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Couple Smiling at Each Other

A Conversation Turns Into An Argument

One pattern that plays out in many marriages goes like this: A conversation turns into an argument. One partner tries to stop the argument by retreating, sometimes to another room. The other partner pursues and insists on continuing the argument. Eventually the first partner erupts in anger and says things s/he later regrets.

Why does this keep happening? Often the partner who wants to retreat is feeling overwhelmed and needs a time out to cool down and collect his/her thoughts. The one who pursues often does so out of an anxious concern that if the issue isn’t resolved now it never will be. This may be a valid concern due to the second partners reluctance to discuss it at a later time. Unfortunately, the issue doesn’t get resolved this way.

So what is the solution? For some couples it is to make an agreement before such events occur. The retreating partner agrees to resume the discussion after a specified interval. The pursuing partner agrees to let the other have the time out, knowing the topic will not be permanently dropped. Then both must keep to their word.

If you would like help with resolving your conflicts more effectively, give me a call at 206-878-9098, and we an make an appointment.

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