Often times, I joke about Todd and I going to counseling. Well, the truth of the matter is that we DO go to counseling. And another truth is that it has helped us out tremendously.
We have had “issues” from the get-go when we met face-to-face in January of 2006. So, why did I marry him? I love him! Even though we had our ups and downs, I wanted to be with him. He makes me laugh (sometimes I get tired of his corniness, but now, I find myself coming up with even CORNIER jokes than his!) I know that he loves me more than anything else in this world.
For the first 3 years of our relationship, we had a lot of added stress. From him moving in and trying to sell his home in another city (thus having two mortgages) to buying a complete fixer-upper home, to at one time owning and owing on 3 homes (my house in Akron, our house in Newton Falls, and the house we bought next door to add to our property.) Add an adorable 8 lb. pot bellied piglet that was like having a child within 6 months of marriage and renovations to the house at the same time along with running out of money…it was pretty rough. We didn’t get to enjoy our “honeymoon” period. We enjoyed our honeymoon…but not the two years after we got back from the honeymoon.
January 13th of this year, we hit our breaking point. After arguing about something stupid (so stupid that I cant even remember what it was), we decided it was best that we both go our separate ways. I would keep the house because it was “pig friendly,” and he went out and found an apartment. Luckily, before he signed the lease, we talked and decided that we needed to go see a counselor to see if we could salvage our relationship. We wanted to do everything we could before dissolving our marriage. We wanted no regrets if it was to be the case that we would get a divorce.
Shortly after, we met with our counselor. At the first meeting, we anxiously went together. That was probably the worst session ever. The counselor asked a question about children. I blurted out, “I want children, just not with him!” Oh my goodness…you could have cut the silence with a knife. I had felt that way for a few years, but never expressed it to Todd. I should have never said it…but there was no turning back.
We then were required to go by ourselves because we were getting nowhere with the two of us arguing back and forth (or him complaining about me the whole time and me not getting two words in.) After a couple of months, we started meeting together again. The counselor opened our eyes to things that we did not see at all by ourselves. The quarks that we both have and the things that we both require in life and in our marriage.
The counselor said, “You both need to communicate on a daily basis.” I openly said that it was impossible for me to communicate because Todd didn’t ever shut up! That helped Todd see that our relationship was one-sided. So, we started to communicate. We started to plan for our future and talking about what we want to do 5 minutes from now…not just 5 years from now. We opened up and learned to deal with the other’s quarks.
It is now to the point that the counselor says he does not feel he needs to see us on a regular basis. It went from going a couple times a week, to every week, to every 2 weeks, every month, and now every couple of months. I like to go just to keep us grounded and to remind us that we will be held responsible. I remember the day when the counselor said, “Are you the same couple that was here in January?” That was a good day for us.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because I wanted to let everyone know that counseling is not a bad thing as many make it out to be. I wanted everyone to know that we are nowhere near perfect in our relationship (some days, I want to strangle him.) That it is true that relationships are a lot of work, but are very rewarding. That there will be bumps in the road that you may not think you could get through, but you can. Communication IS key.
I didn’t marry my best friend or my high school sweetheart. I DID, however, marry the man that I love most of all on this earth. In sickness and in health (this was tested last year! We succeeded!) For richer or for poorer (also tested and succeeded!) In good times and bad (check.) As long as you both shall live (we do!)
I love one quote that the counselor always said to us: “Plan for tomorrow…you haven’t screwed that up yet!”