Friday, March 25, 2005

Milestones and Headway

The Hubs and I embarked on our first-ever counseling session yesterday. Today, we celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.

We launched the session answering the question: Why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish?

Hubs looked at Jill and said: You start.

Jill: Well, for me, I'd like us to learn how to work together in partnership. Making decisions together, supporting each other, talking more, going forward in life in a purposeful way that we both feel is best.

Hubs: For me, it's all about spending. We are on opposite ends of the spectrum. She spends money when she knows it's coming in, and I like to save the money and then make the purchase after it's been in the bank for awhile.

Jill: For the record, I don't spend the money on gambling or drugs or anything illicit. And I'm not driving us into bankruptcy. I buy things for the house or new clothes because I've gained weight.

Hubs: Jill spends the money and then I have to pay the bills. She spends it to spite me.

Jill: Nooo, my spending money is more about me, and I don't do it to spite you. And, if we're going to launch right into The Specifics, I'd like to discuss what I consider to be the disparity in our income levels and consistent contribution.

Things got a little heated in that moment, and then the therapist completely switched gears and asked us to tell her about how we met, what types of things we did when we dated.

The smiles broke loose as we retold the stories. They were good times and we were so very much in love. Playing backgammon on the beach, sipping wine and watching the sun set. Checking out the Rodin garden at Stanford. Traveling to Chicago to check out the Art Institute. And game nights with our closest friends.

We then talked about the multitude of crisis that occurred from the beginning. My family refusing to talk to me for months, the Dad DNA Debacle, my depression, his depression, being laid off of work, him starting his own business. The list kept going on and on. At one point, the Hubs turned to me and said, "I feel terrible that I haven't been there for you when you needed me the most. I'm so sorry." And then I cracked like an egg.

We eventually left the session asking ourselves, "Why didn't we do this sooner?"

As the day wore on, I started to become a little melancholy. The difference between where I am now and where I was then began to seep into my soul, and I began to feel so sad that I let who I was slip away.

The good news is that we finally came together to discuss our relationship, our past and our next steps. And the really good news is that I got a little taste of what I'm capable of being...something that was forgotten a long time ago.