I was working with a couple in their bedroom. They were kind to me and each other. Until I asked them about the large rug that their bed sat on. He said it was passed down to him from his family. She said she didn't like it and accused him of putting his family first before her. They started yelling at each other. They were saying personal things that were accusatory and vicious. It got down to the basics when she said he never supported her in what she wanted to do. He said she never felt he was good enough. The words and tone they used were so violent it felt like they were hitting each other in the gut at full swing. I tried to get them to stop, but they wouldn't.
As a side note, they had rabbits that ran loose around their condo. They had concrete floors which made it easy to clean up the rabbit's mess. During their argument, one of the rabbits ran under the bed. I stuck my head under the bed and was hit with an intense odor. The rug, the source of the spark of the argument, was soaked entirely in rabbit pee. It was also covered with hundreds of rabbit poops. I quickly stood back up.
I stood between the couple and yelled for them to stop the fighting. They did. They were filled with adrenalin and fury, and at the same time looked emotionally spent and damaged. I said, "You can't talk like this to each other. You are tearing holes in each others hearts as well as your own and it's not making you feel better. It makes you feel worse and it moves you farther away from each other which makes any kind of satisfactory communication impossible. You're not going to get heard. You're both hurting. You want the pain in your hearts to stop. You want to feel good. This violence towards each other won't ever make you feel good. You've been so caught up in hating each other that you don't realize you are sleeping over filth. The carpet under your bed is filled with rabbit piss and shit. That's what things have come to. This violent hatred isn't serving you, and this is proof."
The haze and stupor from the arguing cleared. They got down and looked under the bed. They couldn't believe it had gotten that bad and they hadn't noticed. They looked at each other and didn't say anything. There was an embarrassment and on some level, a connection. They agreed the rug was beyond saving. They lifted the bed and I pulled out the rug. I cut it up and put the pieces in garbage bags and brought it outside to the trash cans. When I got back, they were mopping the floor under the bed. They were silent. Their sense of awareness was wide open. Seeing the clutter in your life for what it is, is sobering and grounding. I could tell it was hard for them. It also might make a difference in how they treat their relationship in the future.