Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dear Married Folks

Dear Married Folks,

My husband and I are about to walk, on purpose, down a dark and scary road. Really, that's what I envision every time I think the words 'marriage counseling.' Among other things, it's a scary road because of all of the freaks that reside there; consider what's more nightmarish; walking down a dark road littered with ex-cons or a dark road loitered by off-duty carnies from the Coney Island Freak Show? Exactly. Joining the world of counseling feels in many ways like joining the ranks of the deformed. "Is everything OK " "I thought you guys were doing so well?" "What do you need help with?"

We've been playing with the idea of counseling for over a year now, and are finally getting around to it (read: I've finally grown a pair of ovaries big enough to agree. Imagine that, the wife drags her feet while the husband readily agrees to marriage counseling; we are freaks!) Don't mind me, I deflect with humor and self-deprecation. The truth is, we're doing pretty well, I think. But, I'm afraid to go to counseling for the same reason that your 85 year-old grandma doesn't want to go to the doctor. She doesn't want to find out that things are worse than she could have guessed. Better to live with the aches and pains than find out that it's stage 4 melanoma. I'm good with that, granny. You wanna rock out your last years in the bliss of ignorance, cool. But I'm too young to pull that nonsense- if it's melanoma, I need to know now so I can chemo-therapize, radiationize, vegan, raw dietize, yoga blast that shit outta here! Wait, I'm not saying that there's a cancer growing in my marriage or anything. I love him. Lots. And, I'm sure of his love for me. After a decade of marriage, we've got lots of amazing things to show, but we've also got our old scars and fresher scabs. So, we agreed, it's time to let someone look under the hood. Yes, I know I'm mixing metaphors, deal with it (hey, I'm dealing with going to therapy...)

So that's the plan. Now, I'll employ my other faithful tactic for dealing with stress and fear (the first being the aforementioned deflection with humor and self-deprecation)- I'm probably going to go Rambo on therapy. (Full Disclosure: at first I wrote 'I'm probably going to go commando on therapy' but then I realized that that would imply that I was going to go to therapy without wearing any underwear. While that would certainly be an interesting experience, it's not really the one I'm going for here. Luckily, I remembered that the cinematic reference I was looking for was actually Rambo- dude goes berserk, takes no prisoners and is generally bad-ass for the entire film, and there's pretty much no mention of his undies at all. Yup, that's the one.) Yeah, so when something is scary, I often try to research the crap out of it, understand it, and be the best at it. I'll probably even compete with my husband a bit. So, don't be surprised if you meet my therapist on the street, ask her how I'm handling having to talk about my marriage with a total stranger, and she answers, "oh, she's handling therapy like a boss!"

Am I missing the point? Ah well, I'll let my therapist fix that.

Love and Life Y'all

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