3 posts in one week..unheard of...but it's been quite the week...
I cannot even begin to describe the relief I felt yesterday after leaving couples counseling with Mr. Wonderful.
We sat down and described to her our issues, both individually and the problems we are running into with our communication.
I described to her what has been happening with my fears. How I feel like someone who was in a plane crash and every now and then suddenly wakes up and realizes she's on an airplane again. How I lash out at Mr. W for what seems at the time like a HUGE deal, only to realize later that it was ridiculously tiny. That I take small things I see and make them enormous in my head and create things that aren't there. That I look around at the relationships around me, see everyone falling apart, and use that as an affirmation to myself that all relationships are doomed and this one is as well. That I have convinced myself that I am too damaged to ever be in a successful relationship. That I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop constantly.
She smiled patiently at me as I described these things to her. She asked me what made me fall for Mr. Wonderful. I told her how up until I met him, I was convinced that I'd never get married again, at least not until the kids were grown. That I couldn't imagine meeting a man like him, someone who was willing to take my three children on as his own and forgo having blood children of his own. That I trust him completely. That I value his input and his intelligence greatly.
She then told me that my fears were normal, that it was common for people to feel this scarred after a traumatic divorce. But that people see what they want to see, like tunnel vision. If I believe relationships are doomed, I will only see the ones around me that are failing. That if I believe I am too damaged, I will only see myself when I am affected by the damage. The fact is that my own brother, who was raised in the same home and by the same parents and with the same events as I was, is in a very happy and healthy marriage. Both of my parents are in extremely happy marriages. I do have friends around who have happy marriages and relationships. My homework was to start focusing on these relationships and reminding myself that it IS possible.
She also said that my instincts were the feelings I had that let Mr. Wonderful in, past all the walls I had built up, in to meet my children and to consider letting him meet and bond with them. That the naggy, ridiculous defense mechanism feelings I had that lead me to lash out and push away from him are the fears talking. She told me to think of them as the little angel and the little devil sitting on my shoulder. It seems small, but it has already helped me tremendously. Just the identification of them.
She talked to us about communication, and we are both intent to learn since it seems to be the downfall of most relationships. Mr. Wonderful was adorable, bringing his notebook with him to the session to take notes. I looked at him sitting there, facing his own fears and flaws, taking it all in, and just felt an overwhelming sense of how lucky I am to have someone who loves me, loves us, and is this willing to make sure we don't lose each other when we don't have to. Someone who wants me to be happy and healthy, and who wants himself to be the same. I have the real deal, by my side both figuratively and physically. I left the session with a huge smile on my face. Yes, we have some work to do. Some big obstacles to overcome. This is not easy. But I left there knowing that we were going to make it.
No more doubts.