You’re Staring

Rob and Kaitlyn were pleased they addressed a trust issue since our last meeting. Rob told Kaitlyn that she was staring at one of his friends, but she initially got defensive and denied this. When they talked about this later, instead Kaitlyn said, “I was not aware of doing this.”

Despite their history of indiscretions, Rob was clear that that he was not accusing Kaitlyn of infidelity. He waited hours before deciding to say anything and just wanted to point it out. In this case he said, “You seem to be staring at my friend”—which is feedback.  In the past he would have said, “You are staring at my friend”—which is accusatory and likely to put Kaitlyn on the defensive.

Kaitlyn wants Rob to say something if he’s uncomfortable in the future. This allows her to work on a problem in the relationship about which she isn’t aware. We talked about the difference between noticing and looking at someone versus staring or gawking at someone—the latter creating discomfort for Rob.

This interaction demonstrated a stronger degree of trust as they were working on trust issues originating from earlier indiscretions. Now there was more safety in the relationship to talk about their needs. Kaitlyn talked about needing to be complimented more frequently, which created more confidence in their relationship. Rob said, “Everything I need is here” indicating that Kaitlyn was meeting his needs.

Rob thought Kaitlyn needed someone’s full attention, so if she wasn’t getting it fully from him, she would look elsewhere. Kaitlyn was pleased she was getting more attention from Rob and would let him know if she wasn’t getting enough. Trust was being restored.