We've been to see our therapist for a couple of joint sessions, and the really surprising thing is that it's helped us to see how good our relationship is, how our occasional fights really are occasional, and how most of the time, each of us feels great respect for the other and wants to look out for the other. In fact, I was thinking that much of the substance of our next meeting would be devoted to receiving instruction in meditation and mindfulness. I was thinking that until yesterday afternoon, when my wife called me to report that she'd been laid off.
It wasn't a total shock; there had been pretty painful warning signs over the last month, but it still made me want to inflict some sort of awful harm on the people responsible. Fortunately, we'll be fine in terms of finances and health insurance coverage. Some of my wife's colleagues will have a much harder time.
So we may end up spending some time with the therapist trying to sort this out. But it has been somehow comforting to notice how strongly each of us empathizes with the other, how deeply each of us feels the other's hurt, even though research suggests that this kind of empathy is less important to a relationship than our ability to genuinely share our partner's joy.