This month’s Ask Coach Kathy question is about heated discussions with your mate and how to avoid them.
How do we stop doing this?
I’m going to give you a simple technique that has helped my clients in the same situation.
In a non-conflict moment, you and your husband decide on a code word to use when you sense your conversation is going to the “dark side.“ Make it an unusual word so that it is distinctive. For example, I have one client that uses the word “pumpernickel.” Another client uses “watermelon.”
This word gets called out only to de-escalate or stop a conversation from going into a negative direction. Most of the time, couples start to laugh when they hear the word, realizing whatever they are about to argue about is inconsequential. This does not mean that you don’t continue on the topic at a later time. It’s used to help you hear yourselves and take a break.