If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. --Mark 3:25
Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
If your spouse participated with you, what was their response? What rules did you write for yourself?
Once again, it took me several days to complete this dare. We should have had the conversation on Friday, but it didn't happen until tonight. I am now a full week behind where I should be, but I am really not worried about rushing through all of this.
Havie and I had a conversation tonight. He was very wary- I guess wondering why I was doing this now. (Especially because he haven't had a fight recently)
I told him that I had come up with a few rules that I thought would be important for us. I asked him to add on or change whatever he thought needed it.
1. We will never mention divorce. It isn't an option for us.
2. We will not bring up old, unrelated issues from the past.
3. We will never fight in front of our children. (For future reference)
4. We will call a "time out" if conflict escalates to a damaging level. (Havie added that we call a time out as soon as a voice is raised or if we feel ourselves getting angry)
5. We will never touch one another in a harmful way.
6. We will never go to bed angry with one another.
7. Failure is not an option. Whatever this takes, we will work it out.
I don't know if I would call this a rule, but we also talked about setting a timer for 5 minutes when we have a discussion. If we haven't resolved the issue by then, we are going to take a 10 minute break. It will give us a chance to clear our heads and return to the discussion hopefully with some clarity. We will repeat the process until we get to a resolution.
I also wrote some rules for myself to follow:
1. I will listen first before speaking.
2. I will deal with my own issues up front.
3. I will speak gently and keep my voice down.
4. I will not bring something up until I've given time to think it through.