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<p>DH and I are really trying to work on our relationship, and the one problem that we are really struggling with is that we don't disagree well.  He feels that I badger him, and I feel that he either shuts down, or gets mean.  We both want to work on this and model healthy communication for our children, but haven't found a good strategy.</p>
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<p>He feels that it is healthy to just walk away, and while I think that if things are getting heated, a cooling off might be warranted, but that we need to be able to talk out disagreements in a healthy way.</p>
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<p>So, how do you disagree in a healthy, effective way?</p>
 

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<p>We disagree in two ways.</p>
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<p>Healthy, and Epic Fail.  <img alt="lol.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/lol.gif" style="width:1px;height:1px;"></p>
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<p>Healthy: problem arises-->each person takes their turn to express their feelings, kindly and respectfully-->each person acknowledges the other's feelings-->we go through it again, expressing feelings that have taking into account what the other spouse feels-->we either reach a full compromise, decide to take it off the table and reconsider it for a while, or one decides that they were really not in the right to begin with--> problem resolved.</p>
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<p>Epid Fail: problem arises-->one spouse snaps at the other-->other spouse gets defensive and snaps back-->first person is now annoyed by the initial problem *and* the percieved bad attitude, so snaps back-->escalation occurs, both get very angry-->he gets quieter, she gets louder, both get angrier, etc.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cappuccinosmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278652/how-do-you-fight#post_16038286"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We disagree in two ways.</p>
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<p>Healthy, and Epic Fail.  <img alt="lol.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/lol.gif" style="width:1px;height:1px;"></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Healthy: problem arises-->each person takes their turn to express their feelings, kindly and respectfully-->each person acknowledges the other's feelings-->we go through it again, expressing feelings that have taking into account what the other spouse feels-->we either reach a full compromise, decide to take it off the table and reconsider it for a while, or one decides that they were really not in the right to begin with--> problem resolved.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Epid Fail: problem arises-->one spouse snaps at the other-->other spouse gets defensive and snaps back-->first person is now annoyed by the initial problem *and* the percieved bad attitude, so snaps back-->escalation occurs, both get very angry-->he gets quieter, she gets louder, both get angrier, etc.</p>
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<p>^^ That's us too.  I would love some advice as to how to get through this crap.  It feels like we just have the same arguments and sometimes we do ok and others, well, not so much.<br>
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<p>The first step I would take is focus on how *you* express yourself.  You can choose to be the one to make some changes.  Not snapping, listening well to his side, responding respectfully even when you disagree.  I found it very hard, and it often seemed very unfair, but in the long run it was totally worthwhile.  I had to recognize and own my part in the problem, and deal with that, no matter how I felt about him and his part in it.</p>
 

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<p>Honestly, and I'm sure many of you will feel like this isn't healthy, but we are working on it, I write DH letters or emails. I'm so much better and laying out my feelings in written word rather than talking. It's not that we don't talk, but I find that when I write him a letter, I'm able to talk to him about it later after he's had time to read and process the information. No we don't always agree, but it avoids the inevitable uncontrollable crying that I deal with every time we talk about anything. It's not even that things get heated and that's what leads to the crying. It's just something I do, and it's frustrating and something I cannot control.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with who said above that what you can control is you. </p>
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<p>I know that my DH reacts and says things in the moment that he doesn't really mean, so I don't acknowledge them or react to them right then. I wait until he's cooled off and we discuss it later. That works for us. </p>
 
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