Kathy wants to talk to her husband Billy about her stressors and process their relationship issues as needed. Like his family-of-origin, Billy avoids conflict. He never learned the skills to emotionally support and address issues with Kathy. Kathy resents his inability.
I shared with them a story. I was working with a husband who was an experienced Boston detective. When he heard gunshots, he was so confident in his skills and abilities, that he ran towards the action.
It was understandable that Billy would run away from the action based on his experiences. However, we were determined to get him so skilled at supporting Kathy and addressing their issues, that he would run towards her. He took the first step.