We were introduced to a counsellor after five years of being married.
We’d been very much in love. But then a new adventure found its way into our life, and brought along a change we weren’t prepared for. Its exclusive demands had me so deeply absorbed that I cared for nothing else. I did love my husband but I couldn’t get myself to excitedly spend the same time with him as I used to. I was too consumed brewing up this new life to realise that I was changing inside out.
When the change began
To begin with, I started putting on a lot of weight in a short span; so much so that even my clothes started feeling burdened carrying me around. Suddenly curling up under a blanket or cuddling with my husband didn’t feel the same as before. I would pass out while watching late night movies together, show disinterest in those spontaneous trips and adventures we used to enjoy together. I was losing my temper at petty triggers.
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It felt like I was cheating by depriving him of the life we had shared before. But I just couldn’t get myself to swim over the fresh wave of emotions pulling me further and further away from him.
We were just hanging on to what was left of the sweet memories when our counsellor arrived impromptu. Even though he hadn’t physically been a witness to our pickle, it was almost as though he could sense our troubles and was demanding an entry into our world. We had to finally allow it.
The very first time we met him, we couldn’t be more surprised at the sight. Though he was wrinkled, he didn’t convince us enough to believe that his world of experience could bring a good change. Our egos came into play. We decided to indulge him nonetheless, just so we could prove to him that we had more to teach.
My husband and I now talked at length prior to every session like never before. We planned various ways to deceive the counsellor by letting him believe that he was exploring our whole world deeply. In reality, we would be cautiously guiding him away from all the alarming limits he tried to approach. We became each other’s safety net, in case there might be a slip at our end in any situation. But somehow, to our annoyance, he always managed to find his way back to the uncomfortable zones; his innocent smile giving us an impression that he was truly ignorant of our intentions.
So we strategised
We realised we had to play him smartly if we were to have it our way. Telling him ‘no’ meant he will definitely probe it further. So we started advising each other on techniques involving a little humour or smile, at times sarcasm and even reverse psychology. We had never realised how well we worked as a team till then! We shared smirks at achievements; we became open to positively discussing ideas than arguing negatively over minor things, which used to consume our energy.
Now that we were a team again, we had to get ahead in the race. We tried to read the counsellor better from his body language rather than words which he sparsely used anyways. We devised ways to divert him even before he might be thinking about manipulating us into something new. The more we focused on how to read him, the more we started understanding each other intuitively. We started supporting each other’s decisions in front of him even though we might disagree in private later, without a fight and by actually listening and understanding where the other person was coming from. Once again we had become great friends and developed a new found and deeper love for each other.
But our counsellor wouldn’t stop at that. As he began understanding our world better, he spoke more. He questioned everything; from the seed of the origins to the colours of life. Sometimes we answered and sometimes we were left with no words to convey. At times we were absorbed in the new realisation his words had added in our life; at times we were disappointed with our ignorance. But our temper never upset him; rather he continued taking interest in us with unconditional care and zero ego. His forgiving nature was truly inspiring, something we probably failed to remember before we grew wiser in our marriage.
Related reading: How ‘I love you’ changed to ‘Take care’
We started remembering the unrestricted happiness we used to share, the thoughts we spoke aloud without judgement or concern of the circumstances, the feeling of abundance with limited choices that made our life less complicated, being forgetful of anything stressful and even the fearless belief in each other for facing the wuthering heights together.
So much learning
My husband and I grew closer with every session with him. In such a short time he had taught us more than any teacher or philosopher could in a lifetime. He got us in touch with our inner child that looked at everything with fresh eyes every single day, something we had long forgotten. And we knew there was so much more to still learn in the coming years.
Who else better to help us get in touch with ourselves than the perfect blend of us?
Our own little toddler was our relationship counsellor.