I think therapy is a wonderful thing. I’m so glad it exists and I believe that if we were all in therapy and able to fully talk about our feelings, fears, hurts, on a regular basis we would be a healthier and more non-violent world. So, naturally, with my marriage in the pits, I turned to therapy as a tool to help “fix us.” Within the first week I had decided this was something we needed to do and had started researching marriage counselors in the New York City area. A woman on a mission. But I wasn’t looking for just any old marriage counselor, I wanted a Christian marriage counselor. I wanted a Christian counselor for many reasons. Most importantly, I wanted someone who understood what I did, that marriage was a covenant you made with your spouse and God and it was not meant to be broken. So get on board, husband!
My husband agreed to go to therapy. I thought this was an excellent sign. Together we tried to find a counselor. I kept pushing for a Christian counselor and he kept trying to convince me that wasn’t necessary. Eventually, we settled on therapist. This man had gone to seminary, but also had all the requirements my husband felt were necessary to look at our marriage objectively. The big day came…the night of our first therapy session. And y’all, I hate to say it. I’m embarrassed to say it. But I have to say it. I DRESSED UP for therapy. I did. I chose an outfit that I thought my husband would find attractive. I wore more make-up than usual. I even wore heels. HEELS! How pathetic. How sad. My husband and I weren’t living together at the time and hadn’t seen each other in a few days and I guess some part of me was hoping he would see me, find me ridiculously beautiful, and that would be that. I know. Ridiculous. But this is where my head was at the time.
We show up at the therapist’s office and wait until it is our turn. In my head I’m thinking about the couple that is in there before us. I’m hoping he is able to help them. I’m hoping the wife and husband love each other and this man has helped save their marriage. I am hoping he is a miracle worker and that eventually, through time and hard work, he will help us save our marriage. My husband looks bored out of his mind. Uncomfortable. Irritated. Annoyed. He does not look hopeful. He has not said a thing about how clearly adorable I look. I don’t think he has even looked at me at all. Then that feeling starts again. That feeling that tells me this is not going to go how I had planned it at all in my head.
During that first session our therapist asks us a lot of questions about ourselves, our marriage, our goals for the future. We have to write down our answers on a piece of paper and then share them with each other. One of the questions was “Do you see yourself married to your spouse 10 years down the road?” Another question was “Do you see yourself married at all 10 years from now?” In my true to form, type A, people pleasing personality way, I answer that absolutely I see myself being married to my husband. I see myself being married to him 10 years from now, 20 years from now, etc. I mean, I’d vowed “til death do us part.” So that was that as far as I was concerned. My husband, and I have to commend him for his honesty, answers that he does see himself being married 10 years from now, just not to me.
And this truth he has just told me hurts. It knocked the wind out of me. All of a sudden I felt foolish. He didn’t want me. He could sit right next to me and look me in the face and say without any emotion at all that he just didn’t want ME. The rest of the session was a blur. I remember hobbling in my heels back to the subway when it was over. My feet hurt. I was a stupid moron who had worn heels to a therapy session where her husband flat-out told her he didn’t want her. And then I cried on the subway and I didn’t care who saw. I went home and changed into my pajamas and curled up in a ball on my rug beside my bed. I didn’t have the energy to actually get into the bed. And I held myself and I cried until I fell asleep on that rug, in that apartment, in what had been our happy home.
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”