claims to predict all possible future eventualities. Not only that, there is every reason to believe that you can enjoy a happier, more socially fulfilling life with treatment by a competent professional, which, as all of us here are pointing out, you are not getting.

But even if it were true that you would use her for sex and then end up alone, she would not end up level with you at the close of the exchange. She would use you for sex... and then, having had her little adventure, would return to her husband and her friends, with your money fattening her bank account - money she swindled from you by accepting your payment and then failing to treat you. So you will have been fucked over (literally), defrauded of your money, abandoned, and your condition untreated, and left with the incorrect impression that therapy isn't effective. If all you actually want is some physical contact (it is a basic human need, after all) that leaves both parties equally transacted, then Wooster's suggestion above is legitimate - you would be far better off hiring a prostitute or an escort. or even hiring a chatty masseuse. It would certainly be a more honest exchange.

You asked why it matters? This is why it matters. You don't have to feel this lonely, isolated and abandoned. A good, competent, professional, ethical therapist would be helping you overcome the barriers that are preventing you from enjoying your life. Instead, you have run afoul of this vile leech in human form who is abusing her public credential to rob you, manipulate you, and prevent you from receiving the treatment you need so that she can satisfy her personal desires. Such a person preys on the vulnerable, and that is why what she is doing is illegal. If her behavior were uncovered, her credential would be revoked, and she would no longer be permitted to harm people seeking therapeutic help.

Think of her as a vampire. You might take a cross and a rosewood stake with you to your next session. Bring a mirror and check whether she casts a reflection in it. Rub yourself all over with garlic and see how she acts. Check her canines (from a distance - no tongue). Sprinkle holy water. Regardless of whether you get any reaction to any of this, fire her and find a new therapist pronto.

Really.

No, really.

Edited by Cerberus
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Hi,

I am in therapy due to chronic shyness. I am so shy that I won't even talk to new people. Dating sites and finding love sounds amazing, however impractical for me due to my shyness. It gets incredibly lonely, which is why I feel so attracted to my therapist in the first place. She told me that therapy is just about talking and nothing else. She also explained how her employer is trying to force her to change her work practices so it's less talking and more time productive. She felt very angry and explained to me how she is planning to quit her job and that she knows what therapy is and has a strong belief of what therapy should be about. She also told me she won't abandon me and keep in touch even if she leaves her job.

I feel like this relationship has evolved into friendship at this point. Although neither sides have mentioned it. She asked me if I was going to a big event in my country and I was going to tell her my university is holding a day trip there, but somehow she already knew about it. She then asked me if I was going to go and told me she feels mixed about going. I said I felt the same and she said I should go and it'd give us something to talk about the next session to see what we thought of the place. I got very excited and paid for the trip just because she was going to be there, but then I was told I am going on a Monday. My therapist however is going to the event on a Tuesday and she asked me what day I was going and I just know she was hoping I would be going the same day as her. I felt disappointed and sad that I couldn't spend the day out with her... Just the fact she asked me to text her when i paid for the trip and she asked me for the day I was going made me feel she wanted me to be going the same day as her.

A sex worker? I don't want a disease and I am not desperate to pay for sex. I want someone who wants me and who I am attracted too. Prostitutes disgust me.

I am unsure. Sometimes she acts like a therapist, other times a friend, other times very suggestive. Today she acted like my friend, but I imagine the next week it'll be a different story.

I really don't feel a normal therapist can save me from my life becoming a disaster as they can only do so much. I feel like the only thing that can save me is someones love/affection to give me some self worth and motivation to save myself. I realize it wont be forever, I realize it wont be an equal exchange in everyone's eyes, however I really don't think anyone or anything is going to help me and if things take their natural course I'll be dead in a couple of months. I just don't have what it takes to fix my life alone. I could have the kindest, most supportive and professional therapist in the world, but my life would still fall apart the minute I step out of their door because I have nobody in my personal life who is there for me. I need someone and I won't get that anywhere else than from her. The reason I have therapy in the first place is my extremely severe shyness and horrific anxiety. I become a mute at the sight of anyone I am not familiar with and avoid meeting new people like the plague.

I can understand why you think this but I assure you she is not vile or a leech. I also don't think she is manipulating me and I do not in any way or form think she'll hurt me. She seems too kind to hurt me and we share too much in common. I think she knows how desperately I need someones love as she even asked me what is missing from my life to make me feel so lonely after asking me to watch a romantic film. I said I didn't know and she seemed to know what I should have said, but just repeated what I said and changed the subject. That told me she was waiting for me to reveal how I felt, but i didn't. If she was manipulating me surely she'd have told me what i was missing from my life was love or something and tried to brainwash me?

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On 3/1/2017 at 5:20 PM, TheIsland said:

She also explained how her employer is trying to force her to change her work practices so it's less talking and more time productive. She felt very angry and explained to me how she is planning to quit her job and that she knows what therapy is and has a strong belief of what therapy should be about. She also told me she won't abandon me and keep in touch even if she leaves her job.

oh my gosh, this is so inappropriate. 

If she really understands how desperate you are to find love and companionship, than...this is the absolute WRONG way. She is not helping you, she is not assisting you. She is TAKING from you. I know it feels like the opposite, but this woman is NOT preparing you for life. She is NOT helping you take that first step out the door.

She is doing the opposite - she is imprisoning you. As long she holds the keys to your heart, to your survival, as you see it, then this lady is doing nothing but taking your vital life force away.

I can see how it appears to be exactly the opposite to you. BECAUSE she is SO kind and nice, and the only person you talk to. Imagine this was a prisoncamp, and she was your warder, the only one with the keys to let you free. 

It is unprofessional and even worse, a HUGE disservice to you. 

Print out this topic, Bring it to therapy. READ to her what Woo and Cerebus wrote. See what she says. Then come back here and let us know. 

I understand you feel like there is no hope, there is no reason to continue. YOur therapist is GETTING IN THE WAY.  You have NO IDEA what would happen if you saw someone else. Let HER find someone for you if it is too difficult. She can make the calls. She can find someone. See if she is able to let her own ego aside and be there for you.

It is INCOMPREHENSIBLE to me how your therapist thinks dumping her stuff all over you and your life is good therapy. 

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