Marriage counseling #2

Two days ago we had our second marriage counseling session. (Link to first session)

I suggested to Marie before our appointment that we share our homework with each other so we each could have some time to process. She agreed it was a good idea, so I sent mine to her, but then I didn’t get hers. 

When we met at the counselor’s office a few hours later I could tell she was mad and didn’t say much. After we checked in she handed me her notebook which had her homework response. Recall there were 3 items to cover for our homework, 1) issues/problems 2) strengths 3) ideal day/situation.

 This is hers:   

We focused in counseling on my list this week (her choice, and maybe this was a mistake) and Marie was pretty defensive. But we got lot out on the table. She said she thought my homework basically was all about her and that I made everything to be her fault. She thought hers was more objective. I’m REALLY INTERESTED in what you think about this??? (Link to mine is above if you missed it)

I wasn’t really surprised by her homework list, but she was surprised at mine. This is of course because I under communicate and she over communicates. But nothing on my homework list should have been a surprise to her. 

It’s a long process and I hope she’ll be willing to stick with it. She hasn’t wanted to continue in the past when we tried counseling because it’s very difficult for her. 

Our homework for this week is:

1) Something that the other person will do everyday for the relationship. We each came up with one item:

Chris call Marie during the day to let her know I’m thinking of her. I did it yesterday but forgot today (I just realized). 

Marie spend a few minutes in the morning with Chris – without doing anything else – to talk about the day and what we both are doing. 

2) Tell each other 2 things we appreciate or are thankful for or we noticed that was nice about the other person that day. This is supposed to be sort of spontaneous in the moment. I don’t think either of us have done this yet. 

We had a long break between our first appointment and this one yesterday. We had a hard time getting into the therapist’s calendar and then we had to cancel when I went to Indiana to get Jamie. Hopefully going forward we’ll have more regular weekly appointments.

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12 comments

  1. Hmm!
    I feel like you are going to have to find Chris the man before you find Chris the husband. : / what about taking a time out from ‘working on it’ until you are more yourself? Remember being young those times when you just couldn’t be ‘in a relationship’ so you’d focus on improving yourself? So worth it. Hard though, I know.
    Bravo to both of you for being honest and putting it on the table.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. But part of working on myself is trying to figure out some cause and effect between marriage issues and depression. So part of getting myself in order is either getting my marriage in order or resolving that perhaps my arrive is not healthy for me.

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  2. When I went though my troubles as a husband, I found the book called the purpose driven life. I am not much on self help books and to be honest I thought the second half of it was not much help for me. But the first 20 or so chapters changed my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Familiar with it! Thank you. I was saved about 15 years ago and this absolutely saved our marriage as well at the time. Maybe I need to go back to basics. I know it’s on my bookshelf collecting dust.

      Thanks for the feedback!!

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  3. A book I’m reading called Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an excellent book for couples. He is a Christian marriage counsellor, he and his wife also do seminars. I highly recommend getting a copy for you and your wife, it digs deep into the needs and desires of both husband and wife.

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    1. I’ve seem that book but not read it. Thanks for the suggestion. Conceptually we are both familiar with the Eph 5 passage this is based on (I presume). I feel like we are both book smart on marriage, just have a hard time appreciating each other. I will find this book!

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      1. I hear what you’re saying, we can be information smart but it’s hard to apply what you’ve learned in the face of some real (deep) hurt. I do find that Dr. Eggerichs does really well at laying out different ways to apply what you learn. I’ve been married for 20 years and the truth in this book helped me see my husband differently and understand him more and somehow before I read the book I thought I was doing well, then I found out I could do better. God Bless you and your wife. Now in the words of the apostle John “I pray above all else that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2)

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  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been married for 18 years. It’s not always easy but as long as we are growing together and not just living together things seem to be easier. I had to learn that reality is 100% perception. What I see may not be what she sees. The more focused we are on the same picture, the more we understand each other. You’re approach is good just be patient.

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    1. Thanks. Because of my military job we have spent 2 of the last 4 years apart. This has been difficult because it has changed us both, and not seeing things from the same perspective often. I absolutely agree with you, I’m just also aware of how different our perspectives are at times. Obviously we’ve both changed a lot in 23 years.

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