Monday, December 14, 2009
Marriage Counseling Stinks! 4 Counseling Sessions Down, 23 To Go!
Marriage counseling stinks. It really does. I skipped our session last week, and I’ve been avoiding admitting the truth and writing this post ever since. But that’s my m.o., that’s what I do. I go in cycles, up, down, and all around. When I start to slide, it’s a very slippery slope.
Nobody told me that if I really wanted to work on my marriage, I’d also have to work on myself. I know how stupid that sounds. I mean, REALLY work on myself.
It’s almost like remodeling a house. You can see the way you want it to be. It’s beautiful, you can’t wait to get to the end, to finish, to enjoy your success. However, before it gets better, it ALWAYS gets worse. The mess piles up, you can’t believe what you’ve gotten yourself into, and you’ve gotta find a way to get through the disaster and “dirt” before you get stuck; giving up on the project and yourself.
Attending counseling is good; it’s great, a tremendous step for us….but I’m beginning to realize that if I don’t get serious about me; all my quirks, addictions, and struggles as an individual; this progress won’t mean a thing. Eventually I’ll fall into my old, SAFE, habits. And so the cycle goes. Sound a little dramatic? Well, that’s the way it feels. Cry me a river, right?
By the way, if you remember, when my hubby wanted to skip class, there was no way in hell I’d let him get out of it. Me? Well, that’s obviously a different story. Yes, it’s hypocritical. Yes, it’s a double standard. No, I’m not proud of myself.
In fact, right now I don’t even know if I like myself. I’m mad. I’m almost a week behind with this post. Definitely not something I want to get comfortable with. The plan was, counseling on Wednesdays, journal and post on Thursdays. I’m all for flexibility, sometimes life happens. But give someone like me too much freedom, and I’ll rewrite all the rules. By the time I’m finished, you won’t remember where or why we’re friends, or what my point is.
I’m having a moment, you might say. Aren’t I entitled? Please tell me you have them too?
You know, I just realized something. I could stop. This could be my last post, we could stop counseling, I could stop journaling, and we could go back to our everyday lives. Which, by the way, weren’t entirely bad. I’m putting this stuff out there, to a bunch of readers who don’t really even know me. I appreciate you, I do. But it’s kinda funny. I could stop right now, what difference would it really make?
AHHHHHHHH…..but see? That’s where the “me” part comes in. I know I have to do this, FINISH this, for myself. I know it, I understand it, I just don’t always like to follow through. Dear God, we’ve got 23 MORE counseling sessions. TWENTY-THREE. Ironically, 23 used to be my favorite number.
My husband, surprisingly enough, is now the one championing this experiment. I can hardly believe it. It’s almost ridiculous. When I tell you the things he’s doing for me, you’ll either fall in love with him through your computer screen, or you’ll simply hate me for being so “me”.
I will tell you though, I’m sensitive. If you feel the need to bash, can you please do it via private message or email? Let’s reserve the “comment” box, for nice, touchy feely moments, shall we?
You know what? Maybe you should thank me. Some of your husbands or partners are reading this. Some of you have actually been reading my “journal” out loud to your significant other. I think that’s fantastic! I’m also guessing that right about now, they’re realizing how happy they are being with YOU and not with someone like ME! I’ve done you a favor. Now I’m smiling.
So my husband pursued me until I agreed to come back to counseling. In fact, he sent me an email, asking me to “please come back to the table”. Of course, I did. I then decided I was too tired to hold myself up any longer, and I moved to the sofa. He sat on the floor in front of me, as I lounged and relaxed. Are you getting the picture? I’m the mental patient, he’s the wise, all-knowing therapist. And that’s the way it was.
The week before, I asked him, “WHY do you love ME?” Remember, it made his brain hurt? So this week, he asked me to recall all the good times I could remember between us. Good times spent together, without family, kids, or friends involved; just us. Pretty impressive, a very good lesson plan.
Have you done this lately? If not, you really must. Prior to this evening, I didn’t remember half the things we talked about. Before long, I felt so thankful and loved, I didn’t even remember I was supposed to be wallowing in self-pity.
