Confession: We’ve Been to Marriage Counseling

I’ll never forget that very first phone call. As soon as they answered, I burst into tears.

I was embarrassed.

I was desperate.

I was hopeful.

I’d like to make an appointment with a marriage counselor.

When we got married he was 24 and I was all of 22 years old.

WE WERE BABIES.

We chose not to live together until we were married, so this new living situation came with a little adjustment period, shall we say. Our arguments over the next many years tended to be repetitive. I liked clean and tidy; he wasn’t bothered by messy and distraught. I liked structure and routines; he thrived on flexibility and freedom. One wasn’t right and one wasn’t wrong. We were just different.

Divorce wasn’t an option for us, nor did we use it to threaten each other. We had every intention of not only making it work, but seeking help to make our marriage thrive. So there we found ourselves, sitting on the little couch in our counselor’s office. How much do we share? Will she judge us?

Then there was the worst thought of all…

What if I see somebody I know?

Marriage Counseling

After many sessions of sharing intimate details of our relationship and countless encounters seeing somebody I knew in the office, here are some conclusions I’ve drawn from the whole experience.

  • Our counselor is a third party and truly doesn’t pick sides. Instead, she offers perspective and helps us understand and respect the other person’s point of view.
  • We feel challenged to become better spouses, friends, and individuals.
  • She encourages us to be responsible for our own happiness. Your spouse can’t live up to your needs if they don’t know what they are. Begin the journey to identify what you need in your moments of frustration. You might need to be left alone for 30 minutes, a hug, coffee with girlfriends, a date night, or time to complete a task without kids around. Communicate your need and chances are, your spouse will figure out a way to meet it. (Don’t forget to do the same for him!)
  • Finally, you might see people you know. And yes, it’s embarrassing, but only if you make it. Say hi and move about your day. Nobody will ask you what you’re there for, and if they do, fire the same question back at them!

Everyone has some sort of unwanted dirt and garbage in their life. If you don’t believe that, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Enough with the jealousy, grass is greener mentalities, mommas. We’ve all got struggles in life and there’s no shame in seeking help to better ourselves. Our children will thank us for modeling the best versions of ourselves.

Have you been to counseling?
How has it impacted you and your family?

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Whitney considers herself a lucky lady to be surround by all boys in her house! This teacher-turned-stay at home mom is constantly entertained by hubby Grant, sons Anders (3) and Nels (1), and furry pal, Gordon. She's a self-proclaimed funny girl who stays active by golfing and biking with Grant and taking walks to the park with her boys. Whitney is seemingly handy in the kitchen and loves inviting her boys to pull up their step stools to join in the fun. Connecting with friends and strengthening relationships are at the core of this extrovert's heart. After some good conversation, she always walks away feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the demand's of this life.