I’m a list person. I like lists because they keep me focused, and help me to prioritize. I don’t like if time was spent making a list and then it isn’t followed. (Yes, I also put things together by reading the directions)
That being said, Counseling #1 we were each told to make a list, Counseling #2 we started going through my list first, Counseling #3, “Hey, what about the lists!?!?” LOL – hopefuly we’ll come back to them at some point.
We had our third counseling on Monday – YES I KNOW IT’S FRIDAY – and I think it’s going to get harder to capture the content as we get further along. We got away from the lists and actually spent a lot of time talking about something that SEEMED trivial at the time to both of us. We both left mad and frustrated. BUT there are a few important take aways and some good results after all. So, for the good of the group:
- On assumptions (yes we all know the joke . . .)
Our counselor’s rules on assumptions:
- Don’t make assumptions
- We have to make assumptions all the time, so try to clarify
- Assume the best or neutral first instead of assuming the worst
I know I am guilty of this, assuming the worst, and often find out I was wrong. I also know my wife does this (and of course she is always wrong – JUST KIDDING, CALM DOWN). The difference is that, as I’ve stated, my wife over communicates and I under communicate. How this applies here is that I might be looking for something (glasses, keys, etc.) and assume my wife moved it. But then I’ll find that something right where I left it. While I’m looking, I’m thinking my wife is involved (she is constantly picking up and cleaning and moving things – yes I know what you are thinking . . .) BUT I don’t SAY it. And then when item is found I say “Found it!” and all is good (and yes inside I kick myself for making a false assumption about my wife – I SHOULD NOT do this!!)
My wife on the other hand very often will SAY her assumption about my MOTIVATION for doing something (character attack). For instance, a couple of weeks ago she told the boys to mow the grass. My wife usually tells them who will mow which sections. This very often turns into an argument as one or the other thinks he is being slighted (big surprise with kids I know). So I suggested, “Why don’t you let them work out with each other who will mow what.” Marie felt like this was attacking her ability to manage things at other times when I am not there. She ASSUMED I was being critical of her ability to manage things the summer before when I was deployed. AND she said it out loud, by standing at attention and saluting me and saying, “Yes sir!” And it all spiraled down from there, as we can only imagine my fellow bloggers and marriage enthusiasts.
That was background. The good news is that in our “post counseling discussion” (we seem to have a weekly conversation now the morning after counseling – a good thing) I pointed this out, that I feel like she assumes the worst about my motivations and intentions and allows this to affect her feelings about a situation and toward me. SHE AGREED and said she’d work on this!! So, Success #1 this week as a result of marriage counseling.
- Post Counseling Discussion: Each week one of us has wanted to talk and clarify some of the things we had talked about the day before in counseling. Normally one of us is upset about something, but the ensuing conversations have been VERY GOOD AND PRODUCTIVE. Tuesday morning we talked for almost an hour in a very controlled manner about some of the issues from the day before. Notable, the conversation started with her visibly upset and saying she does not like the counseling and doesn’t see the point in going in and talking about small things and getting upset. As I had said in earlier posts, we have tried counseling in the past, but she doesn’t want to continue for this very reason. So after our hour long, good talk, I pointed out that it was a result of the counseling and that this is a loooong process which we need to go through and be patient through. It’s like going to the gym. After a hard workout you leave feeling spent and the next day you might be sore. If you stick with it you will see progress. So, Success #2 this week from marriage counseling is a resolve to proceed for the long term (I hope).
- Finally, we were intimate (shy smile red face :-p ) this week. This is the first time in about 3 months because I really have not wanted to be close with her. Success #3 this week as a result of marriage counseling.
I guess that’s all for now. Last week took it a second post to capture everything, so if I think of more I’ll let you know.