In a couples counseling session, the husband said, “I’d feel more positive if I didn’t need to put my armor on.” I was struck by his statement. This husband couldn’t be himself, and certainly couldn’t be vulnerable, when he was constantly on guard.
My work is to mitigate couples attacking one another. This husband’s quote clarified the salience of doing so. Individuals want to be themselves in their relationship. Being on high alert for being attacked is no way to live. In this couple, each of them needed to minimize their attacks in order to make it safe again to be oneself.