July is one of my favorite months. I love the long laid-back days and the backyard barbecues.
For me, going to the fireworks on the 4th of July is one of summer's great pleasures. But it's not so pleasant when the fireworks are 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 pause and ask yourself, "What is this going to accomplish?" Then you take a time out. This doesn't mean ignoring it or shoving things under the rug. This important breather gives you the opportunity 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 work with couples I have them 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 in the sky!
Hope you found this newsletter insightful for your marriage. If you know one person who would benefit from this email you can "pay it forward" by forwarding this email to them.
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