Talk to any couple and chances are you’ll hear the same story. There are plenty of good times, but once in awhile, things go sour.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. The ebb and flow through good and bad periods is natural. When an argument ensues, how can you communicate with your partner to move past the concern and back into a healthy state of happiness? That’s a challenge for most couples.

Relationships are complex. Each person enters the relationship with his or her own set of issues and communication style. And it makes sense. Each family has its own style of communicating during conflict. As a child, you’re surrounded by this communication style during arguments between your family members. You’re raised to believe that it’s a normal way to react. So when your spouse (who likely grew up around a different style of communication) reacts differently, you might feel concerned, worried, and unsure of how to respond.

As a couples therapist, I have seen this a lot. One person might feel like they are being yelled at, while the other person simply believes they’re communicating in a way that’s normal because that’s how his family spoke to each other.

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What is your style when you are feeling angry during an argument? Anger is expressed in countless ways. However, there are three core communication styles when it comes to anger. Understanding these can help you communicate better during an argument and establish a mutual understanding to help you work through the issues and tough times.

Passive-aggressive. 
This style of anger happens when you withhold something from your partner by failing to do what he or she wants. For example, you might be purposely late to date night. Or, you might hold back your thoughts and feelings during an argument. You tend to minimize or deny anger when others express frustration or question your actions. 
This style of anger might seem harmless on the surface, but in actuality, it can be extremely damaging. It prevents straightforward communication and makes it difficult to empathize with your partner.

Cold anger. 
This style of anger happens when you are upset but refuse to talk about the matter at hand. You withdraw from your partner. You might even get secret pleasure out of punishing your partner while making him or her work to get you to respond. 
This kind of anger creates disconnect and can be very difficult because couples may go from hours to days without speaking.

Hostility. 
This is when you often act anger out with a loud, forceful voice. You express disapproval when people or situations do not meet your expectations. 
This style of anger creates more anger, which can escalate and inevitably take on a life of its own.

Knowing your partner’s anger style makes it easier to tame your temper and revitalize your relationship. Once you understand how each person communicates during an argument, the improvement process can begin.

It’s important to identify the differences in how you and your partner express anger. Then, with those differences in mind, try to change your style so that you can avoid escalating issues when they arise. Instead, focus on ways that’ll enable you to quickly reconnect and rekindle the communication with your partner. Doing this isn’t as easy as it might seem.

After having an argument, it is essential that each person tries to communicate with the other within the hour. Give yourself a cooldown period of 30 minutes to one hour, but never let it go beyond that. If it does, you might trigger other, or even deeper issues that haven’t yet been resolved. This should be acknowledged and given adequate time to work through but separate from the current argument.

Once you reconnect after an argument, talk about what happened openly and honestly. Recognize the misunderstanding, create room for compromise, and agree to disagree. Do not hold grudges. Do not contain your feelings or shut down. Do not act out in a way that could create resentment.

Let go of your pride and anger, and give your partner the benefit of the doubt. By doing this, you might be amazed at how much your communications improve and how quickly you get back to having a healthy, happy relationship.

Click Here to access a FREE audio lesson on how to tame your temper and regain your connection

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You talk, and talk, and talk, and… nothing. Why won’t your partner listen? You’re upset and you have a point to make. So why is he/she closed off and unreachable?

You verbally kick, scream, and cry out to be heard and still, it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall. What gives?

Communication is one of the toughest parts of any relationship. If you want to get your partner to listen without raising your voice, here are ten tips to improve your approach.

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1. Speak from an “I” perspective. 
The only person you can speak for is yourself. Describe how you’re feeling and what you want to have happen. Avoid the risk of sounding like you’re judging your partner or making assumptions by keeping your statements centered on your perspective.

 

2. Don’t be vague – stay focused! 
When you expect your partner to read between the lines and inherently understand your feelings, everyone loses. Refine your statements to be clear, concise, and focused on the matter at hand. By being completely clear about your intentions and meanings, you make it easier for your partner to listen to what you’re saying.

 

3. Balance negative points with positive. 
Let’s be honest. No one likes a “Negative Nancy.” Find the silver linings in each situation. Then balance your statements with both positive and negative points.

 

4. Stay on point (without bringing up the past) 
You’ve had disagreements in the past, but those were already (or may still need to be) resolved. Leave them in the past or for another discussion. Keep the conversation focused on the points you want to address now.

 

6. Take ownership. 
It’s rare that fault lies solely on one person’s shoulders. If something is wrong, take ownership for your portion. You’ll take the heat off your partner, making it easier to convey your points and come to a mutual agreement instead of sounding like your blaming and being argumentative.

 

7. Agree to disagree, respectfully 
Understand that you might not always agree and that’s okay. Even if you cannot reach a full agreement, you can still respect the other person’s position on the matter at hand. At least you know you’ve voiced your perspective and opinions, and you were both heard in the process.Click Here to access a FREE audio lesson on how to tame your temper and regain your connection

 

 

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Categories : Divorce and Breakup
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