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Instead of worrying about disagreeing, worry about resolving differences positively. And instead of worrying if your children see you disagreeing (hopefully not violently or angrily), just be sure they also see you resolving things and making up.

There are three methods of marital conflict resolution that seem to always have a positive effect:

1. Rogerian Technique: Have a rule that you have to paraphrase back whatever your spouse has said to his or her satisfaction before you can make your own next point. This will force you to really listen to and understand each other.

2. “Go to the Balcony”. If an argument starts escalating, call a timeout and each of you take a little walk—go “to the balcony”—or go change clothes or do something else for 10 or 15 minutes to reset and get a bigger perspective, and then reconvene when you are both calmer and more collected.

3. Have a “Sunday Session” together each week where you review the past week, plan the next week, and “clear the air” on any bad feelings or unresolved differences from the past week.

For further insights and practical how-tos on this tip:

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Painting by Brian Kershisnik

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