Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dropping the Defensive Game

by Marriage Counseling Hope on May 2, 2012

Isaac and Rachel, married 16 years, with two teenage children were on the brink of divorce. Tension in the smallest of interactions ruled the day. Financial stresses, the demands of parenting, and disappointment in what each thought marriage would be was about to take them under. Isaac described Rachel as a moving target, someone he could never please – in housework, childcare, or in the bedroom. Rachel described Isaac in more colorful terms. Clearly, he was not someone she wanted to be close with.

Things began to change after the first session when their self-awareness grew as to how they were lobbing off overt and covert ‘screw you’ messages repeatedly throughout the days. Things lightened up a little with this awareness, but they needed deeper change. They made their big turn around when Rachel started to get real with herself and then with Isaac.

She was confronted with the fact that she was talking a big game but never actually delivered, then blamed the lack of delivery on Isaac, especially when it came to sex. Part of Rachel’s issue was the pressure she felt when Isaac would come close – whether in the bedroom or elsewise. She would say how much she liked sex or how much she wanted his attention or energy, but when she felt the pressure of his closeness, she’d balk, AND THEN say that he was boring in bed (ignoring the fact that she had so many rules about what he could or couldn’t do that, in effect, she had defined it as necessarily boring). She wanted to believe so badly that he was the problem, but the same situation kept coming up in several areas of their relationship. After six sessions of this being brought to light, Rachel was ready to confront herself.

She recognized and acknowledged how she avoided this feeling of pressure whenever she felt it and tried to make Isaac responsible for it. She was stunned at how different her world looked when she took responsibility for herself and for her blame game tactics. She was surprised at how dropping her guard wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as she feared. Isaac was more than happy with his wife’s laying down the fight and his positive response was another welcome surprise for her. She grew excited to discover who her husband really was – and what she might truly be capable of in love and life.

Marriage Counselor

Georgia Marriage Counselor

Presented to hide client identifying information by Marriage Friendly Therapist, Miriam Bellamy.  Her blog can be found at

{ 1 comment }

Jennifer May 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm


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