During our first therapy session, the counselor asked us to share the issues we had with each other. As you might imagine, listening to your spouse list off everything about you that frustrates him can be pretty tough.
But when the therapist asked him if I'm still doing all those things, most of which were postpartum, hormone-related anxiety and control issues that I completely acknowledge and have apologized for profusely, he said "no."
And that's when she said something I've been wanting to hear for a really long time.
The difference between the set of issues I have with my husband and the ones he has with me is that he continues to do all of them, even after he sort of apologizes, and says he won't do it again. Most of these issues are related to his own parents and have little to do with me. But they continue to hurt me over and over again.
But the issues he has with me are old. I no longer push him out of parenting decisions like I did when I had my oldest daughter (now 8). We discuss pretty much every big decision, and I respect his role as a parent of the kids, mostly because we have four kids now and I need the help, but also because I'm not breastfeeding and full of raging postpartum hormones.
I rarely, if ever, yell at him in front of the kids, and if I do, I'm always apologetic about it, even making sure the kids hear me when I tell him I'm sorry.
So when the therapist told him that at some point he just has to let a lot of that stuff go, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Because I can't continue to pay the price for old sins over and over.
There was no feeling of justification. No desire to get up and do some sort of "I told you so" dance, even though I've told him time and time again that it's the fact that he keeps doing these things that hurts me. If he could just stop, the onus would then be on me to either walk away or stick with him and let it go.
Now the counselor has put the onus on him to do the same. I hope he steps up. Not because I want to be right, but because I think it will help our marriage.
What old issues are you holding onto that you need to let go?
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