It has been said that good communication is the backbone of any great marriage. Most marriages start to breakdown when there is difficulty in communication. This in turn affects conflict resolution, sex, financial planning and every key thing in marriage.
It would be very useful for couples to learn how to negotiate.
Negotiation requires that each party takes both their feelings and the feelings of their spouse into consideration simultaneously. Most couples are unskilled in the art of negotiation and will usually respond to conflict or problems in the marriage in three unhealthy ways.
These are: 1) ignoring your own feelings and doing it your spouse’s way, 2) ignoring your spouse’s feelings and doing it your way, or 3) ignoring the problem entirely.
To make negotiations with your spouse as beneficial as possible, try out the following guidelines.
Ground Rule #1: Commit to be pleasant and cheerful throughout negotiations. There are bound to be negative emotions during negotiations. Make a conscious effort to be sober minded and objective. Purpose to really listen and hear where she / is coming from.
Ground Rule #2: Commit to be safe throughout negotiations. Create a safe environment for your spouse to freely express themselves. Do not make demands, show disrespect, or become angry when you negotiate, even if your spouse makes demands, shows disrespect, or becomes angry with you. Don’t be judgmental or make unfair accusations.
Ground Rule #3: Commit to ‘fight fair’ throughout negotiations. If you reach an impasse where you do not seem to be getting anywhere, or if one of you is starting to make demands, show disrespect, or become angry, stop negotiating and come back to the issue later.
As far as marriages and relationships go, there is a constant mess to deal with. Applying these rules will make the negation and most important part of clearing the drama, easier.