The next time your partner does something that irritates, angers or upsets you, before you launch a grenade, ponder for a moment what his/her action means about you, how he/she feels about you or the relationship. If you look closely and honestly enough, you can then approach your partner from a much more heart-centered place. Instead of, "I can't believe you made me wait alone here in a restaurant for you again," you could try, "I feel really unimportant when you're late. It almost seems as though you don't care about me when this happens."
Approaching your partner from a feeling place will usually get better results. Additionally if you remember that we all seek safety and security in our relationships, you can better understand how even small perceived threats to that can be a trigger for both partners.
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the author of The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples, a cost-effective alternative to counseling for the DIY couple. She is the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com, with tools for marriage, relationship and emotional health - and has a private practice in Marin County, California.