Sharon and Bob were feeling distressed about moving. When Sharon vented her stress, Bob thought her irritation was being directed toward him. Bob turned toward the window and stared out to prevent himself from reacting. Now Sharon was angry at him for disconnecting.
This reminded her of when she was dealing with serious health issues and Bob detached. She shared the lingering pain and Bob expressed remorse. In the past, when Bob reacted, he sometimes resorted to name calling and threatening to leave the relationship. He felt guilty about his past responses, especially during such a vulnerable time for Sharon.
He had recently stopped name-calling but knew he needed to restrain the threats as well. Sharon summed up our couples counseling well when she said, “I’m coming here to see my faults and you’re coming here to see your faults.” Sharon was aware that she had work to do as well. They were clearer about what needed to change for a better marriage.