Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


10 Emotional Repairs for Relationship Conflict

posted by Linda Mintle

argueYou are in the middle of a fight. Temperatures are rising and you know this isn’t going well.

How can you bring down the tension and allow reason to prevail?

You make what we call in therapy, an emotional repair.

Couples who do this, stay together. In fact, martial researcher, John Gottman, calls emotional repairs the “life jackets of all romantic partnerships.” An emotional repair can move you from NASTY  to NICE  during a conflict.

Here are 10 emotional repairs that Gottman suggests to use during a conflict. These repairs don’t usually solve the conflict, but they do lower the tension enough for the two of you to have a better dialogue. And that is the point. All couples have conflict, but how they dialogue around the conflict is what matters.

1) Agree to something your partner is saying. Is there one thing that has any merit? If so, agree to that.

2) Ask an open ended question about your partner’s feelings. This signals listening and understanding.

3) Express some type of affection during a conflict.

4) Change the topic to something unrelated or minor. This calms things down for the moment, then return to the argument with a better frame of mind.

5) Agree to make some positive change. Be responsive where you can.

6) Use humor. This usually breaks tension.

7) Talk about your thoughts and feelings regarding the conflict.

8) Take responsibility for your part of the problem. Conflicts are not usually one sided.

9) Communicate empathy and understanding.

10) Talk in terms of the relationship, WE not I.



Previous Posts

The Hope of the Resurrection
It’s Good Friday. Do you sometimes feel as if your life is lived  in a perpetual Good Friday mode? Like the movie, Ground Hog Day, it seems you are replaying the same bad day over and over, fighting despair and struggling. Disease, broken relationships, prodigal children...the landscape looks

posted 7:00:41am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Honey, Do Your Know Where My Glasses Are?
It's a running joke in our house. Where are mom's glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don't think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years. Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis

posted 7:00:14am Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

It's Tax Day But How Is Your Emotional Bank Account Doing?
Yes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don't want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships? An

posted 7:00:26am Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Bully Targets Not Who You Think
A high school sophomore takes two kitchen knives to his school and goes on a stabbing frenzy in the hallway of his high school wounding 22 people. According to his lawyer,  he was well liked and not a loner. The typical bullied pattern of a loner, social awkward teen may not fit this time. Bully

posted 7:00:07am Apr. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Chew on This If You Chew on Gum
When that new flavor of gum hits the grocery store, its tempting. Watermelon sour, triple berry fruit...sounds like dessert in a stick, but what is the skinny on gum chewing? As a mom, I didn't let my kids chew gum, probably because I am not a gum chewer, so we never had gum in the house. But I k

posted 8:05:16am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.