What I learned in Couples Therapy Today

When people say marriage is hard, it’s an understatement.

Today was the first day of couples therapy for me and my husband. I saw him tear up a couple of times and I hate that I caused him pain, but I know that this will make us stronger in the long run. And surprisingly, we laughed at ourselves a few times. And I took away 3 main things today:

  1. We’re going to be fine (after we have some tough conversations).
  2. We have history on our side.
  3. My husband’s trust issues go much deeper than my affair.

After my husband discovered my secret friendship, I told myself that it was a good thing. It was good that it was out in the open because honestly, I knew it was risky. For the record, I never thought that it was an emotional affair, but I knew it had gone on long enough without talking to him about it. I look now at the way I behaved within the friendship and knew it was going to hurt my husband. But I never knew it would hurt him so deeply and I never thought he would label it as an affair. I should’ve stopped it long ago, but I always felt it was somewhat harmless.  Hind sight….  Anyway, I remember thinking it was a good thing it was out in the open becuase I felt that he held me to a standard that was impossible to maintain. Of course, I was going to screw up.   And now that we’ve had the first of many therapy sessions, I realized how right I was.

You might be thinking that I’m being super presumptious, but stick with me a minute. My husband explained to the therapist his long history of not being able to trust his mom because of how many times she broke his trust. She taught him to hate/fear his father (who is legitimately a great guy); she never was honest about his family and why they were estranged from them; and she refused even during his adulthood to tell him what truly happened when she and his dad divorced (when he was an infant). And all of these trust issues happened over the course of his entire childhood with a few critical moments happening when he was around 14 or 15. For his sake, I’m not going to go into all the details of each scenario; the main point is she hid a lot from him and he has reason to not trust people and especially women. I knew of all this history, but today, for some reason, it clicked in a new way during therapy and I had more empathy than I already had for him.

Fast forward after his critical childhood moments into the college years and insert the codependent young lady into his life that wants to please a man to replace the love she wanted to feel from her dad. See where I’m going here? Our relationship and marriage was destined for a lot of problems. And to boot, I have my fair share of trust issues as well.

I’m scared and anxious and hopeful to go through the therapy process this time. The last time we did this, I learned of his affair after and therapy didn’t do much for us. He wasn’t honest with me then out of fear…. see the theme? Fear.

But this time, my husband talked a ton and seems legitimately open and eager to fix our situation. So, this is all part of the journey out of the rat race, right? I mean if you can’t retire happily together forever after, then why retire early?

 

Until next time….

 

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