5. Find Opportunities for Agreement
When you seek opportunities for agreement and express yourself accordingly, you are showing that you see your spouse’s viewpoint as valid and that you care about them.
An alliance in conflict, even minor, can fundamentally shift how couples fight.
6. Empathize and Apologize
And, if your partner is upset with something you said or did, simply apologize. If you can find a moment during the conflict to say “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. That makes me sad,” you will provide a positive and empathetic interaction that reinforces your bond.
7. Accept Your Partner’s Perspective
While you may not agree with your partner’s perspective, letting them know that their perspective makes sense will show them that you respect them.
One of the best ways to do this is to summarize your spouse’s experience during a conflict, even if you disagree. Remember that validation doesn’t mean agreement, but it does signal respect.
8. Make Jokes
However, a word of caution: remember to find a way to joke around that maintains respect and appreciation for your spouse and that serves to bring you both closer together.
Test Your Ratio
If not, take it upon yourself to create more positive interactions in your relationship, and also try to notice the small moments of positivity that currently exist there, and that you may have been missing.
As Dr. Gottman’s research has revealed, the more positive actions and feelings you can create in your marriage, the happier and more stable your marriage will be.
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