OK, this one may seem like a stretch, but see if you’re up to the challenge: While the prevailing advice encourages couples to “fight fairly,” relationship consultant and coach Lesli Doares says that you shouldn’t be giving yourself permission to “fight” at all. “Instead, develop a healthy way of managing disagreements that minimizes harsh words, hurtful tones and harmful reactions,” she explains.
When you’re upset, Hershenson suggests using those tried-and-true “I” statements — instead of “you,” which puts the focus on your emotions rather than blaming the other person. For example, say “I feel upset when I come home from work and there are dishes piled in the sink,” as opposed to “You always leave your dishes in the sink, and I’m sick of it!”
“Also, do not threaten divorce, no matter how upset you get,” she says. “Instead, tell your partner you need time to cool down.”