Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back on Track - Part 3

Missed the other parts in the series?  Check them out here and here.

When we left off last week, I had just had our first baby.  Days after I gave birth, and was dealing with all the crazy emotions of being a first mom, I was devistated with the news of something my husband had been keeping from me.

We were immediately at the breaking point in our marriage and struggling with whether we were going to stay married and work very, very hard to repair the damage or walk away.  I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me.  It was painful, and there were many dark, lonely days.   

Before we made any long term decisions, my husband and I decided to see a marriage counselor to see if they had any hope for us.  Long story short, we went through a lot of counseling, lots of work together, and we are both so glad that we made the decision to stay together.

Here are some things we learned that have stuck with us to this day:
  • Don't be afraid/ashamed/too prideful to get help.  There were many times we discussed getting marriage counseling before we hit the breaking point.  We always talked ourselves out of it thinking we could figure it out ourselves.  Pride. BIG mistake.

  • Don't let finances stop you when it comes to getting help for your marriage.  Just as we were dealing with our marriage, we were also in the midst of adjusting to a 50K income reduction as I went from working full time to one day a week.  My husband's business also took a huge hit.  Our counseling sessions were $110 each (no ins. coverage), and we were going as much as once a week.  Suffice to say, we were in a financial mess.  How did we do it?  We had an open line of credit on our house.  Honestly, it killed me knowing we were using borrowed money to pay for our counseling, but I kept telling myself that divorce will cost us far more than this in the long term.                                                                                                       

  • Date nights are IMPORTANT.  Do you know what one of the first things our counselor had us start doing?  Going out on date nights.  Three. Nights. A. Week.  Not easy with a brand new baby.  And talk about more financial stress (debt), but we followed the directions to a T.  To this day, we value our date nights.  We try to go out together at least once a week.  Hire a babysitter (ours is a neighbor girl), trade with friends, ask family.  Life is serious.  Sometimes it's mundain and boring, and we forget how let go and have fun together.  Date nights go so far to keeping you connected as friends, to breaking down the walls that form with everyday stresses, and helps build intimacy.
Check back for Back on Track - Part 4.



Tami said...

Thanks Erika for sharing your story...my husband and started counseling in June after a serious blow to our marriage as well...I can totally relate to your feelings and can't agree more with your advice. We, too, went back and forth about going for over a year, and we are glad we decided to go ahead. It definitely isn't easy...in fact, quite painful at times, but God is working in our marriage and I hope it only gets better from here! I fought alot of pride in going, as my mentality was that if you needed counseling, something was seriously wrong with you...I still have yet to tell my parents that we are going, but I am going to have to face that music here sooner or later. I would highly recommend it to anyone...God wants people to stay married and if that is what it takes...so be it! thanks for your encouragement! Now, if we could just get those date nights nailed down and consistent...chasing three busy boys and all of their activities gets in the way, and it shouldn't!

bree said...

Thanks Erika! Great post, I love the installments. :)