You say tomaaarto, I say tomayto (6 November 2019)

“We’ve been trying now for 15 years, Daniel. I want a divorce”.

The rather downbeat start to Mrs Doubtfire, a film I have seen a number of times, and happened to catch (the first fifteen minutes of, at least) last night after an exhausting ritual of getting the children to bed (the film does get funnier after that, though I admit Robin Williams is not everyone’s favourite comic actor, who did – alas – not end his life happily…..).

Children are one major stress that impacts on couples, and leads to arguments, disagreements, friction (and, Yes, sometimes divorce). Others are money, lifestyles, sex, romance, doing the chores, habits, the in-laws…… yup, long list!

Some research indicates couples who argue more are more likely to stay together in the longer term; but does depend a bit on the type of arguing

I was talking this morning to a friend who I met on the way to the station. We don’t often meet, but we have a good connection, so in the 10 minutes I had to spare before the 9.23 to London was due, she shared with me her technique for dealing with arguments:

Each Sunday, she and her partner have a sit-down meeting at 5.30pm, where they say what they want to say about their relationship, taking turns and uninterrupted. They need and want different things in the relationship; the talking session allows them to say what is annoying or upsetting them.

The other person – and this is crucial – LISTENS (and keeps quiet….).

This seems to be working for them. It is one approach you could try, if you face the same circumstances.

Others include:
1. Go to bed angry, and let the other person sleep on the couch
2. Take a break from the relationship; even one night out with friends
3. Own up to your part of the fight
4. Find the humour
5. Shut up and touch/hold
6. Ban the "but"
7. Remember what's really important

Each has its own level of risk; which is right for you?

Good luck!

All the best


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