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Chapter 4: Disagreements

Inevitably, couples have moments of frustration with their partner. Creating ways to communicate feelings and concerns effectively occurs over time. Healthy methods of resolving conflict are possible with intentional implementation and practice. When embarking on a fitness journey together those disagreements can be opportunities to foster a deeper trust and openness with each other.

In this month's couple fitness column, I am writing about five steps Ken, and I utilize to resolve conflict.

Clarify with yourself first. Before you run off your list of grievances ask yourself, "Why am I upset?" Is it their current action, or has anger and frustration slowly been building over time? Taking the split second before going off to self-reflect is giving the moment just enough time to change the trajectory of the outcome. Entering a conversation high on emotion and low on clarity hinders your ability to engage in a productive conversation with your spouse.

The issue is the problem, not the person. When we lash out resolving an issue may take a back seat to our need to tell someone how wrong or messed up, they are. In turn, the recipient of our words never fully understands the issue and may become defensive or checkout emotionally and mentally. Try to avoid statements that attack your partner as a person. Instead, put the problem on the table for you both to decipher together.

Receive the feedback. Actively Listen Your partner has clarified their feelings. Intentionally approached you to discuss a problem not to criticize you. There is a responsibility to check your ego and actively listen. Actively listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker. Active listening is impossible when your rebuttal is at the forefront of your mind and on the tip of your tongue. Be open to coming up with an action plan for changed behavior and a plan on how you can both continue to support each other.

Be honest. Ending a disagreement for the illusion of peace only sets you up for war later. Don't make promises you cannot keep. Do not say you are okay with an outcome or solution if you are not. It is okay to table heated conversations but commit to revisiting with an intent to resolve. Honesty and transparency amid a disagreement deepen your trust and vulnerability with each other.

You are not enemies. This statement is one you will have to drill into yourself and each other. Getting caught up in winning an argument will kill any progress you make. If you approach each conflict with a belief, that you want the best for each other the trust, respect, and vulnerability to build with other will be priceless.

Be well; you are worthy.

Dominique is a wife, mother, blogger, and avid long-distance runner. Her style of blogging centers around marriage, family, fitness, and personal growth. Dominique’s insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples helpful tools to incorporate into having healthy relationships.

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