Tom was quiet at home. Donna perceived his being quiet as him thinking that he was better than her. When she brought this up at home, Tom reacted and said that was a dumb statement.
We talked about this incident in our next couples counseling session. I told Tom that if he didn’t think he was better than her, he needed to let her know. He’s in the best position to realize if this is accurate. Before saying anything else, he needed to correct the perception.
Later in the session, Donna told Tom that he was angry. But rather than reacting incredulously, he now knew to correct her perception. Instead, he said to her, “I’m not aware of feeling angry.”