Marianne has an issue with how Doug sometimes talks. He can be crude and occasionally offensive. He works in a prison where language can be life-saving. He described being alone with a prisoner in an enclosed space and described how his language and demeanor could make the difference between being attacked or being safe. Unfortunately, he brings some of this language home.
When Marianne reacts to Doug’s off-putting comments or attempted jokes, Doug says “You don’t think I’m funny anymore.” or “It’s just a joke.” Both of these responses are defensive, so Marianne doesn’t feel heard. She brought this issue up in couples counseling since it was eroding their relationship.
I talked with Doug about being responsive to Marianne’s concerns, otherwise, he was putting his marriage at risk. He talked about working on not bringing his work demeanor and language home. He was finally hearing how Marianne needed him to keep his guy talk at work.