Lee and Maura talked about an incident over the weekend in couples counseling, and the conversation totally shut down. I encouraged them to continue the conversation, and it went like this.
Lee wanted Maura to attend his monthly game night with friends, but Maura didn’t want to be out until midnight. Lee didn’t buy it since she occasionally went out with friends until midnight. Lee shared that he was in his element at game night and wanted Maura to share in that experience. Maura shared that she’s anxious about appearing stupid, for example, not understanding the rules of the game. Lee asked how he could support her, and she said, “Rather than fixing it, I just need a hug.” Despite Maura’s not appearing approachable in her anxious moments, Lee said, “That’s easy.” Then Lee gave her a warm hug in the counseling session.
When the conversation initially shut down, the lack of dialogue created a disconnection in their relationship. Instead, they allowed themselves to be vulnerable and had an intimate conversation.