Today is my eighth wedding anniversary. But instead of pottery or bronze, we're breaking tradition and seeing a couples counselor instead, although smashing pottery does sound pretty therapeutic.
I used to believe that couples therapy was meant for people whose marriages were in trouble. But after our first session with the therapist, I realized that we should have done this a long time ago before things got so bad.
The money we spent on whatever we've bought over the years to fill the void that we've both been feeling could have been better spent investing in something that's much more important: our relationship.
Like most of the couples I know, we've had our share of highs and lows over the last eight years. But the resentment, hurt, and anger started to pile up to the point where we were barely acknowledging each other's presence. We were sitting on the couch like roommates.
And we were sleeping in separate beds.
Sometimes I wish we would argue, even if it meant yelling in front of the kids, because at least it meant we still cared about each other enough to fight.
We'd be mulling over the idea of seeing a counselor for several years now, but somehow we always found excuses, even legitimate ones, especially since my husband's work schedule as a pilot and Air Force Reserves officer is pretty unpredictable.
It was too expensive: WRONG! It takes too long: INCORRECT! It's doesn't really work: FALSE.
But after seeing an astounding number of divorces, both among my real life and online friends, we made the joint decision that there was hope, not just for the sake of our children but for ourselves too.
And that meant seeking help.
It's surprising how many people have actually been in our shoes, but no one seems to talk about it. In fact, the couples counselor we're seeing was recommended by a friend and neighbor who we both never thought would have been seeing a therapist.
And she happens to take our insurance too. How lucky are we?
We've seen the therapist twice so far, and it hasn't been easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure it will probably get worse before it gets better.
But we're both willing to do what we need to do to make it work. And to me, that's better than any bronze bracelet or pottery vase filled with flowers he could give me.
Photo via Charm2010/Flickr