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5 Ways to Solve Any Relationship Problem

5 Ways to Solve Any Relationship Problem

 Do you and your guy argue about where to go for dinner? Who left the cap off the toothpaste tube? Or is it something more serious like how to discipline your kids? No matter the problem, Dr. Kelly E. Johnson, author of The Relationship Problem Solver for Love, Marriage and Dating , can help you discover how to better communicate and come to a resolution. Read the following excerpt and discover 5 principles that will help you navigate your next argument -- and maybe even save your relationship.
  Introduction: The Real Way to Solve a Relationship Problem
 Here are several things that must happen for a relationship issue to be resolved:
 Step 1 in solving a relationship conflict is always the commitment to stop yelling at and berating each other in the course of talking about the problem -- you must both agree to respect each other's opinions. Step 2 is actually identifying the issue and then telling your partner your specific complaint and how you feel. These two steps must be done first, or the process of negotiating some kind of compromise will be meaningless. When you're ready to move on to Step 3, there are several core principles that must be adhered to. 
5 principles that will help you solve your latest relationship dilemma:

Principle #1: You and your partner should never keep a running tally of "wins" and "losses" in your negotiations .

Sadly this is one of the biggest mistakes that I see couples make. Believe me, most people won't admit this out loud, but they're keeping score internally, just waiting for the day they finally get to "win." When you hear your partner (or yourself) complain, "You always get your way. It's my turn now!" it's time to realize that score is being kept.

Why shouldn't you keep track of victories and losses so that over time things are evened up? It would only make sense to win an argument sometimes, and I'll grant you that your relationship should be an equal partnership. The problem with keeping score is that the win-loss record usually becomes the most important factor in resolving a dispute, rather than the need to figure out each issue on its own merit. A friend of mine once proudly told me that he'd gotten his way four times that week, compared to his wife getting her way only twice. He didn't care if he was right or wrong, just as long as he got in the last word and won the argument. Giving in for him meant that he was somehow "weak" and losing control. Although I thought he was completely insane (and I told him so), I tried to make him understand that this behavior would only serve to drive a wedge in his marriage and make his wife disgusted with his competitiveness.

Compromise is not a sign of personal weakness. It's really okay to let your partner come out on top sometimes. This can be an extremely hard thing to do, but challenge yourself to wipe the slate clean before you tackle a new relationship issue. If you're being hardheaded and are only interested in evening up the score, then you won't be able to see the problem clearly, and a very bad decision could be made that irreversibly harms your relationship.

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