Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life and what matters is how we discuss and solve them. Seek to understand the feelings behind the emotion and seek to understand your partners view. Validate and show empathy as opposed to reacting or responding negatively. This also gives you time to think and process what is being said and ensures your response is more considered. You may not agree but you’ll have approached the issue constructively.
The following strategy from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:
3. “Validation”: Validate your partners emotions by looking at the situation from his or her viewpoint. Often, simply empathising is enough. You don’t have to solve the problem. Validation foils criticism, contempt and defensiveness. Validate by taking responsibility for your words and actions, and by apologising when you are at fault.
More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com
Consider the Better Marriages, Australia Conference in Sydney 7-8 September 2013 at the Newport Mirage, details on the website at: Better Marriages, Australia Conference 2013