How to survive early marriage counseling?
July 10, 2014 10:53 PM Subscribe
After several years of problems -- I repressed all my complaints, my spouse just sulked silently and suggested I "get over it" -- we finally started marriage counseling, and the trauma and upheaval of having this all out in the open is unbearable. How do people make it through?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I love my spouse. We have been married a long time and have children. Neither of us is interested in divorce. We have had these long, slow-simmering problems that I (in particular) pushed down and didn't deal with in order to keep the peace and the outer picture of a happy marriage, until it became unbearable.
We began marriage counseling and now that these issues (from both of us) are out in the open, it is AWFUL. Everything is broken and out-of-alignment and now that we both know about these resentments and problems the other has been hiding, it's making us question everything about our marriage. It's horrible; we both feel like we've been living a lie. I guess the alternatives are repressing it all and going on unhappy and pretending, or confronting it all and dealing with it. But the confronting and then having everything unsettled and awful is much worse than I'd thought it would be; the immediate stuff has been digging this all out into the open, which I guess has to happen before we can repair it.
There is no abuse involved, and we are both good parents, our children adore each of us. But we do these assessments and we score terrifyingly low, and we're both so much more actively unhappy right now (before we were unhappy, but repressing it and keeping surface pleasantness). It's so stressful and miserable and I feel like this is so much worse, not better.
I need to know from other people how they made it through these first six or twelve weeks of couples counseling, especially if they were successful. I'm terrified that these bad early weeks mean our marriage can't be saved. How do I cope until things start to improve? How long will it take for us to turn the corner?