For better or worse, Couples Therapy

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage

Last I checked our country had a
high rate of divorce. When I say “last I checked” I literally googled it yesterday. Now, with the high rate and all, we are actually declining in divorce rates! Don’t jump for joy so quickly, it’s still pretty high. A nice pat on the back or thank you very much will do.

Now, if you’re married you know this shit is hard. If you’re married and poor, that shit is hard-er. And, lastly, if you’re married, poor and have other mouths to feed, quit while you’re ahead! All right, enough of the doom and gloom… there’s hope.

How to withstand a marriage without hating your partner?

1. COMMUNICATE. Which means, get off your “smart phone.” It’s not so smart. If fact, arguably, we spend more time on our smart phones than with, I don’t know, real people. Setting boundaries is extremely important, even with our technology. Set ’em.

2. Be honest. We’re not perfect people. If you need something from your partner, ask. If your partner isn’t giving you what you need, ask. Then, refer to step 1.

3. Have fun. Yea, like you “used to.” Even if fun means, making fun of your two year old’s poop face. Or, when they fall. Come on! It’s funny, sometimes.

4. Allow yourself down time. LOL. Just kidding moms.

5. Wash your hair! Throw on some makeup or cologne or underwear for that matter and get out of yoga pants or sweat pants…. I mean, really. Try it once. Your significant other will thank you. Then, go out for coffee or whatever people do in real pants.

6. Charm each other. You were once capable of it. Try it again.

7. If at first you don’t succeed…. You know the drill.

8. Be OK with growing old. Sagging is the new 20. If you’re a millionaire, lip injections can also be the new 20. Damn you rich people.

9. Create something together… Maybe not another human if the time isn’t right. Start with a mini garden or something.

10. Last but not least, seek an amazing therapist. I did. It’s awesome.

Speaking of therapy… I want to share the most insightful piece of information she shared with me.

After recapping the saga that is my life story, she asks me a few questions, I answer. She looks dumbfounded. Choppy words come out of her mouth, like, “but how did you know that at such a young age?” Or, “you couldn’t have known what was going on between your parents, could you?”

Yes. Yes. And, well, yes.

I knew. I knew all too well. I protected the “boys” from what I knew. BTW- they HATE that I call them “the boys.” They were so young and I could tell they lived in their own bubble of a world. Why would I pop that bubble just because I lived in reality at 6?

Separation.
No mom.
Living in another country.
The divorce.
The nasty court battle.
Raising my brothers.
Fighting for our rights in court, yes at ages 6,7,8,9,10…

My job was to protect those boys from the truth.

She looked at me, I could tell she wanted to cry. My face, stone cold. I couldn’t let the tears start because they wouldn’t stop.

She said, “you made it out.” YOU made it out.

I started to tear up… And she said, “how does that make you feel?”

My only response was… “I let them down. I can’t enjoy success because they [“the boys”] are so troubled. They haven’t felt the same success. I feel as if I can’t be happy.”

Then, I lost it.

I look at this sweet face and wonder if in 20 years… Will he sit in my shoes? God, I hope not.

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