15 Years Ago: Personal Notes from Marriage Counseling

This week has essentially been a dump of old files and documents that’s been collecting dust over the years—many of them go all the way back to my early childhood.

It’s not always fun to review old work but it is, at the very least, entertaining and sobering to see how far I’ve come! These notes, especially, are revealing.

Here are some high-level thoughts after 15 years together:

Bottom-line: I highly recommend relationship / marriage counseling to everyone on planet earth, before, during, and even post-marriage.

Growing a functional, healthy, and fun relationship with a singular person over decades+ is, needless to say, fucking hard. It is, without question, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to work on.

And, the work never stops—kind of like a startup.

The “sexual conversations” as mentioned in the first page took over 6 years to really manifest in our relationship. In other words, it took years for us to be comfortable talking about sex with one another.

Give that time to marinate—and then you’re mind gets blown to think about the implications (if this is true).

Finally, most of the notes above were proved to be flat-out wrong, or, so badly off in “left field” that it was difficult to course correct at times. This doesn’t mean the process was bad or ineffective; rather, that each relationship and marriage is distinctly different with each one having its own unique set of issues and challenges to overcome (or get completely pwned by).

Creating a real, repeatable habit of talking through these important matters was the point of these exercises—the content (and even topics) were far less important.

One week later, we hit up Session #2. Does praying together equal more orgasms during sex? So far, I’ve found this not to be true.

At least we tried. SMH.

My spouse will never be good enough. I will also never be good enough for her. Sobering as fuck… then… and even more now.

See my point on habits in the beginning of the post—again, building healthy habits in a relationship is not just hard, it requires commitment to make it through all the really shitty attempts.

In fact, the first few years of a committed relationship can oftentimes feel like Fight Club more than anything:

The first rule of (marriage) Fight Club is… we don’t talk about it (we’ll just fight).

These were actually pretty spot-on.

I learned that I want a lot more autonomy than I gave myself credit for. Being emotionally honest about stuff like that is the only way you can get on the same page, if you ever do at all.

Money has been the “easiest” conversational topic to have as well as the hardest. In the beginning, I thought we were aligned—I couldn’t have been more wrong about this. In fact, we were born on entirely different (financial) planets, if I’m honest.

The way that my wife’s family handled finances was not the same way that my parents handled finances and the fights that we’ve had about these things… they are scary and heartbreaking.

Getting this stuff out on the table earlier in the relationship is 🔑 — we didn’t do this early enough.

Fight for your marriage. “Fight” is the correct, operative word. But, make sure you fight “clean” as fighting in any other manner will make it worse.

(Learning how to fight “clean” takes a lot of practice—I’m still learning!)

No respect.