24 Dec Marriage, communication, and arguments (part 1)

Arguments are positive for relationships.

It’s how we argue that counts. Marriages and relationships get stronger when the people in them know how to “argue” well.

For partners  wondering how to argue in constructive way, I’ve complied 7 basic rules that are a great place to start. You’ll find the first three in this blog, and the following four in next weeks blog.

Rule # 1: Don’t attempt to address an issue until you’re both ready.

Sounds obvious, but couples often make this mistake. Don’t be ironing, cooking dinner, or performing other tasks. Don’t be tired, sick, drunk, or hungry. Don’t be distracted.

If an issue is important enough to be “an issue”, set a place and time where you are both able to focus on each other and truly concentrate on what’s being said.

Rule # 2: Don’t start the conversation in a negative way.

Dr John Gottman’s marriage research tells us that when couples start discussing their issue with a complaint, a criticism, or in a harsh manner, the discussion is already destined to fail.

When you have an issue to discuss with your partner, use language that’s not inflammatory, and preface what you plan to say within a positive framework.

Rule # 3: Be in an “adult” frame of mind.

You are an adult. Relationships are adult things. Think of the issue as a challenge for you both to share and resolve in an adult way. Don’t be invested in defending your own position or getting a “win”.

Be collaborative. Be prepared to compromise, and be prepared to lose (that’s both of you)! In a healthy relationship, the ledger will balance itself out over time.

Want to learn more about how arguments can be positive for marriages and relationships? Check out Part 2 of this article in next weeks blog.

Or contact Pamela here, and let’s talk about how to get you and your partner “arguing” better. It’s essential work for all couples who really want a relationship that thrives.