You began the conversation with altruistic intentions. The intensity and staccato of your voices signal that you and your partner are approaching a full-blown argument. You don’t want to fling insults and accusations. You just need a time out.

What can you do?

The next time your conversation enters the danger zone—the point where an argument is near—request a time out. For added levity, assign a playful codeword to this break like, “hamburger.” Whatever you do, don’t storm out or abandon your conversation. Requesting a time out is a cue that you love your partner enough to cool down so your anger does not irreparably damage the relationship.

Unfortunately, anger rears its ugly head in every relationship. It is one of those flaws in human nature, borne out of frustration, defensiveness and guilt.

But it can be controlled. This discipline, like any form of discipline, requires work on the part of both partners; and, by using anger control strategies such as this, couples can develop healthy confrontation skills. And if couples need a bit of assistance in controlling anger in their relationships, a bit of guidance in the form of relationship coaching does wonders.

The key is not to let your anger control you, but, through the use of relationship developmental tools, to be in control of your anger. Difficult and confrontational conversations will always exist in a relationship, but anger, yelling and resentment can be eradicated.

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