Stop Fighting in 30 Days

Step 5: Learn How to Properly Present Your Gripes

  • Think Before You Speak: Before you say a word, ask yourself, "Will what I intend to say damage my partner?" If your answer is yes, then button it. Anything that damages your partner damages you in the end. From now on, vow to say only what you know will be constructive and lead you toward a resolution.
  • Fight for the Team: Remember, your goal is to arrive at a resolution of your issue, not a demolition of your mate.
  • Abort Discussions if the Temperature Starts to Rise: Since no productive discussion can occur when you both are fuming, postpone the conversation until the dust settles. At a calm time, ask your partner for input on how you can represent your issue without infuriating him or putting him on the defensive.
  • Now that you have these general points under your belt, you are ready to learn my formula for presenting your issues. I want to remind you that my conflict resolution program has been proven effective for more than 90 percent of the couples who use it. A cornerstone of the program is the following formula. Memorize it and use it whenever you discuss any issue that is troubling you. Even though your issues will continue to change, the formula for presenting them should remain the same.

    Formula for Presenting Your Issues

    Let's apply my formula to the following hypothetical scenario:
    Beth rushed home with a bag of Chinese food and a video. Tonight was "date night," and her husband Bob had promised to come home early. At 8 p.m., he still hadn't arrived. Dinner was stone cold and Beth was boiling mad.

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