I have a unique situation. Recently my mother had been harping that my husband and I needed to go to therapy, her reasoning holds no water, she is projecting in the worst way, but that’s not the point.
Therapy can be a great thing, but I think some people need to realize that therapy doesn’t “fix” a person into someone you want them to be. Therapy isn’t where you just go “get it off your chest” and suddenly nothing bothers you anymore. Therapy is a place for you to work on things you need/want to work on, it allows you the ability to be human without judgement, and at the end you hopefully come out with a few tools to help you in your day to day life. Tools such as ways of handling stress/anger/sadness, a new view point, a sense of self worth, etc.
I’ve been to therapy for various different reasons at different points in my life, recently I spent a few sessions in therapy for one reason: to get my extended family off my back. My dear ole’ mom while harping about couples therapy also decided it would be a grand idea to tell my mother in-law and my grandmother in-law that she wanted us to seek counseling. This was interpreted as “Holly needs therapy so she understands she is in the wrong here.” Thank you mom.
Since her conversation with my mom, my grandmother in-law has brought up therapy more times then I can count. Pointing out that it would help me not take things personally, that everyone is different, that I would see how my mother in-law is trying, etc. Equipped with the list of misdoings and things my in-law wanted me to work on I went to therapy.
My husband was present for a session or two, which is nice because he heard every word I said to my therapist, and supported everything I said. I did as my in-laws wanted, although I haven’t told them yet, mostly because therapy did not work in their favor. When I went to therapy I was in a place of hurt and guilt, I was hurt for being accused of ruining my mother in-law’s life, I felt guilty because the blame of my husband’s unhappy family was all on me, I have in fact thought of divorce on several occasions simply because the guilt of being the woman who stole a woman’s son was often too heavy for me to bear.
In the end I needed some therapy, but not because I was wrong in marrying my husband. The guilt I carried wasn’t ruining my marriage but it had the potential to. My husband asked ME to marry him, he made the choice to do it, and I had been telling myself that I had trapped him and stolen him away from his family. I gave my guilt up, I am no longer sorry for marrying my husband, I didn’t ruin my mother in-law’s life or her relationship with my husband just by being his wife, that is her business.
Sometimes we need counseling, an outside voice helping us sort through the irrational in our lives. I felt I didn’t need that, in a way I was right, I shouldn’t be sorry for marrying my husband. Without therapy I would still be sitting here thinking how awful I am for being his wife and ruining his life, so maybe I did need therapy, because my husband says I’m awesome!