A marriage can be destroyed by a couple’s inner monsters. An excerpt from psychologist Ginette Paris’s Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth psychology after neuroscience, shows us how inner monsters wage war:
When my wife is angry with me, she says nothing. Her face is blank. She goes about her daily chores with a subterranean coldness, waging a silent, undeclared war. Looking at her, one might think that she looks like someone watching TV, or thinking about something. I know she is brooding, emitting particles of hostility like those micro-bubbles of water from the humidifier. I breathe in each one of these particles of resentment and they infect me. There is no wall, no door, no headphones that will protect me against these moods. Sooner or later, I appear like the attacker, because I will bang a door, snap at her, or become agitated, trying to release the vice-like grip around my heart. I am the one who appears to be hostile, but my feeling is that I am defending myself against a coldness that is death-like, disproportionate, monstrous, and dangerous for me.
This man asked his wife, as a last resort, to go into couple therapy. She agreed to a consultation and at the second session was willing to invite her resenting monster to come center stage, to appear in the room. She named it: “I know you, brooding monster. You are my silent anger.” She had a question for the monster. “Why do you want to destroy my marriage?” The conversation with the monster was a revelation for her. Later on, the husband discovered an interesting monster of his own. “I know you, you big flattening machine. You are my inferiority feeling. I know you are there in the shadow, giving me angry prompts when I feel unseen.” pp.71-72
In the case above, both parties were willing to look at their inner monsters. That takes courage and willingness. You may know your wife’s inner monster so well that you can describe it to her in great detail. Know that doing so can make the monster more monstrous. Better to know your own inner monster as that is the only monster you can transform.