In one of our sessions, Cynthia was upset with how unremorseful she feels her husband is. Her husband committed adultery and incurred lots of debts. In addition, Cynthia never felt her husband respects and values her as his wife. So, in every conversation she’ll have with him, Cynthia only continued to experience deep pain and annoyance.
Cynthia was going through “flooding.” When flooding occurs, she feels so overwhelmed by her husband’s negativity and her own reactions. She’s simply experiencing “systems overload,” swamped by distress and upset.
A worst consequence of chronic flooding is, one may become extremely hostile, defensive, withdrawn, or defensive. Constructive discussion then becomes impossible due to out of control distance and isolation cascade.