7. MAINTAIN A SUPPORT SYSTEM:
Keep your support system intact, instead of withdrawing from family and friends. I’ll never forget the falsehood I was told when I was about to get married, “Now you will have to give up your friends.” I believed that back then, but realize now – what a mistake! You need to retain your support system of close friends and family. Getting married doesn’t remove your need for others in your life: People to talk to, share your ideas with, or from whom to ask advice. These people earned that position in your life for a reason. Why would anyone think you have to give up that support system, just because you get married? This idea is reiterated and expanded upon in the book, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life by Lauren Mackler. Even though her emphasis is referencing establishing this support system while you are still alone and single, that support system continues to be important when you are in a relationship.
Counseling for couples is a good thing and doesn’t mean you are a doomed couple; instead it means you are a smart couple trying to maintain a healthy perspective of each other’s needs by having an insightful mediator. Participating in a newly developed healthy relationship I realize, no matter how much you have in common, no matter how well you get along, there’s still going to be ‘stuff’ that needs to be hashed out. Having a mediator there to guide the conversation and keep you on a productive efficient track is a helpful and healthy way of addressing the tough issues. Since I just started back to counseling, I will be sharing more on this idea in the near future.
Please check out the other posts in this series of things I wish I had known when I got married:
Find yourself… keeping it real.