I am way overdue for an update. This tends to be my blogging downfall. I get engaged in life and fail to regularly update. Then the prospect of the work required to catch up seems too daunting for the small periods of time I spend before the computer outside of my regular work.
So here’s my plan to update: I am setting aside some time for writing. I will catch up by writing one-post synopses of the months I have not blogged.
Perhaps at a later date, I may flesh out these narratives and decision points more thoroughly. You’re welcome to ask specific questions in comments.
Timeline for this story thus far:
April, 2016: 10.5 years into marriage, this blog was birthed as I cried in a bathtub. I realized that I didn’t know how this story will end. Honestly, I still don’t.
May-August, 2016: I blogged somewhat regularly. The act of blogging proved cathartic, and perhaps delayed my entrance into individual therapy while I waited to see if my husband followed through with arranging couple’s counseling.
This brings us to August, 2016.
August, 2016: This month, I began to see a counselor for myself. I did not invite my husband. This was not marriage counseling. This was for me, and me alone. I did not discuss this with him, until I had located a counselor and scheduled an appointment.
We were in the car with the kids in the back seat when I did tell him of my plans to begin individual counseling. He asked, “So we’re not going to do marriage counseling?”
“I have waited for months for you to make that happen. Since that has not come to pass, I must assume that our marriage is not important to you. I will be seeing someone on my own,” I replied.
“So you’re going to do marriage counseling alone? Let me know how that works out.”
“Do you have any curiosity why I’m going? Why now?”
“I’m sure you’ll tell me when you’re ready.”
I took a deep breath, prayerfully pausing to decide whether and how to tell him my “why.”
“My primary goal is to process and explore my ambivalence about remaining married to you.” <Mic drop.>
At the time of writing this post, I can remember almost verbatim the dialogue up to this point. I can not for the life of me remember his response to this statement. I know that a long period of silence followed, but I cannot say that it was or was not preceded by an angry, hostile, accusatory, or abusive reaction.
As I worked with my therapist, the need to blog regularly decreased. I had a kind ear, and a safe, supportive space to process my often conflicted thoughts and feelings.
My counselor is a Christian. I did not set out to have a ‘Christian Counselor’ for fear that he/she would come to the therapeutic relationship with an agenda or intended end of this story. I am confident that God, or the Universe, knows what we need and works a way to get us there. My strained relationship with my husband bled over into stress in my relationship with the church. It was a blessing to not have to consider whether my therapist would wonder if I was psychotic when I spoke of prayer or a sense that God speaks to me.
I identified in my first appointment my suspicion that I take anti-depressant prescription medication to cope with my marriage. I believe(d) that if I were not in relationship with this particular man, I would not be taking or feel a need to continue taking anti-depressants.
I’m pretty sure that my therapist was waiting patiently for me to give up.