This explains why the other day was okay after all:
"Conflict is a difference characterized by tension, emotionality, disagreement, and polarization. But that's true only where bonding is broken or lacking. You and I can have a big difference but if we keep the bond, it's not really a conflict. If we break the bond, a small difference can become a huge conflict."
He's tuned in more than I realized. I thought I'd been doing a bangup job of being "strong." But he could tell something was wrong. And it was okay because of our bond.