Hit it when it's hot--don't let it brew
It's important to let your loved one know as soon as you can when a problem starts bothering you. The more you let the issue stew inside of you, the angrier that you will get. When you DO decide to talk about something you've kept inside, you tend to blow up and be really unfair to your loved one. A good guideline for ensuring that you can address the topic fairly is to not argue about anything that occurred 48 hours ago or earlier. Address the issue as soon as you can, and you stand the best chance of resolving the problem. If your loved one won't talk to you about the issue, you should request that they set some time aside in the next 24 hours to talk about it. If therelationship is important enough, they will understand and usually will be glad you brought up the issue before it became too big of a problem.
Do not bring up matters from the past
When you get into a fight with a loved one, do your best to not drag matters from the past into the argument. If you can stick to the topic of what your disagreeing about, feelings are less likely to be hurt and more problems won't arise. Any problems that you had with the person in the past are prologue when it comes to discussing an issue. Bringing them up will only put your loved one in a defensive mode, clouding the argument.
Do not be distracted
When talking about an issue that needs to be discussed, be sure that there are no distractions in the background to interfere with the mood. Be sure to not only listen to what your loved one has to say, but also be sure to note their body language. This way, you can both understand each others intentions more clearly and will be able to solve the problem more effectively.
One strategy that many couples tend to employ to help ease bad blood is to hold both hands while discussing the problem. This warm setting encourages comfort in both parties, ensuring that you aren't out to hurt each others feelings. Here are tips on how to communicate effectively in your marriage.
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