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Instead she confessed that she felt unimportant to him and was afraid he cared more about his friends than her.This was a bold move on Grace's part, leaving her vulnerable. But Adam's eyes softened immediately, and he offered an unsolicited apology, assuring her that he would try to be more sensitive to her feelings. I've spent 20 years as a marriage counselor, witnessing the profound rewards partners like Grace and Adam reap once they've adjusted their attitudes toward each other.

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He had made it clear that he thought Grace was overreacting and that her expectations were out of line, but Adam needed to know that beliefs like this are highly predictive of divorce.Partners who succeed in their relationships recognize that conflicts are not usually about right or wrong, they're about legitimately different expectations.I told Adam it was important he recognize that Grace's needs at the reception were just as legitimate as his. To Grace, dropping the idea that Adam was wrong would be like letting him off the hook."I'm right; you're wrong." "You never check in with me first." "You ignore me in public." News flash: These ordinary little annoyances are potentially ruinous for 80 percent of couples. Couples therapist Brent Atkinson, Ph D, argues yes, but first you'll have to do the one thing that's hardest for you... " Grace had to check to be sure that she hadn't actually blurted the words out loud.She'd come to this wedding reception as a favor to her husband, Adam, whose friend from high school was getting married. "It's time to face the music." He crept behind his wife and gave her a hug.