premarital counseling

A few days ago my fiance pulled up this blog on his phone and said, "give me something to read!" So, this one's for you, babe. Premarital counseling is a really unique thing and I think it's sort of relatable only to people who have done it, so I haven't wanted to write about it because it's such a unique experience.

All of my past experiences with starting therapy were focused on crises going on in my life. Family therapy was about family troubles, individual therapy was about really bad depression, and group therapy was basically so that I would have friends. Individual therapy has evolved into positivity and not just talking about shitty stuff all the time, but that's beside the point.

We went into premarital counseling because we'd heard really good things about it and we figured it would be great for our relationship. It has been, and not in the ways I expected.

Jonny and I were built on a really solid foundation because we met in NA and we were both willing to be vulnerable, so all of our baggage and shame was on the table and we weren't afraid of talking about it. I don't know why. We got lucky. I was in a really good place and I was determined to break my cycle of idolizing men and keeping my mouth shut, and Jonny was ready and willing and so honest, so I think those things helped our relationship.

Anyway, we went in to premarital counseling feeling the happiest we have ever been. We just got engaged, we are totally in love, and things in our lives are going generally well. We weren't very nervous because we talk about everything. Everything. Think of any uncomfortable topic to talk about in a relationship, and it's probably topic in our family meetings- money, intimacy, jealousy, body image issues, weird eating habits, whatever.

We have hurdles in our relationship that are hard to talk about and scary to look at. I'm not going to talk about those here because those hurdles are sacred to me and I want to respect them. But they have been on the table for as long as we have been aware of them. And we talk about them because we respect each other and we respect our relationship and we really don't want to get divorced. We love each other like crazy, and the things we are afraid to talk about are the things that will rot our relationship from the inside out. So, we talk about them.

All of that to say, we thought premarital counseling was going to be a breeze. ha!

Not a breeze, y'all. We are young. As much as we talk about things, it's sort of like two toddlers discussing the economy. It makes sense to us, but we don't know what it looks like because it's just us. So, having someone who is more grown up than us, with 20 years of experience helping married couples, has been beyond eye-opening.

We have loved this experience. It has been totally mind-blowing. It has helped us grow as individuals and it has given us an even stronger sense of confidence in our relationship. I trusted our relationship before this experience. Now, I feel something totally different that I've never felt before. Total security. Total safety. So complete and honest.

Going to therapy with a significant other when there isn't a major issue to discuss or some "problem" going on has been so interesting and cool. We love this work so much, we want to continue therapy together consistently (but not every week) when we are married.

We have taken an already stable, consistent relationship and turned it into something unshakeable. I am so grateful and I cannot wait to marry this man.