This weekend, the husband and I had an argument. The situation was moderate, and it was very frustrating, and ended up bringing out just about everything I’ve been holding in. So basically, I let him have it. I said everything I’ve been wanting to say, and got all of my emotions out there. It was shocked that one situation would snowball but he admitted I put a lot of things into perspective. Heck, I said things I didn’t even realize I was feeling until then. I didn’t say anything hurtful or that I didn’t mean. I did, however give him a choice.

Towards the end of our argument (well, more like my rant & rave and his listening to it), he asked “so do you want to go to counseling?” This question was after I brought up that he didn’t want to go to pre-martial counseling. He flat out refused to go, after I just about begged. He claimed “we can handle our own problems” but I was more concerned about getting wisdom for how to handle those problems, and even anticipating problems we may not have even known about. Well after he asked if I wanted to go to counseling, I flat out said “nope”. I told him since he insisted he can fix things himself, that here was his opportunity. I gave him 2 months to “do it himself.” If things weren’t different in October, I’d consider counseling.

I’ve been reading a few marriage books and I’ve gained some insight and wisdom. I read 5 Love Languages and Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married, both by Dr. Gary Chapman. They were great books and provided a lot of insight. I learned what my love languages are (Acts of Service & Words of Affirmation), what his love languages are (Physical Touch & Quality Time), things that may come up in our first year of marriage, and different types of apologies. I’m finishing up Marriage Matters by Pastor Tony Evans, and will read the follow up For Wives Only afterwards. As part of my husband “making things work”, I’m going to request he read these books too.

Marriage counseling, to me, doesn’t mean that you’re being weak; it means you want to get stronger. My husband is a very prideful individual, and at times he can be arrogant about his knowledge. You can’t tell him anything he doesn’t think he already knows or can figure out on his own. Everybody who knows him knows this, including himself, as I’ve pointed it out on several occasions. He was against marriage counseling because he doesn’t think anyone can tell him something he either already doesn’t know or can’t figure out. He didn’t say this initially; he just said he didn’t believe in it. This was a frustrating point in our engagement.

I was very interested in pre-marital counseling. For one, I knew we were young. I wasn’t naive thinking that we could survive on just being young and in love. It doesn’t work that way. I wanted some guidance from someone who had been married for a while and could tell us what to expect, and how to handle situations. Honestly, we don’t have good role models of marriage. Both of my parents are divorced from my stepparents, and those divorces weren’t pretty. My grandparents didn’t exactly have the best marriage before I came around, but even now that they’re still married, I just don’t see their relationship being a good example. His parents had such a rocky relationship and got married 1 year before he was born, after being together for almost 20 years before their nuptials. After talking with my mother-in-law, she agrees they’re not who to look up to, even though their lives have changed. Despite these lack of examples, my husband figured we’d do it our own way.

So why didn’t I jump at the opportunity to go now that he was willing? Honestly, part of it is the books. The books I’ve been reading have so much good information that I think if we implement them, things can definitely turn around. Another reason is because I want to see if this trial period of self-counseling will break his arrogance. He insisted he can do it himself, so I’m giving him the opportunity to see it’s not as easy as he thought it was going to be. My husband learns from experiences, and I think this will be one of them.

I don’t have any expectations at all for these 2 months. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment, and I don’t want to underestimate him at the same time. I just want to go with it, something I’m not good at but trying. I wouldn’t say our marriage is in danger; I really do believe we can have a long, loving, and fulfilling marriage. I’m also not saying everything is his fault; I have quirks and things I need to work on. However, I do think that the marriage has approached a fork in the road, where we could either go left into resentment, lack of trust, and bitterness, or it can go right into a trusting, loving, and generally happy commitment.

Did you go to pre-marital counseling? Why or why not? Do you think it made a difference in your marriage?

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