How to Stop Arguments and Make Them Into Discussions – Part 3 of 3 (second part) Dr. Marty – Marriage Counselor Be sensitive to the emotions of your partner
This idea in this blog post is a big part of what I focus on during marriage counseling. It is so important that I am dedicating this entire discussion to the relationship between emotions, and getting stuck in an argument.
Insights from Couples Counseling
Arguments are not entirely about what they seem to be. They are really about emotions. Below are things that can be done to be sensitive to a partner’s feelings, and stop a discussion from becoming an argument.
As a Marriage Counselor, during couples counseling I ask couples to practice doing three things:
- To see their partner’s point of view.
- To talk to they partner in way that shows respect.
- To make their partner feel that they are cared about even though there is a disagreement.
Discussion about these three things:
1. To see your partner’s point of view.
You may not agree with your partner’s point view, but for a good discussion it is important that the other person feels like you see their perspective, that it isn’t stupid, and it does have value. There is a big difference between understanding, and agreeing with, another person.
2. To respect them.
It is not possible to have a strong relationship unless there is respect. The time that feeling is tested the most is when there is a difference of opinion or of priorities.
3. To make your partner feel that they are cared about, even though there is a disagreement.
When you are tempted to “really get into it,” stop and think about what specialness your partner brings into your life. You may not be able to do that in the moment, but somewhere along the line, it is important to remember why you want to be with that person and what they add to your life. If you can’t do that, run don’t walk to your nearest marriage counselor (if you’re not married, run don’t walk to your nearest couple’s counselor); that is a better place to make a stop at than a divorce attorney’s office (or breaking up with your partner).
Marriage Counseling Tip #1 : There are no winners in an argument. Both people must feel some level of comfort with the outcome of a difference of opinion.
Marriage Counseling Tip #2 : Learning to listen is much healthier for a relationship than trying to convince your partner.
If you would like to learn some of the techniques that I use during my marriage counseling sessions you might want to read my Relationship Rescue Manual
Good book written by a Marriage Counselor – You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married – Brett Williams