Ok. Everyone talks about being real, authentic, organic, and what not and I’m here for all of that. But when’s the last time someone was real about the shit that made them uncomfortable to open up about? It’s one thing to share a messy home, dirty dishes, mom hair, and that stuff is great and totally relatable. I’m just feeling like there’s such an epidemic of struggling marriages and women I personally know and some I just get to talking to randomly that open up about some seriously common smaller issues that can become monumental in a marriage if not dealt with properly. I mean not to say some are big issues, but what if we dealt with the little things before they became big?
Marriage is the most beautifully challenging path two people can choose to walk down and having picked the right person to vow till death, you can make a daily choice to make it through anything, for better or worse. We hit a rough time a couple of years ago and both of us were checked out. I think the combination of the fact that we hadn’t been married and living together long before we had a baby. Then soon after went to having one income because he went back to school, I went back to work, left my baby for long hours and he was gone when I was home and there we were ships passing. I could list all the little fires that could’ve been put out water early but to be honest, we didn’t. And there we were having conversations considering what to do next all with a small child. To keep this concise and bite size I’m going to list where things went wrong and not the issues it created. You feel me? Because those problems wouldn’t have big so drastic if it wasn’t for things that were underlying. There is always and underlying cause.
So here we go. What it’s like going to marriage counseling:
1. You’re forced to be honest with yourself. Listen, there is always room for growth for everyone involved. And if you’re still one of those thinking, “but it’s all their fault”… there’s your first problem. Take accountability and own it.
2. Being vulnerable. It’s a safe place and unbiased company. Be honest and say everything. Let it out. If you’re not down to get vulnerable and open up with your spouse to make your marriage better then what ARE you willing to do to make it for forever?
3. Expect it to get worse before it gets better. Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s it. No sugar coating it guys.
4. Going home after a session gets awkward AF. Lol I’m serious tho. We would spend a ride home not saying a word! Sometimes you just gotta let the dust settle.
5. If an issue gets squashed in a session, LET IT GO. Omg just please never bring it up again.
6. No high horses allowed. If you’re right in a situation do NOT gloat. Take the win and let it ride. (Talking to myself here!!)
7. Insurance covers x amount of sessions. Check how many session it covers because some are 10 some or none some are 20- and the after that it’s out of pocket expense. Double check before setting up appointments. But don’t forget this is an investment with high reward!
8. It’s uncomfortable. The least fun thing in life is dealing with your problems. Things will come out of know where and dealing with them on the spot will be challenging. Be positive and learn to laugh with each other about the weird stuff !
9. You’ll be given tools, not answers. I think sometimes we expect answers with this kind of thing, but really we were provided tools to handle what we weren’t previously equipped to handle. Expect to have to use them often.
10. Your therapist will not take sides, but they will dig to help you find clarity if you’re in the wrong. Do not take the therapists comments or questions personally! They’re trying to help uncover what you may be missing in a way that makes sense to you! Becoming defensive in this setting will only sabotage the beauty of progress.
So I have WAY WAY more tips and what to expects written down but this would’ve been a long ass list. But I’m putting this out there because I want everyone to remember that marital health is a contributing factor to mental health as well. There is NO SHAME in asking for help. It takes a strong couple to find themselves on that couch.
And here we are going in 2 years after our 3 month stretch of counseling and OMG. We are two different people who’ve found a new kind of love. This takes time and consistence and persistence. But totally worth it.
Please if there are any women (or men) that are considering seeking therapy don’t hesitate to reach out. I will help in anyway I can to bring clarity and encouragement to your situation like someone did for ours. I’ll even check for therapists in your network and do the dirty work! Just go for you and for the love you have. Hope this was helpful!!! Let me know your experiences below!