As a family and couples' therapist, I have the opportunity to work with many women who consider themselves depressed. Often these women see this as a purely personal struggle, believing they have a "chemical imbalance". They often feel burdened and alone, and responsible and/or guilty for their depression.
The start of the 4,532nd season of The Bachelor means my wife has reinstated her ongoing Bachelor viewing parties with some of her female friends. Rather than rolling my eyes and hiding out in my non-existent mancave, I crack a beer and settle in next to her on our couch...because I love my wife, because I'm secure in my masculinity, and -- most importantly -- because I actually enjoy it.
There is no perfect man. And in case you didn't get the memo, you aren't perfect either. The issue is that most of us don't understand relationship maintenance at all or how to care for each other past the first blush of heat. Do you really know how to love a man or are you living in constant conflict?
We'd retain our last names for our respective work purposes, but for family affairs we wanted to be a united front. If he wasn't going to take my last name (because why should either one of our names get special preference?), then we needed another option. For us, merging was the most elegant solution.
Just a few short months ago, my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Like most couples, they have also faced their fair share of challenges during the duration of their marriage, and they relied on each other to get through them. I feel fortunate to have such great role models for my own marriage.