The Anniversary Gift You Hoped You'd Never Get but Know You Need

Love & Sex 13

Seeking couples therapy for marital issuesToday 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

marriage, divorce


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nonmember avatar mary

That is a great idea.. if if was not for the recommention through a friend.. how does one go about finding a good therapist ! ??

dirti... dirtiekittie

congratulations on eight years so far, and here's to many more in your future. my husband and i also celebrate 8 years this year (on oct 15th) and i'm so thankful that we have each other. it hasn't been perfect, but it's been ours.

i wish you and your husband the absolute best of luck!

nonmember avatar kathy

Congrats to you for working on it and admitting that you needed some help. my husband just celebrated 10 yrs, and they haven't all been perfect. but he's my husband, i love him & we're not giving up. Life's not's not aren't perfect - why would marriage be? Gotta keep working on it!!

Jscot... Jscott1216

These are the kind of articles I like. Real people, real problems, no judgements. Congrats on 8 yrs and beat wishes for many more to come. A lot of people think therapy is a waste of time but if your relationship is important to you doing whatever it takes even if its therapy to make it stronger may just be in the cards and help you just might have to accept. Wish you both the best of luck!

mama_... mama_2012

canyou help i have been married for only four month's and my husband can't admit we need help we fight way to much and i love him to piese's and he love the same way but it hurt's me alot when we fight. because i am the that ends up crying out of it and we tell one enother that we will leave but we don't .so i was wondering how can i go about getting one so i can work this out for us but my husband don't think we need one and i i know for sure we do. please.

Rosas... RosasMummy

mama_2012, my partner used to be the kinda guy that would heavily judge anyone for going to therapy, it's taken me a long time to get to the point where now he really sees that we need to go, I could never have imagined this 5 years ago, I'm not saying u should spend 5 years in misery or u shouldn't, I just mean u can get anywhere in baby steps x

nonmember avatar Mary

I'm glad you're doing this. A lot of your blog posts and twitter comments show so much resentment and anger, and I can't imagine that your husband is 100% happy either. Good luck.

nonmember avatar Michelle

BRAVO, Kristen!!! If I didn't know better, I would swear this article had been written about my husband and I. We've now been married for 12 years with one beautiful daughter, and he, too, is a pilot with an awful schedule. We probably should have done this exact thing earlier too, because the "roommates" comment really hit home. We have been in therapy on and off for a few months too--here's to many years of future happiness!

nonmember avatar Titania

Hope things get easier Kristen. Thanks for always being so open and honest. So many important reminders in this post.

Jaime Swift Sundin

Good luck to you and your husband.  Its hard to admit when you need help from others to get through a rough patch in life.  I hope that as long as you both remember to have open communication and honesty you can get through any thing.

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