Leaving Home: Separating From My Family of Origin
My husband and I first met at a lunch meeting several years ago. For months we worked together over the phone on an on-going project. A number of months later he finally asked for my home phone number and, needless to say, I was elated! Soon thereafter we had our first date. We knew right away that our relationship was something very special. We had dated long-distance for a year and a half when he proposed. I am a full proponent of long-distance relationships for a number of reasons, the main one being that both people learn to communicate because your only line to each other during the week requires you to verbally communicate and not just “be together.” I truly think that if we had not built these communication skills we would not been ready to handle the things we had ahead of us (and still do!).
Moving to a New City
His proposal was a surprise and very romantic. He proposed at a time when my family was around because he knew that I would want to share that moment with them. Our engagement went so smoothly until one month prior to our wedding when we found out his job would move us both to a new city. While I knew it was the best thing for him and for us, my panic began. My apple cart had been turned over or, as our preacher told us in premarital counseling, my apple cart had rolled down the road and now I would have a new apple cart.
We moved to our new home the week of our wedding which, in hindsight, was not the best decision. My Mom came with me for the move and his family helped as well. That week sent me into full panic-mode. I hardly ate or slept. While it was good to lose that little extra before the wedding(!), I was a total wreck by the wedding weekend. The craziness and confusion of all that was happening around us was so overwhelming and sent me into a spiral that I can’t even really explain. I questioned everything about just about everything. My Mom and I had endless conversations trying to figure out why I was questioning my feelings about him, our move and whether or not we were doing the right thing in moving and getting married. At no other point in our relationship had I felt such intense uncertainty about him or our situation. We were the best of friends and had a truly wonderful romantic relationship.
Our wedding weekend was beautiful despite the mess I was inside. I finally realized when we got back from our honeymoon what I was feeling. I was paralyzed by the fear of leaving my family of origin and starting my own family with my husband. I have always had a wonderfully special relationship with my parents and brother. While I loved my husband, the thought of our marriage separating me from my family scared me more than anything I had ever experienced. Our move took us four more hours away from my family and set us in the middle of a completely new situation for us both. So, not only was I figuratively separating from my family, I was literally moving much further from them which made the change so much more drastic in my mind at that time.
About a month to six weeks after our wedding, I discovered Sheryl’s book, The Conscious Bride. I think I read it in a two day period with much of it being highlighted upon completion. I first sent Sheryl an email explaining what I had been experiencing. I immediately felt a sense of relief when Sheryl shared with me that these feelings were normal. That reassurance was so comforting! While I would never wish on anyone what I was feeling, it was such a relief to know I was not alone.
The Counseling Sessions
After our initial phone conversation, I decided to participate in the Conscious Weddings counseling sessions via telephone. Sheryl’s comforting nature and wisdom about situations similar to mine helped to walk me through the healing process not only for myself but for my husband and family who were so confused by my actions. Sheryl gave me a number of exercises to assist this process as well. What I found most beneficial, however, was that while Sheryl offered her counseling over the phone, I was tasked with working on the exercises myself once we hung up the phone. This truly forced me to get “real” with myself about what I was experiencing and to realize that this was my struggle with myself and not with my choice in a mate. These exercises will be great companions for me when I experience another rite of passage, such as starting a family or losing a loved one.
It is hard to believe we have just celebrated six months together. The time right after our wedding dealing with the paralyzing fear seemed like it lasted an eternity. Our marriage is healing still but growing stronger everyday. I am so thankful for Sheryl’s guidance and most of all for the love, patience and devotion shown to me by my husband. I am so truly blessed!