Ask Alison – October

Have you ever wondered why couples seem to go round in circles when it comes to arguing? What’s worse, old hurts and wounds seem to rear their ugly heads too. It could be something trivial that triggered the argument yet out comes a torrent of emotion and wild accusations.

So what can you do to actively bring about a resolution to future disputes? Here’s 5 action points you could try…

1.Take a deep breath. Speak only when you can manage your emotions. This doesn’t mean you can’t speak without emotion. Rather you control them as opposed to the other way around!

2.Think what you really want to say. What is the real issue? E.G. Is it that he’s left the loo seat up again or that you feel under valued?

3.Own your own feelings. Don’t blame or accuse. Remember no one makes you feel anything, you choose how you respond.

4.Try the Indian talking stick strategy. Only the person holding the stick (this can be real or imaginary) can speak. After explaining your argument, ask your partner to repeat what he understands about your complaint. If there are elements he doesn’t seem to grasp, explain again and ask him to share his understanding until you feel he has got it. Once this occurs, step five may not even be necessary!

5.Together work out a strategy to solve the problem. This may mean you need him to explain his position and then repeat your understanding to him.

All the best girls. Let me know how you get on!

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