I came from a six-year relationship before I met John. My breakup with my ex was still fresh at the time, so I did not want to date anyone. However, my friends insisted that I should be on the rebound already to show my ex what he lost for being a two-timing jerk. After days of bugging, I finally gave in and let them drag me to a bar.
I did not have thoughts of finding my future husband in a bar. The most I could think of was a hookup, but nothing more than that. But then, there was this suave guy who did not leave my side all night long and practically barricaded me from the other men who wanted to come any closer. John was initially cool with being friends with benefits, so we became each other’s booty calls a few times a week.
Exactly three months since John and I hooked up, though, I found out I was pregnant. There was no question about my unborn child’s paternity, considering I had only slept with John since then. My only problem was that I did not know how he would react. After all, we did not expect it. We weren’t even in an exclusive relationship.
When I told John about my pregnancy, his face glowed, and he pumped his fist in the air. The man I thought would be devastated about the news turned out to be happier than any future father I had seen. Then, to my surprise, John knelt on one knee and presented a ring to me.
“I know things went faster than we intended, but I had been in love with you since the first night we met. I wanted to ask you to be my girlfriend for a while now; I just didn’t know how. However, now that we have a child together, will you accept my love and let me do right by you? I promise to court you every day even when we’re married,” John said.
I felt a mix of emotions at that time, but joy and love reigned, and we tied the knot soon enough.
Two Years Later
The first thing John and I realized after the honeymoon was that we knew so little about each other. For instance, he had an awful habit of leaving the toilet seat up, while I sometimes snored loudly. He also liked pouring almost half the bottle of maple syrup over his pancakes, while I loved to eat an unhealthy amount of mashed potatoes. Despite that, we had a baby on the way, and we were willing to look past our indifferences to have a happy family.
When Luke came into our lives, I thought everything would still go smoothly between John and me. He said I did not need to work because he had a great job and income. I was grateful for it because I did not want to leave Luke at a daycare center while I was working. Besides, looking after a baby was a full-time job, especially when the baby’s about to reach their terrible twos.
The first time that John and I argued for a long time was when he came home from work without food on the table. My excuse was that I had to do laundry and take care of Luke, but John asked me about what’s so hard with ordering pizza, at least. That caused me to sleep in the baby’s room that night, but then John fetched me around midnight and said sorry. Nonetheless, after that, we continued to have arguments almost every day about little things.
I got fed up one day and asked John if he wanted to split because I could not handle another argument with him. His demeanor changed, and he hugged me, but I said we could not go forward unless we settled our differences through couples counseling.
What is the success rate of couples counseling?
Couples counseling has seen up to 80% success rate over the years.
How can I get free couples counseling?
You can avail free couples counseling by going to non-profit organizations or churches. In case you want to do it online, some platforms offer a free trial.
What is the best therapy for couples?
Couples counseling is the best therapy for two individuals who cannot deal with their relationship issues independently.
How do I find a couples counselor?
Often, at least one person in your circle can recommend a couples counselor. If you cannot get a referral, you can visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) website and use their locator feature to look for one in your area. Similarly, churches are typically linked to a couples counselor, given that engaged couples need to go through pre-marriage counseling.
What is the difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy?
Marriage counseling is short-term counseling that couples get when new issues pop up and affect their relationship. Meanwhile, couples therapy can deal with every problem that the husband and wife have had since their relationship started.
What is the Gottman Method?
The Gottman method is a couples therapy technique that therapists use to thoroughly assess the couple’s relationship and determine what solutions may suit them.
Can a marriage survive without intimacy?
No, a marriage cannot survive without any form of intimacy. Even a simple kiss or hug can do wonders for a couple.
Is it okay for married couples to sleep in separate rooms?
Yes, it is perfectly okay for married couples to sleep in separate rooms. In truth, some therapists may recommend it, citing that the separation makes the couple want each other more.
How many positives does it take to clear a negative?
Based on the praise-to-criticism ratio, you need to say or do five positive things to clear a negative deed.
How can I be more positive in a relationship?
- Accept that you and your partner are two different people who cannot always like the same things. The more you embrace each other’s uniqueness, the more your relationship will flourish.
- When your partner tells you something, don’t just nod and agree with them absentmindedly. You need to practice active listening to know that you care about their thoughts, experiences, and emotions.
- Pour all your attention to your partner whenever you are together. Time is one of the most precious gifts that can strengthen any relationship. If you cannot give it to your partner, your relationship may be in jeopardy.
- In case you and your partner seem to have a misunderstanding all the time, you must learn how to choose your words and communicate better. Otherwise, you may end up separating.
- Welcome positive and negative comments from each other – that’s how you will know the things you should stop or keep on doing. Still, the feedback session should occur respectfully, considering you are doing it to improve your relationship and not spite one another.
- Trust is another beautiful gift. Assuming your partner has not given you any reason to doubt their love for you, you should show them more trust.
How can negativity kill a relationship?
Negativity can kill a relationship by making problems more prominent than they should be.
How do you know if you’re not happy in a relationship?
- You cannot talk to your partner without noticing their bad qualities or getting angry at them.
- You often do not feel like coming home, knowing that your partner will be there.
- You do not want to have sex with your partner. Even if you do, it feels like a chore than something you enjoy.
- Your priorities are everything except for your partner.
How do you stop overthinking in a relationship?
- If you do not understand what your partner’s words mean, try not to draw your conclusions and just ask them directly. Doing the former will only make you sad and paranoid.
- Realize that your relationship does not revolve around you. Your partner has as many needs as you do, and it is only healthy for them to prioritize themselves over you sometimes.
- Considering your relationship is still hanging in the air, you need to distract yourself. Go on a trip, hike with friends, or even date other people if that will keep you from overthinking.
John and I found a great couples counselor through our friends. I was initially embarrassed to go to the counselor’s clinic, but the counselor assured me that there’s no harm in saving our relationship. We went through a few sessions, and after each one, we felt closer than ever.
It had been 10 years since we went to couples counseling, and we became advocates of this treatment to our friends and family due to how much it helped save our marriage.