I’ve attempted to write this post at least 3 times now. I feel better now and actually have thoughts put together, so hopefully this time what I write portrays how I feel.
Last night my husband came to therapy with me for a 2 hour session. It’s not the first time he has come with me, but it’s been a few months since the last time. They generally go really well and we both leave feeling better (usually).
First, let me preface this by saying that all relationships take work. Every successful marriage or relationship will go through rough patches, and getting through them is what makes it come out stronger. I expect to always need to put in work and make adjustments in my marriage, that’s just part of it. And I’m very okay with that.
Last night didn’t go well. It was awkward, it as painful, it was… it was something. We had planned on doing a few things, the first one being that feelings circle. You know the one, with a hundred different feelings and sections? Yeah. So I filled it out a few weeks before, and she went through it with my husband last night and we compared. (I wasn’t allowed to talk or make faces or interrupt…that doesn’t sound like me. Does it? 😉 ) So I was coloring (yes, we color in therapy sometimes) and trying to distract myself and keep my reactions to myself. I was rather successful, I might add.
We did a few things like that, but mostly I just colored and tried to keep to myself while they talked. Things didn’t really go badly, it’s just… I don’t even know, honestly. I think, for me, the issue is that I think I have a lot of anger. I’m not really an angry person at all, and I tend to suppress and deny any feelings of true anger. But the more he talked, the longer I tried to keep it to myself, the angrier I got. Angry because in our case, the solution is so simple. At least, on paper it’s simple. I know changing behavior is easier said than done for a lot of people. Myself included.
For a while now, I have felt unable to voice anything that could be considered “bad” in my marriage. I can’t talk about thing that upset me, I can’t bring up things I would like to improve, anything like that. And that has created a lot of problems for me and for our relationship.
Really, I don’t know why it felt so bad. Nothing happened. There was no fighting, no yelling, nothing hurtful was said…there was nothing that happened that should have made me feel the way I did. But still, it was painful. We talked about communication, and it was a struggle.
Towards the end, (still coloring, desperately trying to distract myself) I was getting upset. I just felt hurt and sad. I was fighting back tears with sarcasm and trying to break the tension with humor. The thing is, he knows he didn’t “do a good job” last night. He knows he has not been doing a great job lately. He acknowledged the issues and knows he needs to do better. I did as well, but I’m not one to be shy about owning up to my shortcomings.
We are not on the same page when it comes to communication. We never have been, but sometimes we need more help than others. I probably over communicate, and he shuts down at even the thought of having to have a vulnerable conversation. So it’s just something to work on.
After we got home last night, he apologized and put in a good bit of effort to be present and engaged and together with me. He made more of an effort to communicate better last night and this morning. He is coming back in for another session in 2 weeks. My therapist wants us to write letters to each other that only she will read, we aren’t allowed to see the others letter.
Last night, we were not on the same page. It didn’t feel like we were on the same team and fighting the same fight. It was rough. I think it could be a turning point though. I think he’s finally starting to see how much his actions effect me, and that he really needs to start listening and communicating better.
But I also want to make it clear that he isn’t at all a bad person or a bad husband. Our issues are basically 100% because of lack of communication. I need it (to a fault) and he fears it. Other than that, we make great team and he is an incredible person. I love him so much that it hurts, and that’s why I want to make sure we are working together, not against each other.
I feel a lot better today than I did last night. Tonight will go a lot better for us, and I think we are finally coming together again. All I need is a little hope and a little effort. I think the next time he comes, things will go much better.