A big thanks to Britt from My Little Sunshines for taking over the blog today in the next Perks of Being Married to My Spouse post!
When Kyle and I first met in college, I'm sure one of the first things that came up in our conversation was the dreaded question, "What's your major?" which always seems to be followed up with "Well, what are you going to do with that?". Kyle's undergrad degree is in Psychology (with a minor in Business) and that is a major where you pretty much have to go to grad school to be able to make any sort of money. When I first got to know Kyle, he thought he wanted to go into some aspect of Organizational Psychology and work for big corporations. Luckily, he met and married me ;) My degree is in Family Life and Human Development, and as Kyle learned more about my degree, he learned that my coursework was a lot more interesting to him, and that it played to his strengths. So, when the time came, he decided to apply for Masters of Counseling programs instead of Organizational Psych programs. Kyle's been graduated and licensed for over 2 years now and has worked with a variety of clients, although his emphasis in school was Marriage, Family, and Couple Counseling and that is his favorite clientele. Currently, he runs a parenting program for the state, which utilizes both group and family counseling, and he really enjoys it.
Kyle is a natural counselor, so as I was thinking about what perks to list, a lot of the time I was unable to differentiate between them being perks because of his profession and education, or just his personality traits. Either way, they're great perks, and I am so happy to be married to him.
He is a great listener
Isn't that a must with counselors? ;) But really, I appreciate so much that Kyle will listen to what I have to say, even when I'm being a little crazy. (Especially with these pregnancy hormones -- they are no joke!) He listens and validates my feelings, even when I don't know just why I'm feeling the way I am.
He is kind and empathetic
This was and is a big deal for me, and one of the things that first attracted me to Kyle. He is literally the kindest person I know. (Although don't think he's boring or doesn't appreciate a good joke... He's actually quite hilarious all.the.time.) Kindness is one of the biggest things I look for in any kind of relationship, so I'm glad this is inherent in his personality. He has never raised his voice at me, and tries hard to understand what I'm feeling when we have difficult conversations.
He understands that marriage is work
We have both studied marriage in our respective degrees, and so it's nice to have a partner that has the equal view of the importance of marriage and what it takes to make a marriage work. We've both seen the research and understand the implications. This is not to say that we have a perfect marriage at all. (If you look up lazy in the dictionary, you just might see my name....) But, again, he understands that marriage isn't going to be easy, and he takes the steps, and helps me take the steps, that need to be taken in order to make our marriage not only succeed, but thrive.
One extra perk for me is that since I studied and worked in a similar field, we can talk about shared interests and learn together. I love being able to relate to him and his career, and that he can relate to my interests, too! I feel like I should say one more time that our marriage is not perfect. Marriage is hard, even for people who study what it takes to make a marriage be successful (I bet Amberly would agree!), but it is so nice that at least we have the foundation for a good marriage and that we have the tools to use to build our marriage up, even in the hard times. Even though counseling is not a lucrative career by any means, I'm grateful that Kyle followed his hear and passion in becoming a counselor :)