March 2012 Entries
I watched in dismay as the couple unleashed yet another flurry of verbal attacks on one another, seemingly unaware of their mate’s wincing and wounding. Not that I was surprised at their verbal pokes and sarcastic digs. Both were wounded and expressed their hurt by chiding the other. She felt wounded from an affair he had a year earlier and frequently reminded him of it.
“Are you two ready to put this issue behind you?” I anxiously asked a couple. They had practiced some of the communication tools we had been rehearsing but still seemed quite contentious. “Yes,” Tim and Sondra said in unison, relieved after nearly 20 minutes of bickering over Tim’s recent anger outburst, which had left Sondra hurt and reeling. To Tim’s credit, he had taken responsibility for saying hurtful things and had apologized.
“I try to get away from her,” Dan said anxiously, recalling how angry his wife Deb became at him. “Yeah,” Deb answered during a counseling session. “He does that to provoke me. He knows I want to talk about things and he walks away from me.” Dan shook his head in disagreement. “I’m sure not trying to provoke her,” he said. “I just want to wait until she settles down.”