Stick to one subject at a time
When someone is upset or has an issue it is very important not to bring up another issue. Say for example I am upset because I felt ignored by my spouse. My spouse should not then say well you ignored me last week. My spouse should validate my feelings and then together we can work on ways to stop this issue
We can only control how we respond so use these rules to make you and your spouse better communicate
Here are the secrets to a long happy marriage with great communication skills
No Sarcasm or name calling
Remember that during a fight emotions fade but hurtful words stick. Don’t ever revert to this childish behavior and call your partner a negative name. examples, crazy, stupid ext. Also do not say things to your partner in a condescending tone such as ," Yeah Chicken for dinner that is just what I was hoping for." unless of course you are kidding or already brought home dinner. Being rude to your partner is never a good idea!
Never talk over your partner or say shut-up
Respect what your partner is saying and don’t ever ask them not to speak to you. Chances are if they are repeating themselves you are not listening. Remember to always use active listening and paraphrase back to your partner so that you both can come to an agreement or compromise.
No bringing up past failures
Once you have said that your sorry and made up, the fight is over. Do not bring it up again and again to hurt the other person. Once you forgive someone for something then it is unfair to un-forgive them. “Unless they do the same exact thing again. “
No saying “ Sorry….but.” or “ I love you…..but.”
If you say I’m sorry and then say “but” you are taking back the sorry that you just said. If you are sorry you say what you are sorry for, not why it’s not your fault. Don’t ever say “ I love you” and then say “ but” …..you say …. “I love you and…..” or “ I love you because….”
No generalizing saying “ always” or “ never”
This is a BIG ONE! This is the main reason people fight in circles about the same thing over and over. “ “You never pay attention to me” or “ You always blame me for everything.” These sentences are not only extremely vague, there is no way to answer them. Stick to one topic at a time. If you are mad about the trash not getting taken out, that is the only thing you are going to be mad at, only that one time he or she did not take it out. Do not say “ You never take out the trash” . If the person never took out the trash then what do you expect? When you say always or never it brings resentment that what they have done in the past is now forgotten. If someone is not appreciated they have no motivation to resolve the issue or continue to do whatever was expected.
When speaking use “ I “ not “ you”.
Just as with generalizing when you say “ you did this” Try not to be so accusatory to the person you love. Speak to your partner so they understand why you are asking something or upset. Start with “ I” ….” I would be so happy if you did this”. It will not work with every issue but when you can use it …it works wonders.
“ I am so turned on….when you do the dishes.”
Never speak badly about partner’s family
I have seen this issue in many of my marriage counseling courses. It is rude to disrespect where your partner came from. Don’t ever hurt your partner in this way. When you disrespect them in this way a line has been crossed and then disrespect swarms your relationship.
No saying “ I want to end this” or “ I want a divorce.”
Unless you really are getting a divorce, this is a sentence you cannot take back. This hurts deeply and causes trust issues. Your partner should know that no matter what or what happens you are in it for the log run.
Break the cycle of attacker/ defender
Many times there is one person in the relationship that is yelling after the other person. The person getting yelled at ignores and defends. Do not attack and do not ignore. If you are the attacker soften up use “ I “ and do not generalize and remember that you love this person. If you are a defender, point out when you feel attacked and explain how that makes you feel, don’t give the person you love the silent treatment or leave.. Figure out which one you are if this cycle is in your relationship and make a promise to each other that you won’t do this behavior anymore.
Never disrespect partner at home or in public
Respect is very important in every relationship. Don’t put your partner down. Don’t discount their good qualities. Don’t embarrass them especially in public or make disrespectful comments about them. Not only does everyone around you feel awkward they also feel bad for the person getting put down and feel sorry that they have to be in a relationship with such an awful person. We should be our partners biggest fans, never critical or sarcastic to hurt the other person
Do not fight in public
Sometimes it’s hard to wait, but wait. People may get involved in your argument and that’s no good for anyone. It also makes you both look immature and rude. Never ever fight in front of your children. You may disagree but do not fight.
Do not lie
This is obvious like the boy who cried wolf. If you lie about how much money you spent….what else would you lie about? Trust is important for healthy intimacy and communication. Also never ever lie in the bedroom, don’t say you like something you don’t, only you will suffer.
Do not be passive aggressive
Say what you have to say and why you need to say it. Don’t ever expect a person to read your mind, if they were reading your mind they would probably be doing what you wanted. Be direct and honest with what you want from your partner.
Agree to disagree
You will not always agree with each other…who cares! Sometimes you are going to believe in aliens and your partner is going to believe that they don’t exist. Sometimes your favorite color is blue and your partner’s favorite color is green. We have to know when to agree and when there is a need to compromise . Remember to respect your partner’s right to have an opinion. No one in a relationship that is balanced and happy is always right.
misseliz on March 19, 2014:
I agree, I really hope that putting the rules on the wall will help your relationship like it helped mine. I agree that life is too short to be arguing all the time. I was guilty of constant generalizing and name calling, my husband use to ignore me when we fought. After the rules were up I had to really check the way I spoke to him, and really try to pinpoint why I was mad and only talk about what I was mad about not a million other things! Good Luck!
billys1 from "Somewhere", USA on March 19, 2014:
LOL, yes the key is wanting to work on things in the relationship. Somewhere along the line my wife got the idea that a marriage relationship doesn't need to have work put into it to be successful. Your idea about twriting them down and placing them on the wall with your verbal intention to not to want to argue anymore is a great one. I think I will give it a try. Life is way to short to waste any part of it arguing or in anger.
Elizabeth Tomaszewski (author) from Riverside NJ on March 18, 2014:
Haha, she would have to be willing to want to work out your communication problems. I just wrote them all down and hung them up on the wall and told my husband who was my boyfriend at the time that I don't want to fight anymore so we have to follow these rules. If anyone is caught breaking a rule, then the other person gets a back-rub. My husband was more than willing to use the rules, and we still do to this day...and this was 10 years ago.
billys1 from "Somewhere", USA on March 18, 2014:
Now just how can I go about getting my wife to see and accept these guidelines?
Rebecca on January 27, 2014:
Great Rules. I like the attacker/ defender rule. I seem to be the attacker