Dr. Laura Louis has over 10 years of experience in helping distant couples heal after infidelity by building trust, cultivating intimacy, and enhancing communication. Her therapeutic approach has been influenced through worldwide training in Brazil, Mexico, London, and Haiti.
She has conducted hundreds of seminars transforming relationships all over the world. She is affectionately called the Marriage Architect. Her book, Marital Peace, is a valuable resource intended to support couples through the challenges of marriage.
Highlights below on our radio interview on how to fight fair, 3 strategies to end an argument.
Is conflict always a bad thing in a relationship?
Conflict creates awareness, but it has to be dealt with in an effective way. It can help the relationship.
What happens if one person wants to shut down and not talk about it?
People shut down for different reasons.
Sometimes they feel flooded. Their heart is racing. If so, it’s not a good time to talk. So, do take a break to avoid saying things you don’t mean.
Ask the person that is flooded to take a break. Acknowledge they’re starting to feel flooded. “Would it be okay to take a break?” Come back within about twenty minutes. They will calm down if they’re practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
Women are relational, so they may talk things out with their friends and family. A man is less likely to do that, as it’s still considered taboo.
In the book Marital Peace, you discuss unrealistic expectations. How do you think unrealistic expectations cause conflict between couples?
Unrealistic expectations set each person up for disappointment. We often look to our mates to make us happy, and blame them for not making us happy. We have to come to the relationship complete and whole.
Understand some of the core issues you already bring to the relationship. Let’s say all of your relationships ended because of something that’s a consistent problem, like substance abuse. Have the awareness, and now develop insight about these issues.
What is the best way to resolve conflict with your partner?
Use “I” statements. “I feel disappointed when I see dishes in the kitchen sink (keep it to one issue).”
In chapter 7, you write about how to communicate to be heard, what are some ways that couples can do this?
Acknowledge what’s happened. When a person admits that they were responsible, they show their willingness to change, and the other person feels validated. Don’t use words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, which triggers defensiveness.
What are the 3 proven strategies to end an argument?
1. Acknowledge what you’ve said or done to cause the conflict, and agree to change.
2. Be clear about the boundaries in your relationship (not bringing up the past, or getting off the subject at hand).
3. Avoid the four horsemen. Stonewalling, defensiveness, criticism, contempt.
To listen to the entire episode, click here.
Subscribe so you never miss another show here on iTunes.
This post was originally published on LastFirstDate.com and is republished here with permission.
RSVP to join weekly calls on Love, Sex & Relationships
Photo credit: Getty Images