I have written about my thoughts on marriage before.
You can read them here.
If you don’t have time to read that, here are the cliff notes:
Marriage is really fucking hard.
And that’s when things are going pretty well.
You know we are going through a very difficult time financially.
That doesn’t make marriage any easier.
Throw seven kids into the mix, and you are seriously adding to the challenge of maintaining any level of wedded bliss.
I love my husband very much.
And I know he loves me very much.
But the state of our relationship is at an all time low.
There is so much going on right now, there are so many variables, so many stressors…
People often ask how we keep up with things like the laundry and the schedules with so many kids.
Other people ask about how much food we go through. How do you handle making dinner every night?
Those are the easy things to figure out.
One of our biggest challenges is having opportunities for uninterrupted conversations.
They don’t really exist.
You know how kids are.
They are conversation homing devices.
They know when you want to talk.
And they seek and destroy any and all adult conversations.
My husband and I rarely have an opportunity to talk.
Which is just as well, because at this point we are unable to communicate effectively about almost anything at all.
We have spent the past few months, approaching years, living as roommates.
Existing in our separate corners.
It’s not fun.
It’s not a healthy example to set for the kids.
We have been to counseling before.
It hasn’t helped.
Both of us have left the office of more than one therapist convinced that he or she was on our side.
Ultimately we stop going.
And we rehash and rehash and rehash the same things over and over and over again.
We have been engaged in a getting to be right war that never ends.
We have countless conversations that end in arguments.
You know, the ones where you don’t even remember what you initially started arguing about.
We are spinning our wheels and wearing ourselves out.
The piles of resentment have been growing and growing.
But really we both want the same thing.
We want to enjoy being around each other.
We want to spend some time together.
We want to be able to communicate.
I want to look forward to the minute that my husband is walking in the door, rather than the one when he is walking out of it.
So yesterday we went to Therapist Number Five.
There have been five of them.
Our appointment was at 3:00.
My husband was going to come home from work early.
He asked me if he should come home so we could drive together.
“Um, yeah. I don’t think so,” I told him.
If you’ve ever been through therapy with your spouse before, then you may have had one of those sessions where so much shit is thrown around during the hour that you leave the office twice as angry as when you got there.
So I left myself an out.
I’ll just meet you there.
I didn’t know much about this therapist.
But I was told the form of therapy she used was not typical.
That was good.
Since the typical shit hasn’t really been working.
Yesterday we were introduced to Imago Relationship Therapy.
Now yesterday was only the first day.
So I’m by no means an expert.
But here is what I know.
This therapy treats the relationship.
Not the individuals in it.
And it’s good.
My husband can be a little bit skeptical with respect to therapists.
He tends to think that therapists become therapists because they are so fucked up that they’d rather deal with other peoples’ problems than their own.
There might be a little truth to that.
I mean, 3 of our 4 previous marriage therapists were divorced.
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Anyway, before we left the office, my husband thanked the therapist.
“This was great,” he said to her.
It was nothing like anything we had ever done before.
And we agreed on something.
So we made another appointment.
We actually booked every Thursday at 3:00 in May.
Suddenly, things aren’t looking so bad anymore.
I’d go as far to say that they’re looking pretty good.
In fact things are looking so good that next week, we might just drive to that appointment in the same car.
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