couple kissing in a nature park
Take a step back and let emotions settle during an argument, and try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes, even if you don’t agree with what he’s saying. (Photo: Pexel)

Pay Attention To Your Body
Whether your husband gives you the silent treatment or stomps out during an argument, notice your physical sensations and consciously link them to your emotions. Consciously think to yourself, “My chest tightens when I feel angry”, you can step back a bit see the situation for what it is and understand why you react a certain way. Practice relaxation techniques, so you can learn to control your reactions when they are triggered.

Be Specific About Your Issue
Rather than making generalised statements like “You don’t take me seriously”, be specific about how you feel. For example, if your husband spends more time with his friends than you, say “I feel abandoned when you do your own things without including me”. Rather than presenting it as an overwhelming issue, break down the situation piece by piece.

Remember, This Is Your Point Of View
Remember you’re seeing it through your eyes – and you could have the wrong end of the stick. If you’re in the midst of a fight, admit that this is your interpretation of the facts. This will help defuse the situation. Your partner might be defensive, so acknowledge that you may be mistaken. State your needs: “I want you to spend more time with me doing something together”.

Own Your Reactions
Understanding and accepting your reactions is called “experimental ownership”. It boils down to: The only person who can make you feel, think or behave in any one way is you. When you take ownership of your reactions and why you have them, you will stop blaming those around you.

Listen To Each Other
Resolving problems often leaves you feeling lousy and judged. But you can turn that around by tuning into what your partner is saying. Try to recognise what he must be feeling. Very often, we become sensitive to protect our ego. We get defensive and don’t listen to what the other person is saying. So focus on the objective situation, hear what the other person and go one step further to put yourself in their shoes.

Be Polite
One of the easiest and more important ways to keep your partner engaged and willing to work on a problem is to be polite, whether or not he agrees with you. Thank him for listening. Not only does it maintain a respectful tone, but it will encourage listening again in the future. If he disagrees with your reasons, say, “I can see we don’t agree and we’ll need to discuss and solve this, but thanks for hearing me out”.

Text: Good Health, Bauer Syndication / Additional Reporting: Sylvia Ong

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