Monday, August 29, 2011

Figuring It All Out

Since we've been through some crazy grief-inducing events regarding our children this year, we decided that maybe it would be a good idea to finally talk to a grief counselor. We met with our Bishop who referred us to LDS Family Services. I wouldn't have it any other way. Having an LDS counselor was #1 on my priority list. Our faith has the biggest impact on how we're "dealing with" all these emotional trials.

So a couple weeks ago was our first appointment. As it turns out, our grief counseling has turned slightly more toward communication counseling. We discovered that we didn't know how to communicate what we were feeling with each other, and the grief of our trials this year was only adding to the stress.

Now, I was a little leery about writing about going to counseling because it's kind of "none of your business"..... However, I've already learned so many things in this first couple of times that I have to share a bit.

1. Humans are not mind readers. Don't expect your spouse to read your mind and don't expect to be able to read theirs.

2. In regard to #1, say what you're feeling. Even the little things (especially the little things). An example: If it bugs you that your husband puts his dishes in the sink instead of loading them in the dishwasher, kindly mention it. He probably doesn't realize it bugs you. Or how much you would appreciate it if he just loaded them. When you keep it inside, over time it keeps building up until one day you explode about it. Then and argument about nothing is sparked. Because seriously, not loading the dishes isn't the end of the world, but in that moment it might feel like it. Frustrations come flooding out from both people and a silly thing can become something ridiculous and unnecessary.

3. Learn how your spouse likes to receive love. Learn their Love Language (Click to take your own love language quiz, have your spouse take it, and share your results with each other). For example, my strongest love language is service. I feel loved when Justin helps me around the house etc. His strongest love language is physical. I feel like I show my love for him by having the house clean when he gets home from work. While he appreciates this, he'd rather I be waiting at the door to give him a big hug and kiss when he gets home. We automatically give love in the way that we most like to receive it, but the other person may not recognize that we're trying to show it. When we learn their love language we can make efforts to show our love in ways that they'd be more likely to notice and appreciate.

4. Compliment each other. Show verbal appreciation. Praise. Be positive..... SMILE. Making your facial muscles smile actually releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel happier, whether you're actually happy or not.

It's amazing the difference in our home since we've gone to a couple sessions. We were by no means fighting, yelling, etc. all the time. We've always had a happy healthy marriage and family life. We have little arguments occasionally, just like everyone else. It just kind of felt like there was always some little stressor or grief cloud that made life a little ho-hum and tense sometimes.

As we're learning more and more how to communicate with each other, we're realizing we can work together to get through stressful times and by being honest, can feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost residing in our home every day. It's awesome. You should try it....


Jenna said...

SO TRUE about telling your spouse if something bugs you! I can't tell you how many times something small has turned into all-out warfare over here. (For the record, it's always me blowing up at my husband, never the reverse)

Heather Farnsworth said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is amazing how important communication is in a relationship but how it sometimes gets shoved off to the side. I liked taking the quiz too! I've tried to explain to Alan so many times what my Love Language is but I don't think he really understood what I was saying until I showed him my quiz results! I've finally gotten through to him!! haha. I hope things get better and easier for you guys. You have had such a rough year and need some happiness in your life!

The Gatherers said...

It's amazing how different men and women are but how much we compliment each other especially when we realize and embrace those differences. I think it's great you guys are learning these skills now, so early in your marriage, these are tools you can use forever, to help you get through any difficulty in your life.

The Lemon Momma said...
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