Dr. Sue Johnson’s third demon dialogue she calls “Freeze and Flee.” It usually happens after the Protest Polka has been going on a very long time. With the couple I described in my last post freeze and flee happened when the wife became more involved in her church. Her husband would have nothing to do with her church. He buried himself in his work often staying longer than necessary. Both of them seemed to have given up any hope of connection. Their daughters were graduating high school.
It was at this point the couple came to me for counseling. The wife was very angry. The husband disliked her intensely and wanted to get away. He had lost his sense of humor and shut down. Counseling became focused on how to get through the hurt and rebuild confidence and hope.
Eight years have passed and neither of them has gotten involved in another serious relationship. Both seem happy to have ended a relationship that kept them feeling alone and deeply disappointed. Could they have learned to communicate differently?