Tomorrow morning...couples therapy with Mr. Wonderful.
I hadn't thought so much about it until tonight, when he came by and we talked about it a little bit. I was explaining to him what would happen at the first appointment and he was somewhat impressed with my knowledge on the subject.
Ya, I'm somewhat of an expert.
Individual grief counseling after the loss of my daughter. Marriage counseling on three separate occasions over 12 years. Individual therapy for stress and anxiety related to changing careers. Individual therapy after the divorce of my parents, and again during and after my own separation and divorce. Individual therapy for dealing with my Dad's botched surgery. Play therapy for my children post divorce.
So ya. It's kind of no wonder that I was actually denied for health insurance, reason given being "history of therapy".
But maybe I view therapy differently than most people. And Mr. Wonderful has this same perspective. It's not designed to be a fix-it. You don't go in, hand someone your problems and they tell you what to do. There is no "right" or "wrong". It is a teaching tool, a chance to learn, and when put into the right hands or situation, can be a huge catalyst for growth.
When I first went to marriage counseling with my husband, the therapist told us that most couples only come to counseling when the marriage is on the rocks. Usually one person has given an ultimatum, the other has one foot out the door and is basically there as a show of effort. She gave us, that day, an astounding declaration that because of this, marriage counseling does not usually work. And she was right in our case. (He was putting on a show, and continuing his deceitful life behind mine and our therapist's backs).
But this time is different. Mr. Wonderful, who calls himself a "student of life", is truly excited to learn how to be an effective communicator with me, the one he loves and will do anything to not lose. I am looking forward to learning how to merge my independence into a relationship and to eliminate my fears (although coincidentally, the sheer fact that Mr. W has gone to such lengths to keep us together has done wonders for those pesky fears).
At a divorce support group I attended, the leader threw an alarming statistic our way...second marriage divorce rates are staggeringly higher than first-67%. But he also said that if a couple is willing to take pre-marital counseling or 6-8 communication workshops, that statistic decreases to less than 20%. It really is that simple. Learn what did not work the first time, and use it...now...while there is nothing holding you back, no years of anger or betrayal or resentment. Imagine the difference therapy will make, having two people with no baggage or resentment or anger built up between them yet...learning how to never let that happen...I have true, real hope for us, and believe that this is the answer we needed to channel our passion and live happily ever after.
I hope to continue the learning and self-analyzation that therapy has provided for me up until this point in my life, because it has brought me to an amazing place. I truly appreciate the challenge of being honest with myself and looking hurdles head on. This is another step in my life journey. I may actually get to have it all....motherhood, independence and self-worth, a career I love, AND a healthy, happy relationship with the man I love.
It truly blows my mind.