This is a post that has been on my mind for some time now. It has literally sat on my list of blog post topics for over a year now. And even now as I start to type it out, there’s a voice in my head telling me to turn back. But I think it’s time that I share this story with you all in hopes that it can help anyone out there in a similar situation. So here goes nothing.
Branden and I got married 2 months after our college graduation. Right after the wedding, we moved to a new city, lived together for the first time, I started my first big-girl job, Branden started medical school and this was basically our first time being on our own as adults. So needless to say, we had a lot of big changes going on at the same time which was wonderful, but also stressful. Particularly the medical school part. Long story short, all of these things combined with our general immaturity at the time, our marriage got off to a rocky start.
After about 6 months of all those stressors weighing down on us, you could say that things hit the fan and our relationship hit rock bottom. It’s hard to talk about it as it was the darkest period of my life thus far. We couldn’t seem to find a way out of all of this on our own, so we threw the hail mary pass and started looking into marriage counseling.
Saying that out loud is really hard for me. I can’t help but think that people will think less of us or think we are weak because we went through this. Marriage counseling has such a negative connotation associated with it. Some people might think that if you have to go to counseling for your marriage, then you are basically doomed. That you’re not meant to be together. And if I’m being honest, that’s how I felt at that time. But mostly, I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I saw all these other young couples that had such a great understanding of what it meant to be in a selfless and healthy relationship. They were able to figure out how to go through life’s hurdles together on their own without anyone coaching them. So why couldn’t we? Are we bad people since we don’t know how to love selflessly? Are we not meant to be together since our relationship isn’t ‘easy’? And the worst question of all- was it a mistake to get married?
So we started counseling. And it did not go well. There was no sense of hope or forward progression in our sessions. And it didn’t really seem like the counselor cared what happened to us. So you know what we did? We found another counselor. And when that one didn’t work out either, we found another. It was then that we felt that we had found the person that could really help us out of this dark place. We could tell that he really cared about our marriage and was willing to fight for us.
I wish I could say that things quickly got better from there, but they didn’t. There was a lot of patience, faith and waiting involved before things started to get better and there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a long and hard fight and actually took about 2 years before the relationship started to feel healthy again. Throughout that whole process it was hard to have hope that things would be able to get better. At best, I thought we could get to where we were before this all started.
But this story has a happy ending. I’m so blessed to be able to say that our relationship is now in a better place than it ever had been because of all we learned during this process. We learned how to be selfless, how to communicate, how to empathize and how to truly love. And we grew so much not only as a couple, but also as individuals. And I can say without a doubt that we wouldn’t have gotten there without having done the counseling. Like I said before, I do feel kind of embarrassed and ashamed admitting that. Most people know how to do this all on their own, so I can’t help but feel inadequate that we weren’t able to.
But you know what, I don’t care. We did what we had to do to save our marriage and every painful moment was worth it because of where it lead us to today. Now I’m not saying that you have to go through a hard time in order to better your relationship. Most people are lucky enough to not have to do that and to figure things out the right way.
But my reason for sharing this story with you all is to say that asking for help is ok. If you find yourself in a place where you are going to counseling as a last ditch attempt to save your marriage, have faith! It’s not a death sentence! And if you are struggling in your relationship and things aren’t getting better, don’t be afraid to consider counseling! As sad as it is to admit, I don’t know that we would have made it through that period without our counselor. And I don’t think we would have made it if we had stayed with one of the first 2 counselors that we started with. Your marriage is worth fighting for, not matter how bleak your situation may seem!
This is the most vulnerable I have ever been on my blog and I kind of feel like I’m sharing a dirty little secret with you all. But I’ve always said that my ‘why’ for my business is to ultimately uplift marriages. Whether it is the new marriage of the couples I work with, or the marriages of those that follow my blog. And I know that by sharing this story and being vulnerable with you all, I can help at least one person out there that may be in a similar situation.
So thank you for reading my story and being a part of our journey. And thank you for making me feel safe enough to share this with you. Love you all!