May 23, 201208:43 AMCup of Joe
Your weekly dose of strange parenting news, trends, and polls
Counseling: round 2
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my fiancée’s and my initial excursion into marriage counseling. If you missed it, our first session turned out to be far less stressful and uncomfortable than I originally expected, but in our most recent (and final) session, things went a little differently.
The test results were in, we had scheduled to meet with our pastor and as we pulled up outside in the church parking lot, I once again got a slight nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Taking a test during the last session hadn’t been so bad, but now we were about to sit down face-to-face with our pastor and expose our relationship’s flaws. Worse yet, I was going to have to talk about my feelings.
Now, I’m not saying I’m as cold as a stone, but saying I’m a talkative person is equivalent to saying a hippo can fly—especially when it comes to personal matters.
We passed through the nave, and followed our pastor down the stairs to a comfortable room with several chairs to sit on. Once seated, our pastor produced an envelope and announced that the results were in.
I mentally prepared for the worst: “You’ve failed and won’t be getting married.” The results, he explained, were broken down into a variety of categories such as family relationships and problem solving.
I won’t be sharing our results here—my fiancée would likely string me up by the feet if I did something that foolish. I will say however, that our results were generally very positive, but managed to highlight a few areas we could improve upon.
During the session we focused on the areas that most needed improvement. The discussion brought up several important topics, but most were things we had already discussed before. I guess after five years, you pretty much manage to cover all of the important stuff.
I can’t imagine what the process is like for couples who decide to get married after only being together a year. If we had gone through the process after being together a year—being the quiet guy that I am—my fiancée would have been left sitting there staring at me like I had two heads wondering who the heck she was marrying.
The experience was certainly a little uncomfortable, but I believe our relationship is better-off for it. Our pastor was able to provide us with a lot of useful advice from his own experiences, and was clearly there to help us, rather than cast judgment.
I would still recommend the experience to any couple, regardless of how long they’ve been together. It really does help bring important issues to the forefront, and as my pastor says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure later.”
Joe Barry is the digital editor for Central Penn Parent Magazine and is looking forward to getting married to his wonderful fiancée in less than two weeks.