If you want your marriage to be happy, you have to learn how to fight with your mate… the right way. Dr. Susan Heitler says the happiest marriage isn’t the one in which the couple never fights… it’s the one in which conflict is resolved fairly and without malice. The doc says that decades ago marriage was easier because the roles were more defined: the husband was the breadwinner and the wife was unquestioning and supportive. But now, most women work outside the home so power is becoming more of an issue, giving rise to conflicts that married couples didn’t face in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So, here are some tips to help you out the next time you and your mate have a fight…

1. Expect Things To Work Out. Assume from the outset that you can both be winners. Your concerns may differ, but there’s always a solution that can work for both of you.

2. Keep Your Comments Tactful, Not Toxic. Try to make your feelings known without attacking your significant other. Instead of saying, “You’re inconsiderate.. always coming home late from work,” try saying, “I’ve been feeling neglected lately. Do you think you might be able to come home a little earlier?”

3. Really Listen To Your Partner. You don’t accomplish anything if you’re merely waiting for your partner to shut up so you can talk. Listen when your mate speaks. One indication that you may not be really listening is if you use the word “but” a lot in response to their statements.

4. Do Not Discuss Important Issues When You Are Angry. When two people are angry, neither is likely to listen to the other. Wait until you’ve calmed down and then address the conflicts that are disturbing your relationship.

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