While the emotional hurt is very much in present time, it is often intensified because there is activation of a much older, deeper, core wound. Each partner is guided to help understand their core wounding as well as their personal lens/filter through which they interpret their current life experiences. From this work we begin to understand how every external challenging event becomes the doorway for deep internal work, offering the potential of moving into more authentic being. As each person becomes aware of their individual and their partners deepest hurts, as well as how they get surfaced through the present relationship, the current fight, trigger, or activation becomes less about a negative experience within the relationship, and more of an offering. Both partners become supporters of each other's individual healing, while the relationship also evolves into deeper connection, authentic communication, witnessing and seeing the other, and new levels of intimacy, vulnerability, security, and trust. 
It is my understanding that when relationships are good we get the much needed love, safety, connection, and vulnerability; and when they are immensely painful, underneath there is an offering, equally if not more powerful and profound.  
I strongly believe those closest to us can become our greatest teachers and healers, reflecting back both our shadow and light.