It makes sense that couples will have disagreements, but simple conversations don’t need to push a couple over the edge. Disputes can be settled quicker when the parties involved have an agreed-upon plan for handling communication.
Each person in the relationship has an opinion that craves expression about how things should be done or about how life should be lived. Trouble can easily brew, though, when one party tramples over the other’s opinion. Arguments that head too far down the wrong path can destroy a relationship.
The truth is, without safeguards in place, normal conversations can easily erupt into fights. Fighting over small matters can cause unnecessary chaos in a relationship.
A couple can save themselves from hurtful grief when they’ve put a few game plan relationship tools in place and have heeded them.
What are Relationship Game Plan Tools?
Having a game plan for your relationship is just as it sounds. It is a well-thought out strategy for entering into healthy conversation with your partner. The objective is always to keep your relationship healthy as you move toward accomplishing the same goals.
The relationship game plan tools aren’t actual objects that reside in a toolbox. They aren’t wound-covering quick fixes. Relationship game plan tools are akin to a few good theories tried and tested over time by those in successful relationship relationships.
Use Your Relationship Game Plan Tool to Get out of Trouble
While the idea of having a game plan is to have a guideline for interacting, it is most beneficial when implemented amid an embroiled dispute a couple needs to work their way out of.
Relationship game plan tools give couples skills to avoid heading into dangerous territory. The tools also serve as reminders of how to turn a dispute around.
Suggested Relationship Game Plan Tools
You and your partner may want to develop your own list of helpful tools. In the meantime, here is a list you can try when caught up in dangerous territory:
Have a Code Word: Most individuals know when they’re being triggered into an angry reaction. It can help to give the other party a code word that tips them off that things are becoming upsetting. Choose an easy-to-remember code word you both agree on. The word can even be used in public settings when indiscreetly hidden in a sentence.
Put Down Your Weapons: When you sense a fight brewing, calm your anger by remembering your partner is not the enemy. Your partner is on the same team so it makes sense you’ll want to put weapons of destruction down. That might mean catching damaging thoughts before speaking them, and putting aside profanities and criticism.
Take a Step Back: If you can physically step away from a tense situation, do so. Excuse yourself while withholding further comments. Stepping away from a difficult conversation gives each party an opportunity to de-stress. It may help to take a walk, have a nap, or find a distraction until you’re ready to discuss things in a less heated fashion.
Beware of Head Games: During a fight, the list of irritating traits you’ve collected about your partner over time seem to rise to the surface. Arguments magnify these negative feelings. The more you dwell on the negatives, the bigger monster they’ll become. Fight for your relationship by keeping yourself from heading down this dangerous path by stopping negative thinking right away.
Get the Right Perspective: As needed, refocus your attention to your mutual goals and to what your partner does right. Consider the small ways your partner helps you be a better person. Remember the common interests you both enjoy, and schedule them in.
Enlist Compassion: When feelings can be hurt so easily, it’s important to be compassionate. Remember your partner isn’t out to get you on purpose. Your partner also has moments of stress and disappointment to deal with. Be careful of engaging in detailed conversations when your partner is overtired, sick, or under stress.
Listen Well Often: Being “heard” is what everyone really wants. Listen to what your partner has to say without interruption. Repeat back what you think was said to show you’ve understood. Your partner counts on you as support. His or her venting is often because support is craved. In most cases, it’s better to take your partner’s side even if you have a contrary point of view.
Share Your Ideas: Intimacy grows as each party shares their dreams, goals, and accomplishments. As needed, ask for your turn to talk without interruption. Use non-threatening words in a pleasant tone of voice that doesn’t include complaining. Then pause for feedback.
Be Aware of Gender Differences: Often people marry someone who is very opposite to them. It always helps to remind yourself of the differences, which dictates how you will most successfully communicate. Also, women tend to vent, while men tend to try to fix things. A woman should be careful not to vent about things she doesn’t really want a solution for, while a man should be careful not to try to fix things when the woman merely wants a shoulder to lean on.
Compliment Your Partner Often: Cool the climate by lifting your partner up with compliments. Say thanks for all the gestures your partner looks after that you tend to take for granted. Especially if there’ve been hurt feelings, compliments are important. It can take ten compliments to reverse one criticism.
Respect Your Partner’s Opinion: Show signs of respect through applauding your partner’s opinions. Let your partner win disagreements now and then. Give in to your partner’s choice occasionally. Resist backseat driving. Keeping your opinion to yourself at times may be a very good way of showing respect.
Love with Deeds: Love is expressed though actions. Show gestures of love by making physical contact, using loving words, giving gifts, and completing acts of service. Do what you say you’re going to do. Help your partner by taking over responsibilities your partner dislikes.
Always remember your words, attitudes, and actions have power. Without restraint, they can be damaging to your relationship. They can chop down your relationship, or protect and build it. The choice is yours.
With commitment and practice, the above relationship game plan tools will become a helpful guideline that will help to keep your relationship intact. –-By J.R. Calderwood