A husband noticed that his wife talked about their relationship in the past tense and this panicked him. He had a reason to be concerned. Conflict and disconnection had eroded their relationship over their years. His wife wasn’t saying directly that she was planning on leaving him, but the tense of language indicated that she was thinking this way.
The husband was savvy picking up on this subtle distinction. This gave him an opportunity to talk with his wife about the status of their relationship, discuss what she needed from him, and what he needed to do differently to restore his marriage.