I’ve been seeing Sal and Denise in couples counseling for quite some time. When they started, you could cut the tension with a knife. It seemed every conversation was difficult.
In her fifties, Denise had health issues. She talked about struggling to catch her breath bringing the laundry basket up and down the stairs. Early in their counseling, she would have criticized Sal for not knowing that he should help her.
Now she could share her struggle, making Sal more amenable to helping her. What would have been a critical attack, was now a story of struggle—making it easier for Sal to carry the load.