I’d bring something up, my husband would fill in the blanks. We were laughing, reminiscing, connecting. All thoughts were happy, carefree you might say. It was a wonderful evening. I can’t believe my husband led us there. I’m so glad he did.
This man, my husband, remembers EVERYTHING. He even remembers the first time we ate McDonald’s together, in his new truck, and what I was eating. Are you kidding? I don’t even remember being in that truck. It was so touching. Also a little unbelievable, considering he still has a hard time remembering where to hang his coat or his gazillion hats, or his dirty clothes and shoes, but I’ll have to let that go for now. His golf clubs do always manage to find their way to a nice, safe, clean place. Interesting.
So I’m feeling a little guilty about my attitude. I don’t know why I do this. It’s almost as if I won’t let myself be completely happy. I get so far, we get so far, and then I begin to sabotage everything. I have issues. It’s like I’m good, but always expecting something to go wrong. This time I decide to open up, and try to “work”. That’s progress, right?
The following day I send my husband an email. It very simply says, “I know I’m spiraling, I need your help”. A very short email, very simple statement, but boy was that hard to do. I have NEVER asked him for help. Instead I withdraw.
I didn’t know what I was expecting to hear back. Nothing really, he was at work. Then he called. I explain that I need to get back to me. I’m feeling a little lost, a little confused, not at all healthy. Honestly, I didn’t think any man could really understand.
I love our girls so much, and I love being home with them, I feel very lucky. But I also need to feel like “me”, and not just someone’s “mommy”. On the other hand, I only want to be “mommy”. None of this “mom” stuff, how dare they grow up? Keep me close, just stay like you are, like you were, a little while longer.
My oldest has started school. My youngest is no longer little. They’re growing up before my eyes, and I want to stop time. If we were going to have more babies, we may have already done it. Maybe we’re done, maybe not. We’re already moving into the next phase. Being a parent, has got to be the ultimate mind game.
Many moons ago, before we had kids, I was devoted to regular yoga and meditation sessions. I remember the time. I yearn for that balance again. For me, that’s where I need to be. So my husband says, and I quote, “Why don’t we wake up early together, and I’ll start doing yoga with you?” You couldn’t have shocked me more, had you told me I’d won the Nobel Prize.
He is NOT a yogi by any means, nor did I ever think he would be. He does, however, realize that I asked for his help, and this is the greatest gift he could give me. I will not get out of bed on my own, early in the morning; I won’t, not when I’m wallowing. But if he gets up with me, and we’re doing this together…….I already feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
This also means he’s giving up some of his free time. You see, my hubby has ALWAYS gotten up hours before he really needs to, in order to exercise. Remember, he’s a teacher. He simply goes to school early, works out in the fitness center, showers in the locker room, and starts his day. Now, he’s offering to get up early, and instead of leaving, he wants to do YOGA with ME.
What do I have to complain about? This is huge. If I really think about it, these last 4 weeks have been life altering. My husband has even led his own counseling session, and is offering to “pull me up”. I better take advantage.
We started today. When we were done, I called my faithful neighbor and relayed to her the morning’s events. I should have warned her. She almost choked on her coffee. She was gasping for air, laughing so hard, she almost peed her pants. That’s what friends are for.
Truth be told, it WAS funny. 5:45am, alarm goes off, yoga video goes in, down to the floor we go. Imagine a man, barely able to bend, twist, or basically move, because he is so inflexible….trying his best to keep up, simply because he’s just so darned competitive, wincing and moaning with every move he makes; now you know my husband. I spent the first 10 minutes laughing at him. He laughed too.
We did manage to calm down and zone in, you might say. It just wouldn’t be our household, though, without a little disruption. As we lay in relaxation pose, calming our minds, releasing our bodies, drinking in the silence; my husband lets one rip. Loud. I mean, it seriously RIPS. Anyone remember my post regarding my family’s “backside” habits?
You’ll be happy to know, I was so relaxed and happy, that I laughed. I actually laughed, and I meant it. There couldn’t be a more fitting ending to my pity party week, than this raw, uncensored act of human flatulence. This is, after-all, my life….. who could ask for anything more? Until next time……