My husband and I weren’t sure that we hated each other enough to qualify for marriage counselling – we’d never thrown anything at each other or even talked about actually separating – but some wonderful friends supported the idea to the point of giving us the money to go, which forced us to stop putting it off and finally make an appointment. Vicky is our marriage counsellor. She’s from the former Yugoslavia and has a heavy accent which leaves me following approximately 10 seconds behind most of the things she says.
Vicky: Do you think that vill verk?
Belle: [10 second translation pause]................Yes.
At the end of our first session Vicky told us that she‘s been married three (I was panicking: “Please don’t say times, please don’t say times!”) decades now, and remembers that the early parenting years were a struggle for her and her husband too. That first session was horrible. We left Vicky’s office with a few homework projects to report on at our next visit and travelled home separately, feeling emotionally battered. Fortunately, our two appointments since have been far less traumatic and far more helpful, perhaps because of books and discussions in between which have helped us to feel more hopeful about our chances of surviving together and therefore more willing to try to make that happen.
It’s quite scary to find that you’re terrible at communicating with someone you speak to every day, but Vicky is comforting and motherly in her guidance. She’s patient with us while we look at her blankly for 10 seconds after each question and get the giggles over the absurdity of our heated arguments about cheese graters. She's gifted at her job and she's insightful and wise and sweet. She is a blessing and a floatie for which I’m very thankful to God (and Kev and Amy).