Monday, 21 May 2012

It takes two baby!

My husband and I went to our first counselling session today. Not because there’s anything wrong with our marriage – we went because we don’t want anything to BECOME wrong with our marriage. The whirlwind our lives have been in the past 6 months means stress and tension have been high. We both realised that in those moments, we are not at our best. So we wanted some tips on how we can deal with the stressful and tiered moments without damaging ourselves, and our relationship, in the process.

A big part of wanting to do this was establishing some good behaviour patterns before the baby arrives. If we get snappy and irritable with just the normal part of life without a baby, there was far too much potential for things to spiral out of control once a baby was introduced into the equation. 

Now guaranteed, I work in communications for a profession and have a Graduate Diploma in psychology so my expectations of how my husband and I communicate might be higher than others. But really, it’s just about ensuring we are communicating with each other in a way that we both understand and we’re honouring ourselves in the process.
It was a great session that allowed us to speak openly about how we interpret situations and things that do and don’t work for us in a heated moment. I’m not sure we could have had the conversation by ourselves, but with someone else there, we were both able to verbalise and respectfully request each other to think about supportive behaviours we could use to deal with those moments.
The counsellor told us that the important things to remember were identifying if the moment was one of stress and exhaustion or if there was a real issue to deal with, and how we focus on recovering afterwards. She said recovery was the most important thing in building and growing a relationship. We’re working hard on doing that and focussing on our values and the kind of husband and wife we want to be.
Think about it, if you had to write down the values of a good wife or husband, would you say whingey, dis-interested and unsupportive? Or would you say caring, loving, involved and supportive? I know which list I’m going for and I endeavour to stop myself in my moments to check which list I’m currently in. If it’s not the right one I change my behaviour. It’s hard but it’s worth it.
I’ll do the same thing when I become a parent. What kind of mother do I want to be? Uncaring, judgemental, and pretentious or loving, non-judgemental and open? By taking the time to clarify our values before going into a relationship, it means we have the power to constantly check on them when we’re in the relationship. In the end, I think today was one of the greatest things my husband and I could have done. Not just to secure the longevity of us, but the long-term happiness of our family and really, as a parent, isn’t that all you ever want?

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