Thursday, May 28, 2009

Winding down the marriage counseling

Well, we went to counseling this morning, and I could feel it coming. The crying. I was just on my way there thinking that everything was perfectly fine with us right now, and that, actually, we've come a long way in a few areas that needed work. But I could feel it. Maybe it was the weather, which is atrociously gray and horrible today. I kept telling myself that I was happy to "report" to our therapist that we've actually made some strides and that this man sitting next to me is a great man that I love very much. So...why did I know it was coming?

We got to our counseling place. We sat in the waiting room and I made myself a cup of the disgusting instant coffee that they have there on the little table. Matt asked me why I always get it since I think it's gross and I said "because I like to have something in my hands while we talk to her". It helps me feel calm. But, by the end of it, I always have to pee. There is something about instant coffee that does weird things to me. It also makes me a little twitchy. I think I make it too strong.
So, I digress. We reported that I feel like I'm doing better at accepting Matt's way of showing love to me. Or, rather, I should say I'm learning to recognize it as such. I tell him the stresses of my life and I want him to talk to me about them for hours and hours or I want him to bring them up the next day and tell me how he's thinking about me and blah, blah, blah. But, instead...

...he just gets up with the kids and makes them breakfast and plays with Sammy so that I can get ready slowly one morning. Stuff like that. He's a service oriented person...a "doer"...not as much of a talker, (although he has that in him...he just doesn't talk for the sake of talking). Anyway, I'm starting to relax my expectations that we'll have these giant ongoing discussions all the time about everything, and instead learningto realize that his acts of service ARE his side of the discussion. He's "saying" that he thinks I need a break...some time to myself...when he helps me with the kids the next day. And, goodness knows, I don't really want a husband that blabs on all the time but won't ever HELP!

So, we're doing well. We're growing as people, but then we started talking about Claire's schooling for next year and how I'm a little paranoid about actually homeschooling her next year through the long Chicago winters...alone. Just her and me. I think I assumed I would be homeschooling more kids or something. Back in the day I'd had all these ideas to start a little home school where we would have more kids here throughout the day, but that hasn't exactly panned out. I've tried other things (like the tutoring, or helping with Sunday School, volunteering at a preschool) but it's all come to not much.
I've put myself out there and said "hey, maybe I could figure out a good little program for this or that" but nothing has really stuck. So, even though my therapist lady and Matt say that I can definitely continue to have hobbies next year and "outlets" of things I do "outside the family", I'm thinking that my outlets probably won't come to much. Because no one really wants someone who is only there once a week or so to help figure out their program. I can be a warm body who helps out a little, but I'm not going to be really using my gifts so much.

So...I feel stuck. And I feel...I don't know. I feel guilty for wanting something else, and I feel mad that I don't have something else all at the same time.

And that's when it happened. The crying. It happened when the therapist lady said "that must be SO frustrating for you to feel like you have offered your help or your ideas in several meaningful ways and it's like you're waving you hand saying 'hey...I'm here'. "

I hate when you start crying but you are supposed to say something to answer someone and instead of having ANY diginity whatsoever you have to try to say it in this high pitched crying voice that only dogs can here.

I said, through my tears, " amongst yourselves," but no one laughed, because apparently neither Matt nor the therapist watched enough Saturday Night Live 10 years ago.

So, then, I just started regular crying where you try to stick a kleenex in your face to make it stop. And it did...pretty much. I don't even know why it poured out so suddenly. I felt ridiculous.

And then I looked up and realized my THERAPIST was teared up. She even had to do a quick wipe of the corner of her eye before she said anything else.

So, anyway....that made me love her a little bit. It may not have been particularly professional. I don't know what the rules are on crying with clients. But it made me feel better to not be the only one crying in the room!

Well, all of that to say that this summer is going to be very busy so after next week we're going to take a little break. But I think it has been good. It's a place to talk in that high pitched squeaky voice and then you can just leave it all there and go back to life.

It's good. You should go. You should all go.

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