When Tony and Wendie first met with Dr. Hendrix, he says he felt they were tense about meeting him. "There was a sense that they were not connected," he says.
Dr. Harville's first exercise was to find out how Tony and Wendie describe their dream marriage, using an Imago technique called "mirroring." In this exercise, one partner is supposed to let the other be heard without judgment. "Most of the time, we talk and we don't listen," he says. "When you mirror, you have to sort of quiet your own mind so you can let in what's coming from the other person. Oftentimes, that's a real shock because the person you've been living with you're now listening to. You discover you've been living with somebody you didn't even know."
Tony speaks first in the mirroring exercise. "I want you to be able to tell me everything. I want to be able to tell you everything," he says. "I want to be available for you. Even if I don't know how to fix it , I just want to hear it. I want you to be able to come to me with anything that's on your mind."
When Wendie repeats back what Tony says, he says she has understood his meaning. "Exactly. Beautiful. I'm loving this!" Tony says. "We just never communicated like that before."