In our last couples counseling session, April shared a number of incidents with which she took issue. In the first incident, April felt Tim was lecturing her on the right way to fold towels. In the second incident, she felt Tim snapped at her when she asked if friends were bringing their kids to a basketball game. And lastly, she felt Tim was condescending at the mall, when she noticed a new store, and Tim insisted that the store had always been there.
These were the types of incidents that April dealt with throughout their relationship, and she was becoming less tolerant. In couples counseling, we addressed each incident separately. I pointed out how Tim’s statements were problematic—regardless of his intention. I also coached him how to respond effectively, so that he was taking responsibility for his misstatements.
This couple was ineffective changing these behaviors on their own. In this case, Tim actually needed the coaching of a couples therapist to preserve their marriage.