Anna said she was unhappy in her marriage—disinterested, disconnected and slightly checked out of her marriage. She said her needs were not being met in the relationship, saying she told her husband Mark what she needed for the past six years, but he wasn’t receptive. She acknowledged her conversations with Mark had improved and were less volatile since starting marriage counseling, but she was still feeling miserable.
Mark talked about losing confidence in his ability to improve the relationship. Anna’s lack of empathy and warmth deflated his confidence. Anna wants him to figure it out, but he’s at a loss.
When Anna asked Mark how he felt about her, Mark said, “Of course I love you.” I suggested not saying “Of course” and asked him to tell her directly how he felt about her. For Mark to be successful, Mark needed to feel uncomfortable sharing his loving feelings. He also needed to take risks by approaching her. Mark needed coaching to meet Anna’s emotional needs after years of emotional neglect. Whether he could accomplish this, is still to be seen.