Many couples get into trouble because they only superficially listen to each other. They don't express their heartfelt feelings or thoughts. This builds a repertoire of experience. After a period of time, they think they can begin to read each others thoughts and actions, and will fill in gaps with assumptions based on their past experience. The financial statement "past experience is the best predictor of future performance," is very applicable to relationships. We need to ask ourselves "what kind of experience am I giving my spouse?"
If the couple is relationally in trouble, they expect the worst from each other, because that is what was experienced in the past. We can all fall into this dilemma. In order to have a different future we need to provide a different experience now. Too often we wait for the other person to make a change, however, as Christians we need to take the plank out of our own eye before the other person can take the splinter out of their eye.