We Started Couples Therapy.

Hey y’all! So glad you decided to swing by today because we’re getting personal. In a recent Instagram post, I mentioned that I normally never bring my relationship in to the mix, but as of late, I have been having several conversations with different people about marriage, communication, conflict, and just over all feelings. So much has been happening with Byron and I that I just want to be real with you guys about what has brought us to this very moment and how much its helped. I also hope this post can serve as tangible tips in case you or someone you know are in the same walks of life.

We have been engaged for a year now and for some crazy, unrealistic reason I thought everything would be cupcakes and rainbows afterwards. Our engagement was literally perfect, that it just completely swept me off my feet and the true reality of being in a relationship. Man, did reality slap me in the face good. Things got a lot harder, way more complicated and after a year of engagement we felt the small realization that perhaps we were not meant to be together after all.

We were arguing every day over everything and nothing, our voices were getting louder, and it started to feel like two roommates who were just trying to move out at this point. We never seemed to see eye to eye anymore, I thought one thing and he would disagree, there was just no good communication, patience, or understanding at that point anymore.

Byron had tried to do couples counseling before and even though I went at the time, I expressed that I felt like it would do us no good. Everything on the outside seemed picture perfect, yet we were falling apart every day. The shift really came when we both had two huge epiphany’s in our lives, one happened for me and the other happened for him.

Early spring of last year, we were supposed to go to a marriage conference at our church that Montell Jordan and his wife were going to be hosting, however Byron had decided to make a drive to L.A. to see the Lakers play. I was supposed to follow him there, but I ended up staying behind and went to the conference alone. That hour and a half or so that I attended that conference changed my life. It changed my perspective on myself, my relationship, and just opened my eyes to see that I needed to stop pointing the finger and take some responsibility and ownership. Here’s my first tip of advice, relationships are not 50/50 work, they are 100/100. You have to give all that you’re capable of giving to your partner; love, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, and expect that in return.

The conference focused on the 7 do’s and don’ts in marriage, and I will just say this, if you have any doubt, concern, or thought of whether you are falling short in your relationship, please listen to this. Listen to it alone, on your card ride home, or with spouse/partner and take notes! Then talk about it. I’ve linked it here for you guys.

The second thing, was sobriety. For a long time, well… actually since Leya was born I think I identified that drinking was a problem but Byron refused to see it that way. We met at a college party… drinking, and pretty much got so good at it together that the lines got so blurred to see it was actually a problem. It wasn’t until some recent hard life experiences happened that served as a wake up call to him and brought him to the path of sobriety.

It’s always hard to put your true feelings out there if it’s not something you’re used to. For me, it almost felt like getting undressed in front of a stranger. That was part of the reason why I pushed back so much on going to therapy, along with other upbringing ideas. Things have always been so black and white in my family: here’s the problem, fix it. No in between, just do it.

Alcohol brought us a lot of despair, yelling, arguments, but so did I. I initiated a lot of discussions, I wasn’t supportive, I never genuinely tried even though I said countless times I did. It had to come to this very moment for us to stop and truly hear one another’s needs and wants. So through Byron’s recovery center, we met our now therapist. We have been to a few sessions with her and we’ve already learned so much about how to better communicate, how to deal with ambiguity, and try to be more understanding of one another. She gives us homework and we come home and discuss it and actually put it in to action. That is the key, truly putting the effort forward and doing it. Working on our relationship every single day because the work is never really finished.

One of the homework assignments was determining each other’s love languages. Byron felt like he had a pretty close idea of what his was and he was actually spot on, but I still highly encourage you to take the quiz anyway, trust me you may be surprised. I’ve linked it here. I on the other hand had no idea what mine would be but once it told me mine it just made so much sense. Here’s ours:

Byron’s is: Words of affirmation and a close second is Physical Touch.

Mine is: Acts of Service. I LOVE the definition of this because this truly defines how small things have big and powerful impact.

I won’t dive too deep because I REALLY want you to take the test! 🙂

The second piece of advice I will share is probably my favorite one thus far. It’s as simple as using the “I” statement. Now that I’m sharing it with you guys it sounds so obvious, but when you’re in a very heated argument it’s almost too easy to point the finger and put words in the other person’s mouth. The “I” statement is literally saying exactly what it is you’re feeling. I feel attacked, I feel disappointed, I feel angry, etc. then followed by the why. Things that go unsaid build resentment and tension, so if you’re holding it in I will tell you right now, you’re already doing it wrong. So just let it out and say it. You will feel a lot better, trust me.

Therapy has been so impactful to our relationship and its only been a short period of time. If you’re unsure, I would say just go it. Your feelings are valid and I strongly believe that there’s no better way to share them than with a unbiased person who can hear you and your partner out clearly. If you need resources, please send me an email and I’ll gladly send some your way. It’s important to keep in mind though that what might work for us, may not work in your relationship. Relationship is trial and error, but most importantly the willingness to not give up. I hope this post was helpful, inspired you, or motivated you to say what’s been unsaid and just get to therapy if you’ve been wanting to but have held back. You also don’t have to go to therapy just because something is wrong. It’s a great way to learn and understand your and your partners needs better.

PS: I came across this quote and it gave me the chills! It’s so powerful and true: “At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it for the right person.”

Also, this biblical verse is all you really need to know about love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Till’ the next post!

Xo, Guadalupe

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