Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May Prompt 16.3. Discuss your expectations in a relationship./Couples Therapy


How do I not make comparisons about what I want from this marriage and what I had with Danijela? How is it, that I can have achieved so much in regard to my career, and yet I feel like I've lost so much when I make similar comparisons to my marriages.

When Danijela and I married we were both young, naive, and inexperienced in the ways of the world. Everything we knew about life and the world in general had come from our parents, family, friends, and probably most importantly the Catholic Church. I was 20, Danijela had just turned 18 when the day of our marriage came, neither of us had lived anywhere but in our parent's homes, we had known no other loves but that which we shared between us, and our venture into intimacy consisted of no more then holding hands and stolen kisses. As much as we loved each other, we both knew that our marriage would be difficult in those first months, and possibly even years, as I had just entered medical school and we'd already decided she would stay home as both of our mothers had. When Danijela almost immediately became pregnant there was no turning back on that decision and we struggled to make ends meet on the little I made working shifts at the hospital, when not in classes. As difficult as things might have been they only seemed to strengthen what we had between us, and when first Jasna, and then three years later Marko joined our family we couldn't have been happier. We both knew we were living our dream and while times were tough, all we had to do was hold on until I finished medical school...and then the War came.

My marriage to Abby was so different then that of mine to Danijela, we neither one of us had family with us when we exchanged our vows, in fact, Abby didn't even know it was happening until maybe an hour before the ceremony. It wasn't that she didn't want to be married, but, it just seemed like there was always an excuse to delay things, and I know it was because she was afraid, though of what I'm not quite sure. Joe was almost a year old, and I guess I thought if I didn't do something myself it might not ever happen.

It's funny how a piece of paper and a ring, changes things. Even though Abby and I had been living together since shortly after she learned she was pregnant with Joe, suddenly being married seemed to change thingsbetween us. It wasn't anything huge, just little things, not even things you could put your finger on, but you could feel the strain and then came the phone call about my father. I didn't have a choice about going back to Croatia, and as much as I hated leaving Abby and Joe behind, there was no way they could go with me. Looking back on it now, I know there are things I should have dome differently, but, at the time all I could think about was how sick my father was.

Even though I made mistakes in how I handled my father's illness, and being away from my family, the ones Abby made put Joe's life in danger, and it took me time to come to terms with that. So, what do we do now that we've both acknowledged that we both could have handled things differently, more importantly, how do we insure it doesn't happen again? I think the biggest problem Abby and I have always had between us, is that we don't really talk. If we've gained nothing else from this, it's that we need to talk to each other.

As Abby and I get ready to try and rebuild our relationship, I have to tell myself not to set goals for us that are too high, failure can't be an option for us. So, for now we will work at rebuilding the trust between us, making sure that we find time to talk not just about what is happening between us now, but where we see ourselves going, and if we're lucky, one day we'll find it coming naturally, and then I'll know we have finally found our way fully back to each other.

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