It's fun to watch the fireworks, but it's not so fun when they happen in your relationship.
I hope you had a wonderful 4th. I know I did. We got to watch the fireworks in downtown Bethlehem. They were great.
It's fun to watch the fireworks, but It's not so fun when they happen in your relationship. No worries though, they happen in every relationship because - "stuff happens."
The key is to turn the conflict on its head by pushing that all important "PAUSE BUTTON."
This pause button short circuits that fight or flight impulse (the instinct that gets triggered during a heated argument) and redirects energy to the problem solving part of the brain (the neocortex).
So how do you activate this powerful button?
When that argument is headed to "never, never land" you need to say, "Hold it, what is this going to accomplish?" Then you need to take a time out. This doesn't mean ignoring it or shoving things under the rug. You take a time out to regroup, decompress and clear your mind so you can come back to the discussion and give your feelings the respect they deserve by expressing them when you're calm.
In my Marriage Repair Workshop I have couples formulate their - "Plan NOT to Attack." They describe in detail what they will do when things escalate, how long their time out will be, and what they will do to resolve things in a healthier way. When this plan is in play it can eventually become your new "go to" response and can override those old destructive habits.
So, see if you can develop your own "Plan NOT to Attack" together. This way the only fireworks you see are the ones on the 4th!
This article was originally published at christine wilke. Reprinted with permission from the author.