Can I handle marriage successfully?
A young lady came in for counseling. She was disturbed and wanted to clear her mind. She was not sure how she could manage a marriage. She had lots of doubts, and not getting answers was leading to a lot of stress.
Unfortunately, her mother was no more. She could not discuss much with her father. She did not quite feel comfortable discussing with friends, since she did not have a close friend. It was then she decided to meet a counselor.
Her fear was…. will she be able to manage her marriage?
This huge commitment that she would take on, what if she ended up a miserable failure? How to even choose the right guy? And added to this was she was taking care of her father. She did not feel right leaving him alone. Her father assured her he was capable, and he could always move into an old age home. She could visit him, he too could visit her.
But she was not convinced.
Basically she was not sure if she had the potential to handle such a huge commitment. This commitment looked huge, unspecified, (no tangible shape) and no time limit. A project has a deadline, team and prescribed norms and steps. And the project is visible. A marriage is without shape. The people in it have to give it a shape, form and pattern.
She had to first believe in herself. She needed to know though the project was huge and lifelong, she had the wherewithal to handle it. She will not be perfect, she will face conflicts and frustrations. But believing in herself will give her the courage to move ahead.
We went through the several assignments she had taken up so far. Her Board examinations, her college examinations, her projects, her on site visits into different countries with different cultures, etc.
Did she ever fail? She said NO.
Did she ever back out saying the assignments were huge and daunting? NO. Did she feel she was ill equipped to handle them? NO. Did she feel stress and have a nervous breakdown? She did have certain amount of stress, but no nervous breakdown.
What about when she visited different countries? Everything would have been different. She said she was excited when asked to visit abroad. She took it on as a challenge, in fact she enjoyed herself and made lots of friends. She is the same person. There has been no past record of her having failed in anything. There were hurdles, but she managed them well.
When her past achievements were written down, her sense of self grew. There was visible body language change. Her answers came fast and with a lot of confidence as the session grew. It was a pleasure watching her bloom. I allowed her to revel in her achievements. I also complimented her on her grooming, her matching accessories and her laugh.
Soon she was relaxed. Then I brought out the subject of marriage. She did tense a little, but she soon realized it was like another project, only for life. And being for life, she had lots of time to make necessary changes where required, there were no deadlines! She had not thought of this angle. And laughed.
Then I took her through essential steps of pre-marital counseling and she started to take notes. She came in for three sessions, totally. At the end of it, she said she felt better equipped to handle marriage. She knew marriage is a gamble, she had her work cut out for her.
She also understood that she and her husband will need to work on the marriage for it to succeed. It would be like she was handed an empty box. She had to fill it with parameters that lead to a happy marriage. The more she puts in initially, the more she can take out later.
She left with a confident smile. And she said she would call me whenever she required counseling. I told her she was welcome.