The most power we have during a conflict is to notice when we're triggered. Look for physical cues, sensations in your body, your tell-tale signs. As soon as you notice the tightness in your jaw or the heaviness in your chest, walk away. An argument is not what the conversation is about as much as the strong emotional reaction that happens when you're triggered, and one of the keys to conflict resolution is to try not to engage when you're triggered! - Interview with Leila Talore, Conscious Weddings Premarital E-Course: For Couples Who Want to Begin Their Marriage with the Best Chance for Success
What happens for you when you're triggered? Does your voice change? Do you feel your heart close? What are your tell-tale signs? If you don't know, just ask your partner; I guarantee you that he or she will be able to rattle off your signs without a moment's hesitation!
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The interview with Leila Talore that I quoted above is one of the best powerful interviews that I've ever conducted, and I'm quite certain that if every couple watched it before they got married or while they were in the early stages of marriage, the divorce rate would dramatically decline. Where do we learn to notice our tell-tale trigger signs? In high school? College? From our parents? Not likely.
It's only when you're in an intimate relationship that the deepest wounds and vulnerable places are activated. And, it's also within the crucible of marriage that these wounds can heal. But we can only heal when we have the right tools, otherwise we're unconsciously re-activating old childhood patterns and re-creating dysfunctional environments. 3 Reasons Why Every Couple Needs A Vacation
The first simple key to resolving conflict might sound obvious: if you're triggered, take a pause. This might mean remaining in physical proximity but taking a few deep breaths or it might mean taking a break and walking away. When you're feeling open again, reconnect and take responsibility for your part in the conflict. But what sounds simple on paper is often profoundly difficult to enact in real life in the heat of a conflict.
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It's like a magnetic pull of planetary proportions keeps you locked into the tension with your partner. There's often a quiet but insistent voice inside of you that says, "If I only say this in just the right way, my partner will 'get it'." When you listen to this voice and try to explain your position with increasing intensity, the conflict escalates.
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