Attacking Vulnerabilities

John & Dana disconnected over the years. In our marriage counseling session, John shared that he was seeing a therapist individually for years. Dana was taken back since she was hearing this for the first time. John said, “I used to share personal things with you, but in some later fight, you’d bring them up to hurt me, so I stopped sharing.”

John talked about all the ways he stopped sharing. He no longer talked about his difficult family history, work, finances, sharing about his day or talking about the relationship. He thought not disclosing his individual counseling was small compared to the larger themes about which he had stopped talking.

Dana didn’t have an issue with John going to therapy—she supported and respected his wanting to improve himself. However, John’s not sharing his individual counseling symbolized how disconnected they were.

John said he was now feeling safer to share this information as long as Dana didn’t use the information to attack him. Dana assured John she would no longer use vulnerable information to hurt him. It’s important to remember that shared vulnerabilities are gifts given in trusting relationships, but are fragile and can be broken if treated carelessly.