Good morning, my friends! I really want to express how much your words, support, and encouragement have meant to me these past few days. I also want to address something that I inadvertently left out of my previous blog post.
Going to counseling is by no means an admission of defeat—in fact, I would argue that it is the exact opposite. I once lived in a loveless, sexless relationship where feelings were discredited and emotions were continuously tucked away. I was hurting and I felt as though my partner didn’t really hear me. I know it’s a difficult step for any couple to admit that there is something not quite right, and I’m grateful to have a boyfriend who is willing to find a solution.
It wasn’t easy to step foot into that office on Monday (I know we were both filled with anxiety), but I’m happy we were BOTH all in.
My suspicions of how things would transpire were somewhat accurate but the environment was much nicer than I ever could have imagined. The leather couch was replaced with an ottoman and colorful throw pillows. The stale, clinical air I was expecting from a therapist’s office was instead infused with essential oils. A Buddhist lamp and candles were just a few of the decorative touches kept in the corner like a sacred shrine.
I could feel myself beginning to breathe, and I knew immediately that we had found the right therapist.
She forced us to really listen to each other. It was a lot of “Charlotte, you’re saying X but I think Bryan is hearing Y,” which was helpful because it allowed me to deconstruct the language I was using. And I think it helped validate my feelings to Bryan when he interpreted something incorrectly. For example, while I might send Bryan tons of links to vacation destinations, what I’m really trying to say is that I value the time we spend together, and it doesn’t mean we have to fly somewhere to have a unique, shared experience.
Communication is key but if we don’t properly absorb what we are saying to each other, everything is lost. Our homework assignment is to participate in reflective listening so that we can communicate clearly and more effectively.
This will be one of our first weekends of downtime in a long while and I hope we use this time wisely. We have made a follow-up appointment next Thursday and already Bryan has mentioned a few things he can’t wait to tell Jennifer. So maybe some of it was in jest, but the implication is the same—he is committed and is willing to stick it out, too.
Happy Friday, my sweets! What’s on the agenda this weekend, my friends? Was this the longest week in the history of ever for you, too?