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

Why is There a War on Christianity?
Every time I turn on the news I hear about some group who is trying to strip God out of the culture. They don't want prayer in school, God on our money, the 10 commandments in court rooms, Christian clubs to meet on college campuses (but Sex Week is fine), manger scenes on lawns, I could go on and o

posted 7:00:44am Apr. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Have You Found Your Soul Mate?
People tell me in therapy that they have or want to find their soulmate.  I'm really not sure what that means. Murray's new book, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead defines  soulmate as your closest friend to whom you are sexually attracted. I like this definition because of the importanc

posted 7:00:17am Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Should You Marry Young?
Friends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young. But is marrying young a good idea? Well, for me it obviously worked. I'm about to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Yes, we ha

posted 7:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

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 »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.