“Why isn’t this working? It’s not supposed to be this way.”
That’s what Mandy and I both thought months after I returned from Iraq.
On the surface, friends and family thought we were okay.
I was the war veteran that returned to a dream career as a financial advisor.
Mandy was the recent MBA grad and military spouse that had proudly supported her husband while he served overseas.
It was the perfect beginning to every great marriage, except for one thing: it wasn’t working.
Our marriage had barely started, yet it was getting ready to fall apart.
We needed something. And that something was marriage counseling.
We’re Not Failures, But We Need Help
Having to admit out loud that you need help is a humbling experience. To be honest, my ego was shaken.
I was a successful financial advisor. I had just served a 17 month deployment to Iraq. I had always been successful at anything I had applied myself to, yet I couldn’t make my marriage work.
It’s a lonely feeling.
At the time we weren’t plugged into church like we are now so I didn’t have any support there. I was too ashamed to tell my friends what was going on.
I finally confessed some to my father but he didn’t really know what to say other than listen.
With no support I was basically at the mercy of our counselor.
Love Will Find a Way
What I did have was a wife that was willing to go through the counseling sessions together.
A wife that was willing to fight for a marriage that she hadn’t given up hope on.
Even though she was dealing with her own insecurities about needing counseling, she chose us.
More importantly, she chose love.
It’s Okay to Need Help
The biggest takeaway that we both walked away from going to counseling is that it’s okay to ask for help.
It’s okay that aren’t marriage isn’t a fairy tale and it’s actually refreshing to have an outside perspective on how to approach our marital struggles.
If you are in a similar spot (or find yourself in a similar spot) don’t be afraid to ask for help. It might be the best decision you made for your marriage.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”