Q&A What Can I Do to Support Him but Also Be Heard?

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We are about 2 years out from our original D-Day and currently finishing EMS Online. I have observed a pattern with my husband that I don’t know how to address. He will be progressing in recovery, showing empathy, using our skills, and then suddenly it seems like he goes into a shame spiral. This happens sometimes when I’m trying to communicate something hurtful he has done or said. He will become very defensive and sees what I’m saying as criticism. For example, if I say “It hurt my feelings when you said ‘_____’ because I thought you were saying I can’t handle this on my own,” he will get triggered and angry and say I’m accusing him, he never said that, it’s wrong of me to assume his motives, etc. He explains his motives but never acknowledges why I was hurt. He will say things like, “I can never be good enough for you,” “I can’t be the person you expect me to be,” “We’re never going to get past this.” This time I tried heartfelt listening and it seemed to work, but as soon as I tried to be heard for my own feelings he went right back to shame. He says he feels no shame and I’m wrong. What can I do to support him but also be heard?



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