When a person meets me socially and is actually interested in what I do, I inevitably get asked,”Has being a couples counselor changed the way you do your own marriage?”
The answer is: At my best, yes. At my worst, no.
Pro-tip for anyone reading this - I’m human and act poorly in my relationship sometimes too. My relationship has “glitches” too.
At my worst: we get in an argument, and as I’m responding angrily back at her, I’m thinking,”Boy, I bet I’m going to regret saying this…” And yep, I end up having to apologize and explain what happened. She usually ends up apologizing too, but I’m usually thinking “She only needed to apologize for about 12.5% of the fight. The rest is mine.”
At my best: I can come to her and say,”You know, sweetie, I feel like you don’t really take me seriously. I really feel insulted when you do XYZ and you’re not even acknowledging that.”
I would say that the “at my best” moments have increased since I’ve really refined my process of couples therapy. As I start feeling an energy to react to what she says negatively, a little birdie taps me on the shoulder says,”You probably should get more vulnerable.” Then I roll my eyes, and try to get more vulnerable. The next day I try to pat myself on the shoulder for it. But that eye-roll in the moment is something else!