How to keep the peace with your partner

In light of last week?s International Day of Peace, resident relationship expert Kate Taylor has some advice to help you create an Argument Amnesty with your partner

1.Strengthen your allegiances
It?s hard to launch an attack on anyone you regard as an ally ? so the first step to creating Harmony at Home is to improve your relationship with your partner. How? Have fun! The most important bonding exercise any couple can do is to laugh together. Not long, boring talky-feely sessions of ?sharing?, but getting out and having fun with each other. Look for lively, mildly athletic shared activities, like laser-quest, paintballing, bootcamp fitness sessions, walks and cycling? They will also increase your endorphins, making you less likely to kick off afterwards.

2.Declare an amnesty
Every couple has issues that just can?t be resolved; ongoing rows about money, kids, family or chores where agreements can?t be reached. My advice? Drop them. At least for a month. Avoid the subjects completely and just get on with your life. Many problems can be resolved by giving them space to heal. If you are sick of always fixing an issue on behalf of your partner ? for example, bailing him out of money problems, or doing his half of the cleaning ? then drop that too. Let him feel the consequences of not dealing with his responsibilities and give him the chance to step up!

When you feel your blood begin to boil, ask yourself ?Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?? If the answer is yes (and the chances are high that it is), solve that issue first before you start a row.

4.No more ?And another thing??s
If you must argue, keep it to one issue. Don?t use it as an opportunity to list every grievance since 1994. The more you say, the less your partner will listen so keep your words short and to the point.

5.Respect your partner?s retreat
All men reach a stage in arguments where their brain ?floods? and they can?t think straight. They deal with this by walking away ? out of the room, house, or even the relationship. Don?t follow him. Let him leave and compose himself, while you use the time to gain some distance and clarity yourself. When her returns, calmly greet him with the magic phrase, ?I hope we can now come to an agreement about all of this.? By reminding your partner that you consider yourself to be on the same team, you?ll be greatly improving your chances of reaching agreement.


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