“Argue with me like you love me” – That little phrase says so much that is powerful. However, consider how a similar phrase is related: “Pay attention to me like you love me.” In marital therapy I commonly hear one spouse complain that they feel like they have to get mad to get their spouse’s attention. Such a complaint indicates that there are cracks in the relationships’s foundation. The underlying glue of a marriage or committed relationship is that each partner’s feelings should always matter to the other. This requires really listening even when you don’t like what you are hearing. The very best way to de-escalate a conflict is to patiently ask your partner to tell you more about how they are feeling. This involves resisting the urge to get defensive or to counter-attack. Your partner is more likely to argue with you like he or she loves you if they are confident that you will listen to them.
Posted on by John Watterson