Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why marriage counseling is OK!



I thought and prayed and asked my husband before writing this blog. Usually, I don't have to consider the pros and cons of writing blogs but with this one came with some insecurities of my "having it all together" act skewed....so I'm just going to go ahead and throw that out the window, put on my brave face and tell you...I'm writing this blog because I think this is something that needs to be said, needs to be current, needs to be talked about, not hidden, not avoided, but embraced and encouraged.

Here we go.

Josh and I go to marriage counseling.

Whew. That wasn't so hard.

Here is what I have learned the hard way about marriage in 5 years of being knit together with the man of my dreams:

1) He is also the man of my realities. Meaning, he is who God made him to be, but sometimes I forget that and would rather him be who I want him to be. It's not right or fair of me....but it happens and I have to remind myself my husband is who he is supposed to be.

2) Marriage is not easy. It isn't. I had a friend call me on that once that I always say that. Well, whatever, I'm going to keep saying it. It's not easy. It's work, you are being refined into someone better, someone more patient, more loving, more selfless. Maybe it is easy for others...I don't know, but it isn't for me. I LOVE being married to Josh, I have the time of my life, he's my best friend, he's the first person I want to hang out with if I had a choice of anyone on earth. (Don't Jesus juke me.) BUT all that aside, I am a selfish human and I wrestle with the decreasing. That is why it isn't easy. It's a gentle awakening of all these things you never knew about yourself and that's not always fun, but in the end of every victory there you are, a little more golden than you were before!

3) You need alone time. You need other people. You can't be each others everything. That is pretty much self explanitory. It's easy to hibernate in your home and avoid contact with other people...but don't do it. You need what others have and you have what others need. So is the BODY of Christ!

4) Expectations aren't always beneficial but never let your marriage float to the mediocre film of being lazy, letting things that hurt be dusted under rugs to avoid confrontation.....BUT

5) Pick your fights. Show grace. Let things go....really let them go, don't hold on to them and bring them up in another fight then blow up...and....

6) Fight fair. Don't attack. You are after all on the same team. We have an enemy and it ain't each other!

Now don't get me wrong or make this out to be more dramatic than it really is. There was no intense event that happened that made us go to counseling. The truth is we have stuff to work on. We love each other enough to admit when we need help. And it took me a LONG time to get there. I always thought counseling was for weak people when really admitting when you need help is a STRENGTH! I personally think all couples should have some kind of mentors they go to and chat with. And when Josh and I would have stuff going on I never wanted people to know because I wanted to seem like we were so perfect and had it all together but the truth is we don't, after 5 years of marriage we STILL have stuff! We still hurt each other, we still can trigger each other's disappointments, but I look back at who we have been and who we are now and I am STILL so thankful that Josh is the man I GET to be married to. If I could do it all over again I would, without hesitation. Because you have to go through the fire to come out as gold.

So, all that here are a few reasons why I think counseling is pretty awesome!

1) You have a mediator. Some one to hear both sides and honestly make some sense into it. Some one to listen to the both of you when sometimes when it's just the two of you words can get mixed up with emotions.

2) (If they are Christian) They lead you back to the truth. Enough said.

3) They are there TO HELP. They want to see you succeed. They support you. That's what you need the most in times like that.

4) They make you do things that you wouldn't do. One thing that Josh needs me to do in our arguments is if I need to step away to tell him that I need a break but that I still love him. Those worlds are true, but in it of myself not encouraged, I wouldn't think of saying them just then.

5) They aren't one anyone's side but they are on your team. It's never one sided....at least not in our case.

The truth is guys, people give up too easy on marriage. It's worth the fight. I want my son to grow up believing that he can have and will have a healthy marriage. I want him to believe in true love and know it can happen even if it gets a little rusty and needs a little oil. ;) And if I want those things for him then I need to get my stuff together, right?!  And my hope is that someone out there reading this who is going through the rocks in marriage, being single, whatever, would be encouraged to get some help, talk to some one. To fight for instead of with.

'til next time,

-Erika

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