Believe it or not, I used to be a band nerd. Yup…cute lil ol’ me. Huge band nerd. And even though I’m small, I played the bass drum (which pretty much took up my entire body) and the snare drum. Okay…so that’s not all that nerdy, but I played cymbals my first year. And if that wasn’t enough to classify me as a bit of a nerd, I was really bad at ALL of it. Seriously! I was actually asked on multiple occasions to just pretend that I was playing because I was so off beat I’d mess up the rest of the band. Crazy that one off-beat drummer could mess up an entire band.
Anyway…there was all this pressure on the drum team to be the “heartbeat of the band.” We were expected to be in position before the rest of the band and often had to stand “at the ready” before anyone else. We also had this motto in place: “Hurry up and wait.” The idea was that as a drum line we had to be ready constantly, even when doing nothing. “Hurry up. Get where you need to be. Wait until I tell you to move again.”
It’s actually a little bit amazing how often that has been a motto for my life. “Do this, do that, then wait” or in the case of infertility – wait, wait, wait, then wait a little bit longer. Of course, in the midst of “the wait” there has been plenty of try this and try that along the way.
You don’t have to look hard to find stories of couples who have gone through marriage counseling only to emerge with a relationship even worse then they had prior to the counseling. If you don’t know someone personally, Google has millions of blogs/articles for you to look through. Truth is, there are times when counseling can be helpful and times when it will do more damage. If you need marriage counseling, here are some ways to make sure that the process will be helpful.
Understand that the marriage counselor is only partially responsible for your successful outcome:
Couples sometimes have this belief that they can come to marriage counseling, argue it out with their spouse in front of the therapist, and the therapist will make it all better. Or, they believe that therapy will cause them to see instant improvement. Here’s how it really happens:
I’ve worked with many, many couples who say that the reason their marriage ended or is about to end is because they’ve “fallen out of love.” I often ask people what those words even mean but I’ve yet to find someone that could really explain it to me.
They’ll typically say something along the lines of, “You know…I still love him I’m just not in love” or “I want her to be happy, I just can’t see us together anymore.”
I really believe that people feel “out of love” for a couple of reasons: confusion about what it means to be in love and confusion about what a long-term relationship looks like.
What it means to be in love: People often confuse the initial stages of a new relationship with being in love when a rush of chemicals is actually the cause of those feelings.
When you first start falling for someone the chemicals in your brain make some major changes. In fact, some of the chemicals in your brain, like serotonin, dopamine and cortisol, are the same chemicals that are implicated in mental health disorders. Luckily, these chemicals stabilize themselves over time, but it can take up to a year. For a full year your serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol levels can make you do really weird things.
I’m sitting here writing today on Valentine’s Day and Communion Sunday. What a combination! I feel like I should be singing, “Can you feel the love tonight?” Can you hear Simba and Nala right now?
A recent article in The Atlantic claims that Americans spend about 20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day. TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS!!!!! That’s a lot of money! My hubby and I actually don’t do much to celebrate Valentine’s. Neither of us are into the crowds and prefer a quiet evening at home to “celebrate” this day. But, honestly, we’re much more likely to make a big deal out of birthdays and our anniversary then the commercialized “Valentine’s Day.” Even so, with all of the hype, we can’t help but recognize that this is a day to reflect some on our relationship, or at a minimum, recognize we’re glad to have one another.
Three reasons you can't be married to your soul mate.
I recently read an article that talked about comedian, Aziz Ansari, and his thoughts on finding a soul mate. The article seemed to express some tentativeness with the subject in which Ansari states that it is nearly impossible to find a soul mate while also later saying that there are behaviors that you can practice to up your chances of finding that elusive soul connection.
According to the author of the article, “modern romantics want a soul mate, … that special person who completes us emotionally, intellectually, and sexually. A soul mate is the “perfect person” who one can “truly, deeply love.” Soul mates have an instant, deep connection: “passionate, or boiling from the get-go.” If things are not passionate from the beginning, “commitment seems premature.”’
Talk about a tall order! I would imagine that an attitude that there’s another person that will “complete me” (thanks, Jerry Maguire) is one that will lead to higher and higher divorce rates. “Surely, if the person I’m with fails me, then I must have ended up with the wrong person. If I just end this now, I still have time to find my soul mate.”
There are at least a few big problems with the soul mate theory that I’m going to present here.