In our last couples counseling session, Kim shared an incident from many years ago when she told her husband David that she had made him shrimp scampi and David strangely insisted he wanted Campbell’s soup. He ended up throwing a chair and calling her an f’ing c—. David didn’t remember this incident, but at this point in couples counseling, he knows not to deny it—if she remembered it, then it happened. He felt ashamed that he would act so inappropriately and expressed deep remorse for behaving so poorly.
As couples counseling progresses, David rarely behaves inappropriately or makes inappropriate comments. At this point in treatment, Kim needs to go into the archives to process and heal troubling past incidents. These experiences are stored deep in her psyche, and for their relationship to heal, she needs to share these incidents with him. David now knows not to dismiss them as being from the past, or minimize or defend his behaviors. He treated her poorly over the years and is now owning it.
Kim brings in her notebook of past incidents, and David now listens to each one, expressing remorse for mistreating her. Absorbing Kim’s upset and pain over these past incidents creates healing for them.
When Kim first came to couples counseling, she wasn’t sure she could ever forgive him. But now that David is being responsive to his past wrongdoings and currently treating her with respect, there is a real chance she could forgive him.