After Husband and I and reconciled our marriage, the changes he experienced from participating in the Mankind Project (as well as counseling) were ingrained into his DNA. He had some minor bumps but recovered quickly and, more importantly, he learned from his mistakes. There were some “old Husband” trip-ups, but with our new skills, we were able to tackle these together and grow. I would get upset but I didn’t freak out and feel like the world was ending like I used to (only a slight exaggeration!). I was now more articulate and able to communicate what it was about his behavior that bothered me. Some of it was “stupid guy stuff” which didn’t line up with who he was now, such as suggesting to a friend whose wife was mistreating him that he “hire a female companion”. Then he texted to a buddy who couldn’t make a lunch date, he joked the friend missed the (non-existent) “naked wait staff” at the restaurant. I normally have a pretty hearty and salty sense of humor, but he understood these hit a nerve. Another was an old issue…he still had trouble including me in conversations with friends and family. He would use “I” instead of “we” a lot and that bothered me. But HE GOT IT and immediately changed! It sounded foreign at first, but warmed my heart when I would hear him talking to someone and say “D’Alene & I” or “D’Alene would like that”. He took my concerns seriously and we were finally a team striving for the same thing…a healthy, happy relationship. The other huge change was that Husband no longer lied! Believe me, I don’t let anything slide and get clarification about anything questionable (thank you Dr. Parker). And for my husband, it is the biggest relief for him not to feel he has to lie. Lying doesn’t fit in his new life of authenticity, integrity and speaking from his heart.
We keep moving forward. For me, I can finally breathe easier and live life again. The good parts of the life we had before the bomb drop were saved. Even though our old marriage was dead, it’s been replaced by a deeper and much more satisfying union. Our friends didn’t have to choose who they stayed friends with or who became an acquaintance. Family was also relieved we were able to stay married since they love us both. We appreciated the support friends and family gave us, rooting for us, as we worked through all the ugliness. I’m especially grateful to the people I love and who love me for accepting Husband back into the fold without judging either of us.
I will continue to heal personally and we will continue to heal as a couple. I’ll let you know if that last little piece of my heart fully recovers. We all know that life isn’t perfect, we don’t expect it to be. We learn to pluck the goodness out, to be resilient, become stronger, more mature. By now I think you know how important meditation is to my life because, in part, it helped cut my anxiety and I became calmer. In my last blog, “What I’ve Learned” there is a link to a great article titled 8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life by Kristine Crane that describes some of the major benefits I and millions of others have experienced meditating. I told my husband that meditation feels like exercise for my soul. And now I feel free to delve into expanding my knowledge of Zen Buddhism, spirituality, meditation, increase my yoga practice and whatever else strikes my fancy.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN ADMITTING WE NEED HELP TO NAVIGATE SOME OF LIFE’S DIFFICULTIES.
A couple of my friends and I were talking the other day about the benefits of therapy. We all agreed how helpful professional counseling can be during different times in life. Before I started seeing Dr. Parker, my psychologist, I was drowning. It took 2 plus months after the “Bomb Drop” to find her and in the meantime go through two other perfectly good counselors who weren’t what I needed at that time. Dr. Parker helped me dig my way out of a deep black hole to find myself again. I spent many sessions crying and confused, wondering what I should do with my life. It was best to schedule my appointments after work, especially in the beginning. Going back to work after a counseling session with a red nose, watery eyes and a blotchy face was embarrassing. As I began to heal and get stronger I could see her on my lunch hour and was fine going back to work. Having a neutral person, who has the training and experience, to help us untangle our struggles is invaluable! We can get a lot of advise, care and love from friends and family who want to help, but there is no substitute for investing in ourselves by hiring a professional. I finally found Dr. Parker through a Psychology Today website that lists therapists according to zip code or State. The site also describes the counselors specialties, education, insurance, and other helpful information. I would not hesitate to see Dr. Parker or Dale, our couples counselor, for a tune-up or if something else popped up.
Till next time…
Peace & Love,