Dr Kathy's Blog
Most of the time, if we keep fighting about the same thing it's because we never get the recognition or the acknowledgment we're craving from our spouse to let it go.
Or it's because we never get down deep enough and talk about what the fight is REALLY about. On rare occasion, we fight about something that just is not fixable, and instead of fighting, we have to find a way to talk about it that feels comfortable to both of you.View Post
"My partner and I have different expectations about our relationship and we both tend to make assumptions about how things should be. What should I do?" -David, Washington. Hi David. Yes, it's important to address that and do a couple of things... The first thing to do is read this blog post on R... View Post
"My husband never lets me vent, he immediately goes into fix-it mode. How do I tell him I just want him to listen to me?" - Kathyrn, UtahHi Kathryn. You know what? I think you should just tell him exactly that. It's ok for you to start a conversation by saying, "Honey, I am really upset and I jus... View Post
"We're not great at communicating. Many of our conversations end in a fight. Or worse, we both shut down, stop talking and nothing ever gets resolved. How can we communicate better so that we never lose the spark?" -Sonia, AlaskaGreat question, Sonia. There are a few things that are absolutely c... View Post
If you want to quickly get over a fight with your husband or wife, you need to focus on one thing: listening!
The problem is, when we're upset, this is really hard to do....
Most of us think that the best way to work through an issue is to poke holes in the other person's argument and tell them how silly they are for thinking the way they do...
We have the idea that they'll see the light and give us a big hug and thank us for pointing out the errors their logic.
Guess what? This never happens!
If you want to prevent a fight, you MUST make sure your partner feels heard, understood, and valued. Only when they feel this way will they listen to your side of the story.
So the way to NOT fight is to really listen first, then explain your perspective. This guide will show you how to do exactly that!View Post
Want to know how to fight less and communicate even better?
From lots of tinkering and experimenting with hundreds of couples over the last 15 years, I can tell you what will really work to change your communication for good!
Here are my "rules" for absolutely fabulous communication...
You'll see that the rules are divided into two sections: Do's and Don'ts. You want to do as many of the things on the Do list as possible, as often as possible. And you guessed it... the Don't list contains all the things that you should stop doing or do as little as you can.
Remember, the goal is not to be perfect. No one is perfect, you'll say things you regret from time to time, but the more closely you follow this list, the better your communication will be!
THE DO LIST:
Talk to your spouse the way you'd talk to a friend. Pay attention to your body language, don't cross your arms or roll your eyes.
BE GENTLE AND KIND
Speak softly, be kind, use friendly words. Imagine your spouse as a hurt child, talk them in the same warm and reassuring way you would with a child.
Small confession.... I love spy movies. James Bond, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt... I love them all! So I was very excited to go see the new Stephen Spielberg thriller, Bridge of Spies, yesterday.
In the film, a successful New York attorney, Jim Donovan, is asked by the CIA to help negotiate the release of two Americans captured during the Cold War. A really great story and beautifully told. You can read all about it here: Bridge of Spies website.
Two lines in the film really struck me and I wanted to share them with you....
1. "Would it help?"
An accused Russian spy is told about his grim chances of being acquitted in the American courts and when his attorney asks why he doesn't appear to be worried, he smiles and says, "Would it help?"
The answer, of course, is no.
How powerful it would be if before we did something or said something, we thought, "Would it help?" If the answer is no, we shouldn't do it.View Post
Jordan, one of our friends from Facebook, recently wrote in and asked for help...
"Hi Dr. Kathy. I hope you can help us. Cindy and I have been married for 9 years and I love her very much. We have really hectic lives: we both work, our kids have us running around left and right, we barely have any time for ourselves or our relationship. We have been fighting a lot lately. In fact it's gotten so bad in the last couple of months that I've wondered if we're going to make it. Is there anything we can do? Please help. Thanks."
And here's my answer to Jordan...
Hi there, Jordan. Thanks so much for writing in, great question! I am sure most of us can relate and let me give you some hope, there is A LOT you can do to make it better.
We tend to fight more when we are stressed and tired. Because you both work and have 2 kids, I'd expect that you're very tired and probably pretty run down.
I hear that you have no time for yourselves, but if you can, please try to squeeze a little time in each day.