Things I'm Learning in Marriage Counseling

  1. Human beings need rest. One of the first questions our therapist asked was: when was the last time you both rested? R-e-s-t-e-d? Ba ha ha. Who has time for that? We have five kids. We'll rest when we die. Rest. Pfft.
  2. Insight: we don't know how to rest. No, seriously. We.don't.ever.stop. We've been adding and over-committing and racing forward every single day. Doing too much is our normal.
  3. In fact, taking a break feels selfish. When our therapist recommended we take a relaxing trip together, my first feeling was panic. I can't leave my kids! What if they need me? Then again, I took nine days to go serve the poor in Bolivia. But I've never taken that much time to tend my marriage. Why is that?
  4. If you don't rest, then you burn out. I think that's a big part of where our marriage is right now. We are burned out, washed up, exhausted. Ever since the twins were born, we've been burning the candle at both ends. The demands of raising twins + 3 older kids + a Recession has caught up with us.
  5. Once broken, trust is hard to rebuild. I curled up in a ball because it felt like I was dying. I mean that seriously. A broken heart feels like death. I understand now how people can die of a broken heart. I don't feel like I'm dying anymore but I am sort of hobbling around with a permanent heart-limp.
  6. Separation FEELS horrible. Being apart--especially in the aftermath of heartbreak--only made things worse. I couldn't move. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I lost weight. I cried so much the skin around my eyes felt like it might rip. Being separated from my husband felt like being torn away from half of my body. For better or worse, I am one with him.
  7. Our bodies tell us what we need to know. I'm learning how to stop and listen to what my body is telling me. So often I spend time up in my head, totally cut off from the messages my body is sending me. But I can only ignore my body for so long. This summer my feet broke out in psoriasis--a sure sign that I'm under stress. I've also had a tight knot in my right shoulder that won't go away. I've been moving so fast, I haven't slowed down long enough to figure out what my body is telling me. In order to hear my body I have to...
  8. ..sloooooow down. My husband and I are both driven, extreme personalities. We've been firing away at full throttle. It's time to dial it back. Observe. Feel. Breathe.
  9. The fog of war. It's important not to make big decisions during extremely stressful times. I'm giving myself permission to rest, take naps, be gentle with myself and not make massive, final decisions while my heart is still so tender.
  10. Codependency. I'm just beginning to understand the meaning of this word but yeah, codependent is how I was trained from birth to function in relationships. I have so much to learn.....but I'm on the right path. No more lies. Dealing in truth is painful. But it leads to true freedom.