Episode 3049: Cris and Christina
When it comes to Cris and Christina’s pet peeves, still waters run deep. She was flabbergasted by his forgetfulness, and he just didn’t get why she wouldn’t do dishes. Communication was their biggest issue by far. They were having explosive fights over housework that involved yelling and finger pointing and big time resentment.
The stakes were high with this couple – after meeting on vacation, Cris had moved from his native Arizona to live with Christina, giving up his job, his family and friends…in essence, almost his entire support system. Which turned out to be even MORE important because I soon learned that Cris needed as much support he could get.
Due to his time in the military, he had experienced multiple head traumas. He had also been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a very serious anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing traumatic events.
Christina knew that Cris had PTSD, but she hadn’t realized that head traumas could also be contributing to his forgetfulness. It changed how she felt about her peeves, but that didn’t let Cris off the hook completely. It was up to him to try to find a way to manage and cope with the side effects. Cognitive tools such as memory bracelets and behaviour modification tips were a huge help to him, and they helped Christina feel that Cris was making a real effort to make her happy. Which, in the long run of a marriage, counts more than clean dishes and a spotless home.