Bridal Club Magazine
How to Fight Fair
Disagreements don't have to drive a wedge between you, says
Deborah Cox, Ph.D., who cowrote The Anger Advantage
(Broadway Books) with Karin H. Bruckner and Sally D. Stabb. Here's
how to even the playing field:
Don't equate anger with hostility.
"Too often men, and especially women, believe that expressing
anger means they're going to appear explosive and unattractive to
their partner," says Cox. If you¡¦re afraid of lashing out, first
jot down your feelings on paper to sort them out. Then, practice
what you're going to say in a mirror-you can monitor your facial
expressions if they appear too harsh. This will also help you make
your argument clear and reasonable.
Make "feeling" statements, rather than go on the
For instance, don't say, "You're such a jerk; you're so
irresponsible with money." This will just make your partner feel
defensive. Instead, say, "I get frightened and angry when I see you
spending so much money on a TV, because we have so little saved." A
statement like this is not only more honest, it forces your partner
to connect with you emotionally and deal with the issue at
Learn how to be a good listener.
If your spouse is upset, it's important to validate those
feelings with statements like, "I hear you" or "I hear that you're
mad at me for hurting you, and I hate that you feel that way." You
don't even have to apologize. Sometimes an acknowledgement that
your partner has been heard is enough to diffuse his or her anger,"