I totally feel you OP! So my advice is a little odd but it’s what works for us! Darling Husband and I used to have problems all the time with communication, and the way we would both handle it. My biggest issue was that Darling Husband would leave when he got angry enough, and I was always terrified that he just wouldn’t come back (He always did). His biggest issue was that I would just shut down when I got angry enough, and he was worried that I was just bottling everything up inside and never solving anything with him (Spoiler alert: I was lol) We never did counseling, but we sort of both reached the point one night where we were both sat on the couch after I had shut down and he had left and come back, where I finally said “Look we can’t do this forever, something has got to give or you and I both know this will never work.” So we grabbed some paper and wrote out our Rules for Disagreements.
1. No name calling. We never do this, but it still mattered to me to have it written down.
2. No leaving the property. He could go and sit out in the car if he wanted, or leave to another room to cool off, but he was not allowed to leave the property, and he could only separate himself for fifteen minutes or less.
3. When one of us leaves, the other is not allowed to follow/disturb them until they are ready, or until fifteen minutes has elapsed. This was because I used to chase him, and it only made him more mad because he never got a chance to actually recover from the fight before coming back to it.
4. No yelling. We both say that we never yell, and we both say that the other always raises their voice first lol. So this rule lets us gently say “I feel like you’re breaking rule number four” If one of us raises their voice.
5. No shutting down. I am allowed to separate myself as well, for up to fifteen minutes, but after that I HAVE to come back and actually talk about our issue, and actually work it out.
6. No threatening divorce unless we really mean it. Again, we never have this problem but it felt important to have it written down.
And let me tell you, once we started adhering to the rules, and calling each other out on it when we broke them, our fights got a lot more civil, and a lot more productive. It actually feels like we disagree like grown ups now, instead of toddlers throwing tantrums. I know it sounds weird to make a list of rules, but it really helped us to have it tangible and written down, so we could always refer back to them. We are so much closer and more in tune with each other now BECAUSE of that rough patch, so ultimately I am pretty thankful that we reached our breaking point and actually did something about it instead of actually breaking. The most challenging thing about this method was really holding ourselves accountable to actually following the rules, and admitting and apologizing when we broke them, until the rules became law. But once we both saw that we were both committed to making this work, it really made the desire to actually work out our issues so so much stronger, knowing your partner is all in. I wish you and your partner the best of luck OP 🙂