In sickness and in health, we swore to stick together!
There comes a time in any marriage when things might get tough and partners can drift apart, either due to the stress and troubles of every day life or because of the boredom and monotony cast upon their relationship, but nothing must stand in the way of two parents who once loved each other to give it another try and attempt to mend some fences in their personal life. I may not be a big fan of marriage counselling, but I know one thing for sure: specialists know what they are doing! I would bet my money on that, if I were a gambling fan of course. But, no matter how you put it, there are plenty of reasons that push people towards a temporary breakup and even a divorce and this would be a shame, especially if there are kids involved. I cannot say that I and my wife ever went through such a tumultuous state or that we had major fights in our long history together, but there have been some arguments over time. There always are, believe me! If someone told you that he or she is in a happy marriage or union for over 20 or even 40 years and there never was a moment when their opinions did not converge, then I for one would seriously question whether to trust that person again.
It’s in the human nature to make mistakes. It is written in our biological code to explore new horizons and question the things we are told. I am not implying that it is socially acceptable or moral for people to be unfaithful to their spouses, but rather that arguments and disappointments can arise from far meaningless actions like the small decisions we take throughout the day. For us, it was all love and joy in the beginning, for a while of course… we had no problems or need of couples therapy the first few years after we had met and things seemed bizarrely perfect at times. However, we began to encounter difficulties in communicating once our first child was due. Believe it or not, the pregnancy stage was not the major problem in our case. I was so filled with joy and an unbelievable excitement to be a father that I could put up with every need or craving my dear wife had. Yeah, she wanted to eat in the middle of the night or started to feel blue out of a sudden, but who can really understand women and their moods? I was on the verge of fulfilling one of my life-long dreams and there was no need for a family therapist then, or so I thought!
The first moments when we began having troubles in our marriage came after the baby was born. We had a gorgeous little girl and both felt pretty proud of our accomplishment. However, something changed about my wife. Her entire behavior, the way she spoke to me and acted around the child were different. I soon realized that I might be losing the woman I loved. It was one year later, after taking her to see a relationship therapist, when I truly understood what was going on.
Trying to get therapy for the first time can be a tough choice
We both needed a lot of courage to take this step forward
Searching for the light at the end of the tunnel can be a bold thing to do. With so many persons getting lost along the way, it has become a daunting and actually scary task to tackle some of the deep rooted issues of relationships. I for one can tell you that I was never a fan of marriage counseling. It wasn’t because I resented the idea or concept behind it, but rather due to the fact that I did not fully see its usage and results in real life. So, obviously, I rejected the thought of couples therapy from the get-go. After all, we were married and had a young daughter together, what could go wrong? I changed my mind one cold autumn evening when we went to visit my parents. They may not be role models for family life, but like all elderly persons, there is a wisdom and depth to their words that touched me that evening. After seeing how the two of us had drifted apart and the coldness of your conversations, they immediately took us aside and sat us down for a serious conversation. Separately! That was the brilliance in their plan. My mother told my wife about the hardships that she would face in the years to come if she were to remain a single mom and my father pulled me over and pointed out how much I would miss out on, if I could only see my girl a couple of hours a week. It worked! We decided that she would go first to a therapist to discuss the challenges of her new existence and role as a mother and that I would soon follow with the same counsellor to begin some couple sessions.
Until death do us part!
Things may change, but our love and respect must stay the same
Life transitions, that what how our problem was called. Apparently, we were both under a lot of stress from the baby entering our lives and still had not figured out a way of properly communicating between one another again. Our therapist said that we were so concerned about the well being of the girl that we simply forgot to love and care for each other. Interesting words coming from a man! But, then again, I guess you have to be a profound kind of man to follow a career in such a philosophic and deep thinking field of activity.
We kept seeing the same family therapist for years and years and took advantage of the professional advice he gave us every time a tough decision lay ahead. With so much moving around and uncertainties as to where we would be in ten years time, for instance, it only seemed logical to get an outside opinion. Reaching balance in our marriage was not tough, but keeping it sure was a challenge. After seeing the relationship therapist a couple of times, I noticed an improvement in the our daily functions and a more relaxed view on the parenting issues, meaning that there were fewer confrontations and dilemmas regarding the kid and more us-time, if you get what I mean. We never had intimacy issues or infidelity problems, but simple contradictions on how to raise the little one, for instance, could have seriously put a dent in our relationship, had it not been for my parent’s lesson and the decision we took to seek out professional guidance. A decision which I have not regretted once to this day!