Couples Counseling

coupleLast year, I wrote about investing in your marriage in a post called Marriage Takes Work. It’s been a popular read and has generated a number of comments but that’s not why I wrote it.

I wrote it because I grew up surrounded by divorce and because my husband and I reside at almost opposite ends of the Myers-Briggs personality spectrum—I’m a sound ENFJ and he’s an ISTJ. If you’re curious about yourself, you can take a quick test here, (thanks Marisa Hopkins for the link).

DH and I entered into marriage knowing it would require our constant care. So last spring we enlisted the help of a clinical social worker and started Couples Counseling.

People have funny misconceptions about the term “counseling;” it often seems to connote that one is seeking counseling for something that is in trouble. In our case, we’re not in trouble, we just want to make sure we don’t lose our way. We’re not asking for help but rather seeking “guidance.”

Guidance to help us better manage the way we communicate with one another, guidance to bring up topics we didn’t know have the potential to evolve into challenges later, and guidance to prepare us for future hurdles that we may encounter along the way. More

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Marriage Takes Work

Eleven years ago, I met my husband.

It happened at a tawny Christmas party in downtown Boston, fondly referred to as the “Tweed and Pearl” party. There wasn’t a great deal of diversity at this gathering, save the variety of Kate Spade bags, so when a tall Asian guy walked into the room, he immediately caught my attention. The party host later introduced us and we discovered we had a lot in common, from taste in music to world travel and future ambitions, we hit it off…of course, the open bar helped a bit too.

Compared to my past long-term relationships, DH was a shining star. I continued to believe that we had more in common than in contrast for quite some time. In fact, I believed it all the way through our engagement and right up to the third-week in to our premarital course, when we took the Myers-Briggs personality test to determine compatibility.

DH and I came out almost completely opposite, I was an ENFJ to his ESTP (and his E was only on the cusp of extrovert and introvert; mine was a no-contest). I was shocked!

But this wasn’t our first red flag. More

The Fragments of Divorce

I’m the product of divorce. Not one, not two…FIVE.

My parents’ divorce was the first, then, like zygotes, they kept splitting until they landed on their third and fourth spouses, where they seem to be very well matched. I think it’s safe to say that they both have settled in for their golden years with partners for life. Thank God!

I was seven when my parents separated, my brother was 10. By the time the divorce was final and the papers signed, my dad was just weeks away from his second marriage and my mom had moved clear across the country, from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, to pursue her next union.

When my parents split in 1979, it was highly unusual for children to remain in the custody of their fathers but my dad sought custody of my brother and me. In between the separation and next marriage, we went More

When Church Lets You Down

A year ago, I embarked on the voyage of being a deacon in our church. At the time, I had only been a member of the church for three years and had only been involved with the UCC for four. But this was the church we had chosen to raise our children in; this was the church where we had made many wonderful connections and friendships since arriving in Wellesley as new parents in pursuit of new paths.

The church welcomed us, embraced us, incorporated us and celebrated us. Both DH and I were invited to join committees, speak before the congregation and help guide and mold the new directions of the church.

When we started attending, the church’s senior minister, Matt Fitzgerald, was also new. Two months before we discovered the Hills Church, Matt arrived from Chicago with his wife and their two young children, a third on the way. In many regards, Matt was the pivotal reason we started attending. Not only was he a contemporary but his views were contemporary and his sermons were incredibly relevant to us.

Over the next few years, my family got to know his family bit-by-bit. Our children became friends and his wife, Kelli, and I got involved in a film club together. We have long felt—perhaps for professional More

Far Away

This past Sunday, DH drove our five-year old up to her grandmother’s house in Maine to spend the week. It’s not the first time she’s been away from us—she did the same thing last year too and various overnights here and there since she was two—but for some reason, this year, I’m the one feeling homesick

Perhaps it’s the sheer magnitude of transitioning my first-born into kindergarten this fall, the sudden realization that these slow-going, past-five-years actually have been careening by at mach-5 all along, or perhaps it’s because she so easily separated from me on Sunday. But whatever the reason, her absence has left a palpable void in our home and I miss her terribly! More

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