Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “church

Marriage Counseling

We had our counseling session. It wasn’t so bad. In fact it went pretty well. And just like our first session with my pastor, the fiancé’s pastor called up his mom to talk about how delightful a couple we were and how mature we were.

It’s hard to hear that praise and not think you’re pretty awesome. Just because we’ve already discussed the things they want us to talk about and we have managed to build a pretty solid foundation doesn’t mean we’re exempt from marital problems. But we still feel pretty awesome that our pastors seemed so impressed with us as a couple.

After going through these first couple of sessions, I feel that I’ve learned a bit about us as a couple.

1) We’re teenagers. We both laughed at the exact same moment when we happened upon the phrase “good sex” in our counseling packet. Yup, we’re 13 and a half years old.

2) Pre-marital counseling makes us feel waay better about our relationship. Talking about our foundations, our values, and why we feel we fit well together makes us feel all happy and content. We were in a fight on our way to counseling, yet we left holding hands and singing kumbaya and shit.

3) We have no problem talking out our problems. As long as he can remember not to bullshit me and I can remember not to get angry before we’ve tried discussing things as adults, there’s nothing we can’t work out.

4) We really really wish we could just elope. There’s so many damn steps between now and actually being married. It’d be nice to just be done. After we moved into together, we were living there for a week before we remembered we still weren’t married yet.

5) Maintaining a happy relationship takes work. We can’t let any one part slack. Staying happy doesn’t just happen once you’ve been together for more than 6 months. Feeling like a honeymoon all the time is well and good, but it takes prioritizing the things that matter to you as a couple.

We have date night and that’s awesome. We get “us” time in and it keeps us fresh. It’s like watering a plant, or replacing the batteries in a vibrator or taking down your Christmas decorations before March. A little effort goes a long way in the end result.


Diet My Ass

I had my bridesmaids over last night. These are ladies I’ve been friends with for years, at least a decade with each and two decades with one. We all grew up in the same church, but that has no bearing on how much fun we have together. And between the 132 of us (that’s only a slight exaggeration, my wedding party is huge), we have a huge range of make-up capabilities.

I have a friend who sells Mary Kay, so I had her come over and do a skin care party for my girls. This is the first of three parties. Next is makeup and then finally a color palette especially designed for each of us for the wedding day. It’s the like the grown-up version of playing dress up. But this post isn’t about make-up, it’s about my ladies eating me out of house and home.

When they walked in, they were discussing the importance of fitting into the bridesmaid dresses and being more healthy in general. I had cooked a really delicious dinner for the fiancé, like really delicious. I made chicken drumsticks as if they were hot wings. I deep fried them, then slathered them in a fantastic sauce.

I need to talk about this sauce and why it was so irresistible. It had BBQ sauce, hot sauce, honey, honey mustard, red cider vinegar, and Corona beer. At first, they decided to not gorge on fried food. Three of them shared one drumstick. Then about 3 hours later, there were only 3 drumsticks left.

In between that time, we decided to order spinach pizza. Thin crust pizza with spinach was about as healthy as we could go. I figured since they were all dieting, we’d order a large and there’d be some leftover for me to have lunch the next day. They ate the entire pizza.

I also had a lot of juice in the house. Originally, they were against juice because it has too many calories. But uh…. yeah the juice was all gone when they left too.

My girls are some of my favorite people in the world. And it’s really no trouble to replace everything they ate and drank. But it’s just crazy because I was under the impression they were dieting.

Diet my ass.


Pre-Emptive Marriage Counseling

Why do engaged couples go through counseling before they get married? It’s always mystified me that it’s something that has to be done if you want to get married. Well, it doesn’t have to be done. But the fiancé and I want our pastors to marry us (yes, both of them), so we have to have marriage counseling.

What is marriage counseling when you’re not even married yet? Is it supposed to teach you how to be married? Is it somehow going to magically make all your fights easily resolved and all your love perfectly expressed and all your problems go poof? I doubt it. So what’s the point?

Because we’re crazy people, the fiancé and I have decided to go through marriage counseling with both pastors. They aren’t doing counseling together, so we have to do separate sessions. My pastor is busy and is avoiding phone calls from the fiancé. That means we can’t even schedule with him. Our wedding is in 99 days. I guess we’ll get it done eventually. Maybe sometime next March (which is more than 100 days away…)

His pastor does actually answer the phone, so we’ve got our first session scheduled for next week. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we’re basically there to convince him that we both really love Jesus and we both really love marriage. All this depends on his opinion. I need a Convince Your Pastor You Love Jesus and Marriage for Dummies book.

Worst case scenario is that his pastor thinks we’re totally ill-equipped for marriage and should be marrying anybody but each other. That would suck, but at least there’s my pastor. He thinks we are “the most mature couple” he’s counseled in a while. We’ve only had one session with him (before he stopped taking our calls) and it went really well and he’d definitely marry us if the fiancé’s pastor back out.

I’m just tripping. I know my pastor is busy, he’s not screening us. I do have Guns N’ Roses on standby though. And the fiancé’s pastor is likely to think we’ll make a good married couple too. At least we’ll see, next week.