I Paid Thousands for This. Take it for Free.
When things looked like they were getting scary with the pregnancy last September, Anson and I went into couple’s therapy together. It was our way of asserting that we did have control over something, and that something was how we got through it together. I came to fondly call it my “STFU Therapy” (but, for the purposes of this place, I’ll clean that up and call it my STHU Therapy – Shut The Hell Up, if you couldn’t get there on your own.) Surprisingly most of our therapy wasn’t centered on what we were going through at the time, but how we were dealing with each other in our every day life, and how it had taken its shape.
The biggest thing I would walk away with after every session was the strong suggestion to STFU STHU. My semi-constant need to let Anson know how I would act in any given situation, and how he should act in any given situation was actually not all that helpful. Go figure. Turns out that Anson does not need to be driven by me, nor does he need me as co-pilot. So, when he comes home with complaints about work? Listen, and STHU. (Disclaimer: Anson never complains about work. I’m just using it as a hypothetical example. Also, hello to Robyn, Anson’s boss!) When Anson complains about his family? Listen, and STHU. (Disclaimer: Anson never complains about his family. Hypothetical. And also, hello to all my in-laws!) In essence, the penchant to have my husband do all things exactly the same way I would do them needed to be stopped.
And STHU therapy has been wildly helpful. Somehow having the responsibility of my husband’s actions resting squarely on his own shoulders has relieved my own stress. Because even though his problems do play a role in my life, they don’t have to be my problems. There’s a new division there, and that is really lovely because truthfully I have all my own problems, plenty of them. This new dynamic takes me back to when we first met, and how his funny jokes made me laugh because usually they were not all that funny, but he thought they were and that was funny. And how when he told an inappropriate story, sometimes with kids around, I would find it hysterical and not mortifying. Because he still does not belong to me, he is not mine to own; I get to enjoy his goofy behavior and not be responsible for it. And that is probably what will keep us in love and together until the next therapeutic breakthrough.