She told me that when she let her husband read her pieces, she often found that she had misinterpreted his position. "I always assumed that Matt was seeing the issue the same way I was," she said. "But he'd say 'I don’t think like that,' and it would come as a big shock to know that he thought different than me, and that he expresses himself differently than I do."
She told me this back before Jonathan and I moved in together, and at the time I thought it was a fairly simpleminded comment. A 'big shock'? Of course he thinks differently, communicates differently—you're not conjoined twins.
And wouldn't chronic fighting stem from something more complex, more insidious, than the immutable fact that the two halves of a couple, by definition, occupy separate brains and bodies?
Not too long after that interview, those boxes entered my life.
And it wasn't too long after my chuck-them-in-the-East River comment that Jonathan and I went to the first of three marriage education courses. This class was called "Relationship Enhancement," and it consisted of two days in a shabby, overheated basement office in Bethesda, Maryland with three other couples and two sweet, grandmotherly facilitators who taught us communication skills, specifically empathic listening.