How You Feel Matters
It's hard to understand marital conflict. It's frightening and has a momentum of its own.
People who are normally very conscious and reasonable most of the time suddenly have an irrational view of their partner. Yet, they think that they are completely rational in their view.
So that's a very tough situation. I'd say becoming a skillful marital therapist is one of the toughest accomplishments for a therapist.
The stereotype of a troubled marriage is of the two parties pointing at each other saying, "You're just 'a-this' and you're just 'a-that.'" Statements filled with ideas that may have a grain of truth but are not accurate.
Probably the basis of pointing the finger and saying "you" statements instead of "me" statements is that when someone is in distress and unhappy it is easier to distract one's self by imagining bad things about the other person or "scapegoating" them, which of course hurts them, makes them angry and they will "scapegoat" back.
This "war" aspect of a marital conflict is challenging because it can become a vicious cycle.
I've found that it's best to invite the two members of the marriage to take a risk — to instead of saying something about the other person — talk about your own feelings. One is on thin ice when talking about someone else. When we talk about ourselves we might know more. And, in particular, when we talk about our feelings we can be pretty accurate.