Monday, October 8, 2012

Mom stuff

We had a girls night the other day and some interesting topics came up.  I definitely want to write down my thoughts on marriage and marriage counseling because I definitely don't think I have ever expressed them correctly verbally.

I go to counseling.  I love counseling.  Jeff and I go to marriage counseling and I go by myself as well.  I love it and would call it life-changing.  So therefore I recommend counseling to everyone.  There's a stigma in our society that nobody goes to counseling unless you're clinically depressed or contemplating a divorce but I think this is a shame.  Everyone can benefit from counseling.

Usually if I recommend marriage counseling to a friend in a group setting there is at least one woman who says something along the lines of, "you just need to communicate better" or "it's all about perspective, you just shouldn't take it so seriously".  To tell this to a group of women not knowing their personal lives is soooo wrong.  Everyone has a different relationship and the private details of their life could mean they actually do need counseling and perpetuating the idea that "of course their marriage isn't "that bad"" is detrimental to them seeking help.  Perhaps in the LDS community we think there isn't emotional, verbal or physical abuse happening amongst people who were sealed in the temple, but there is.  I know in my relationship there were tough issues that needed to be resolved and I was under the impression that if I went to the temple, prayed, fasted, etc. that I could do it on my own. I read several self-help and relationship advice books and kept trying.  Years later I finally went to counseling and after the first couple sessions the counselor asked me, "Why didn't you come in sooner?".  It was a light bulb moment for me.  We're taught counseling is too expensive.  We're taught that any two faithful members of the church can have a good marriage.  We're taught that it's not "that bad" and we don't need outside help.  None of those thing are true and for me the help was worth every penny.

My current counselor isn't LDS but LDS family services refers people to her and last session she asked me, "Is there a forum where you can talk about these issues with other couples?"  I asked why she was asking and she said, "I have several LDS couples who are just like you guys."

So in essence I need to get the word out:  
Marriage, and life in general, is tough and the sooner you face the issues the easier they are to work out.

And if you need a good counselor here in LV just call me and I'll give you her number :)

On a side note a speaker Time Out For Women, Julie de Azevedo Hanks, spoke on the issues she finds with LDS women in her work as a family counselor. She said that in our culture women don't acknowledge their feelings.   She gave the example of when her husband forgot to bring home an important paper for her and she reflexively said, "It's fine." but really, she was hurt that he forgot such an important thing for her.  I think she's trying to write a book on living an authentic life (she's famous for her music) but the main message of her talk was when we deny that we have feelings we start to think that we aren't allowed to have feelings and over time we get numb/depressed.  It's a serious issue and for me it includes teasing.  If you don't like it when your husband teases you that you're immature/scatter-brained let him know.  Acknowledge those feelings, it's your spirit's way of letting you know something's not right and needs to change.  I've already elaborated much more than I intended on the subject but this is an important topic for me and seriously, counseling could be life-changing for you too but you won't know until you try.


Nikki said...

Autumn, I haven't been on your blog in AGES, but I'm so glad I checked in today. KUDOS! You've expressed it all so well. When you develop that forum, let me know! ;)

janet said...

Loved this post and I agree 100% with everything you said. I am not sure why we were not understanding each other when this topic came up the other night. If you interpreted my comments as "you just need to communicate better" than I am sorry because I never intended it to come out that way. I think therapy is awesome and everyone should be investing in their SELF first and also their relationships. It really does need to be a topic that more people talk about openly. Anyway, love this post. love you. and I am looking forward to falling in love with your therapist.