Babe and I go to marriage counselling. I’m very open and honest about it as I don’t feel that there is anything to be ashamed about. I think we’re actually making a smart move for our relationship and our family by continuing to work on our marriage. We get lots of strange looks from friends whenever it comes up, clearly they’re not as advanced as we are.
This is our second attempt at counselling. When we bought our home and moved in together, I thought it would be a great idea if we went to a therapist together. We had a few
hug issues in the start of our relationship (Babe was still in communication with his manipulative crazy ex-girlfriend and I was still dealing with the effects of an abusive relationship). It didn’t work well for us then as the person we were seeing was someone who I had been seeing for a few years. She suggested to me that Babe was emotionally unavailable and would never become the person I wanted him to be. She was a great person for me alone, but clearly very wrong in her opinion of Babe.
We found our current counsellor/therapist during our engagement. When Babe and I were planning our wedding we met with a minister who suggested that we see someone before we got married as it’s usually a good idea to talk about things that we may not normally discuss (money, sex, babies, etc.). That’s when we met our current therapist, let’s call her K.
In our first meeting with her she told us that couples who live together before getting married have a higher chance of getting a divorce than those who don’t live together. Considering the divorce rate is pretty close to 50%, we sat up straighter and paid attention. K listened to our concerns and helped us find a way to understand one another better. We agreed to see her for the first year of our marriage, as that is usually when things are difficult. I also think it’s the 7th year of marriage as I often hear about the ‘7 year itch’, I’m not there yet but I guess I’ll find out eventually.
Our first year of marriage definitely had its challenges as I got pregnant and then super sick, just to highlight a couple high stress points. The stress an illness can play on a marriage is definitely not something I’d recommend. K was there through it all and helped us find our way through it, and continues to do so. We’re now midway through our 2nd year of marriage, with a baby, and we still make the time to see K. It’s an hour of our time to discuss big-ticket items or small annoyances. We take, and make, that time to give our relationship a check up, make sure we’re still functioning and moving forward together. The important part of it all is that we’re doing this together, it isn’t one-sided. We both see the benefits, and reap the benefits.
Let me be clear about something, Babe and I are not doing this as a reactive measure, we’re being proactive. We are working at ensuring that our marriage stays strong, and becomes stronger, and lasts through the long haul. My parents have been married for close to 50 years, and Babe’s parents have been together for close to 40 years. We would like to do the same.
Babe likes to joke that he’s the only one who will see our 40th anniversary as I’ll be dead well before that, but little does he know that I’m going to do everything I can to spend the next 39.5+ years with him just to prove him wrong! I think I’ve just figured out why he keeps saying that. Dang it! He knows me too well!!!
Are you considering marriage counselling? Are you currently going to see someone with your partner/spouse? What are you getting out of it? Do you find it helps? Let me know your thoughts!