Jon PeacockComment

Ask the Dr.....Part 5

Jon PeacockComment

We asked.....  What are the 5 key tools of resolving marital conflict? Please share again and elaborate if possible.

#1- Be captured by the fact that people and the positions they hold can change (including you).

      If it can happen in post Apartheid South Africa, then never, ever say, “but you don’t know my husband.  You don’t know my wife.”

#2- Difficult conversations are more about the people involved than they are the issues that they discuss.

      Study people and study why people do the things that they do.  Two examples are Face Theory and Conflict, and Gender and Conflict.  People don’t argue like you do, and to act like they should be just like  you will only bring more pain.

#3- All difficult conversations should start on the balcony.

      “Speak when angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”  You must get time from when you are first verbally attacked or frustrated and you respond.

      The best phrase that you can ever add to your vocabulary for this is “Help me  understand…”

#4- Cultivate the illusion of the first time.

      If they weren’t always like this, then there is reason to hope that they won’t always stay like this.

      One of the best tools to cultivate this is the Memory Letter, where you remind the other with specific examples that you remember that things weren’t always this tough between you.

#5- The secret to disarming a difficult conversation is surprise.

      Think the opening scene of Les Miserables!  When you say things like “I agree,” “I appreciate…” that turns conversations a completely different direction. 

-Dr. Mike Giuliano