15 Steps For Couples To Have A Good Argument
Dr. Karen Gail Lewis has generously agreed to share some of her considerable expertise as a marriage and family therapist with the MostMost audience. Times are tough, but that doesn’t mean your relationship needs to be. Thanks Dr. Lewis!
The couple who fights together, stays together, as long as they fight
1. Pick only one topic to discuss at a time. Be specific.
2. Make sure you have your partner’s attention
3. Set a specific time to meet.
4. Set the time to talk between 30-60 minutes.
5. Come prepared; say what you want in no more then 3-4 sentences.
6. Practice how you want to say it.
7. Use I-Statements.
8. Avoid absolutes, i.e.,always, never, & shoulds and have/must/need to.
9. Repeat back what each of you say to make sure you clearly understand.
10. Stay focused on a solution that will help you avoid a similar problem
next time. Do not bring up the past.
11. Do not discuss why something happened. It puts the other on the de
fensive; it keeps you focused backwards, not on the future.
12. Avoid getting emotional. Keep the tone matter-of-fact.
13. Make sure you end with concrete ways to handle the situation this time
and in the future.
14. Make sure you end with a hug and/or a handshake.
15. Remember, you love each other. You are not enemy combatants; you are on
the same team.
Excerpted from my latest book:
Why Don’t You Understand? A Gender Relationship Dictionary
Dr. Karen Gail Lewis, marriage and family therapist (39 years) and author of
numerous books on relationships.
Dr. Karen Gail Lewis