Your question is not dumb at all. It’s an excellent question clearly framed.
What I’ve learned from M2 during my thirty years with her. All conversations directed at your partners behavior have a temporal (past, present, future) component. For example:
1. You (are not a very good partner) because you did or did not do xyz in the past. I call this style: you suck because
2. The present - I break these into two buckets,
a) security related such as the real example of: (sharp voice) Babe, step back (from the giant possum) that just crawled out of the wood pile we were moving. Followed by (disapproving voice): Rabies
b) emotionally sensitive topics: I want to talk about this emotionally loaded topic now
3. It would be nice if: For example... It would be nice if we got to a place where we could discuss X or Y or Z, when it’s just the two of us.
All that said, M2 has mastered a remarkable economy of speech. She is easily able to clearly express her point in a sub thirty second sound bite. I have discovered ‘the joy of brevity’ when you are on the receiving end of a: personal improvement plan (PIP) request. Brevity plus future tense can be very powerful.
Past tense comes dangerously ****ing close to asking someone to apologize for who they are.
Future tense - framed properly - is asking someone you love to try to take an intentional step towards you and deeper into the marriage.
Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
So seriously dumb question here. When undergoing MC, and you start thinking about things that were brought up and you want to talk about them later, or more accurately, expand on them, move the conversation along... but it's a source of pain... better to wait until the next session? I feel that she feels, heck, even I feel, "safe" in our counseling sessions, bringing painful stuff up. But it's kind of strange keeping things bottled up until the next time.
The very act of engaging a MC would seem to be partly about establishing safety for the painful stuff. So does it go against the grain, perhaps even negate the benefit of MC when you have that painful conversation separately, with your husband or wife?