Couples Counseling

Carrie: [about therapists] First they want you to come there two times a week, then three times a week, and eventually you’re starting every sentence with ‘my therapist says… ‘

Miranda: ” My therapist says that’s a very common fear.” -Sex and the City

Match and I have started couples counseling. I’m actually super excited about this, as we have started this proactively, as a way to keep a healthy relationship. Match has always struggled with depression, and it has definitely affected our relationship. When he’s feeling good, our relationship is so strong, and I have zero complaints. He’s an amazing father, wonderful husband and partner. He cooks, cleans and helps out with all household duties with minimal complaint.

But then there are the down days. He loses his temper. He never hits, but he has thrown things (again never at either of us) and overall just no fun to be around. He hates that he gets this way, and the good news is, he sees it. I’m not perfect by any stretch. I lose my temper right back, I swear like a sailor when I’m angry at him, and then I nag him incessantly. What’s wrong, just snap out of it, etc. All the while in no way helping someone who cannot “snap out of it” and isn’t trying to be this way.

Match was always against counseling, instead just trying to pull himself out if it, and seeking ways to improve his mood. He goes to the gym, he takes St. John’s Wart, and other homeopathic supplements. I’ve also tried to make a conscious effort to ignore the storm cloud moods. I try not to nag, and while I do make sure he pulls his weight around the house, I try not to force my cheerfulness on him. These do seem to help, but I think the issue is bigger than either of us.

Match finally opened up to me and said he’s tired of feeling sad, and he doesn’t want to be a bad example to Piglet. He wants to not be so quick to anger, and he wants to be sure we’re solid as a couple. So we found a counselor, and we’ve started some talk therapy. So far we’ve only had one session, but I’m optimistic. I am so grateful that Match is willing to work on issues, because I know most men just shut down emotionally. I’m so glad that he’s ready to make changes, and I’m hopeful he can get to a place where he can conquer his depression, rather than just putting on a show for mine and Piglet’s benefit. Besides Piglet, he is the most important person in my life, and I just want to see him happy. It’s my default setting, and I want it to be his too.

How about you dear readers? Any of you go through couples or even individual counseling? I did individual counseling in college for awhile, and I found it pretty helpful. This is my first experience going as a couple. I think it’s long overdue, especially with all we went through with losing Roo. I hope we can both gain wisdom from this experience, and most of all I hope it brings us even closer.