Stop an Argument in it’s Tracks – Do This Instead

Are you feeling trapped in a cycle of negativity with you and your partner getting stuck in the same old fights. You know the ones – where you experience the loop like a noose tightening around your throat and all you can think is “here we go again”… another argument, but can’t think what to do. Well let me help you. First take a big breath and take a time out. Stop and use it.

This can be a chance for change.

Money struggles are no fun
Money is the number cause of arguments! Budget today.

At this stage you are at a choice point. Decide to act in the old routine, with typically the same dance steps.

You know how that pans out right? I’d guess you can cake walk the outcome with your eyes closed. Play with me do it on your own now. Not great huh?

Or  you can choose a new move.

Here’s an option for variety, which I call taking a turn down memory lane. It involves purposeful distraction. Parent’s are the master of directing children’s attention to away from distress – simply get them to focus on something else and look at you. New stimulation, different mood equals peace for you, sigh of relief. You remind them of the fun time they had playing soccer or whatever it was they enjoy doing.

I was coaching a husband the other day.  He wanted to break out of the old habits of relating to his wife. So I suggested my distraction technique, which is really using Resource Therapy’s powerful methods for change. It’s so simple and yet effective.

Turn the corner today and stop an argument. Make a time later for serious discussion.
Turn the corner today and stop an argument. Make a time later for serious discussion.

I call it –Take a turn down into Memory Lane.

This is where it’s time to stroll back in history.  Where you get to go to those earlier days in dating relationship, remember we used to call in courting. The idea is to foster a reconnection with your past successes – as The Cars sang “Let the good times roll.”

Recreate an old vision renewed to enliven your marriage
Recreate an old vision renewed to enliven your marriage.

You are going for the treasure pot of gold. It’s not at the end of the rainbow but at the beginning of your partnership.

Actually it’s any time you felt warm, loved, connected and light being in each others presence. Where you are delighted and so are they. The happy relaxed carefree times. Not suprising it’s often pre-kids!

You reminisce on the first holiday, kiss, date, your proposal or walking down the aisle staring with hope and joy into each others eyes. Whatever the time was where you were really into each other, feeling connected and cared for. Those love drugs where pumping. We want to bring this back into sharp focus.

What fun was it to play in the sand, laughing and joking around!
How much fun was it to play in the sand, laughing and joking around?!

They don’t call it re-membering for nothing!

Here you are bringing out your partner’s Loving Resource state, the part of their personality which enjoys you and their choice of  spouse. And you are also bringing forth the same part which found them cute and fun to be with.

The way you do this is to really paint the picture, describe the time of day, where you were, the surroundings, the sounds, the sensations, images and warm emotions. Keep doing this until your spouse joins in and you see the light in their eyes, the softness in their voice and gentleness in their features. Play with it. Get some serious fun happening.

It’s so simple.

The only proviso is it must only be happy times with nothing negative attached. Now if things have been rough recently you may need to be tenacious and keep reaching.

All I need to do with Chris is say remember what fun we had Bali?  What great meals we had there. Bali is where we took our first overseas holiday and it was magical, it still is a favourite destination.

A beautiful Bali smile from our first trip there
A beautiful Bali smile from our first trip there.

Then I say how good was our first night’s dinner at the Cafe Wayan in Ubud?

Yummy dinner at a Warung in Bali
Yummy dinner at a Warung in Bali.

What did you have again? You see Chris enjoys his food and if I get him talking about something delicious I can almost see him drool. His eyes get a dreamy look – I can see he is back there in the warm glades, hearing the tinkle of the music.

Having this conversation about our shared joy makes us closer and brings out the loving parts of us. It sets us up for a great night.

So do yourself a favour and take a walk down memory lane today. And you needn’t wait to use it to staunch an argument. Practice it prior. Use it any time you want to feel connected and inspire love. with your partner.

Please tell me your thoughts on this technique and even better how it went for you. Love to hear your experiences, so please share.

With love and healing
With love and healing

Hello from the United States of America!

Hi all you wonderful people who take the time to read and write in to me here at Marriage Works!

I have the good fortune to be in Boulder, Colorado at the Michele Weiner-Davis Behind Closed Doors training. Every morning I get up to look at the amazing Flat Irons at Chataqua Park, yes I climbed up them a little the altitude up here is 5,500 feet. The air is thin and it is hot.

What a place to have training in couple therapy up near nature of the Flat Irons Chataqua Park, Colorado
What a place to have training in couple therapy up near nature of the Flat Irons Chataqua Park, Boulder, Colorado

Now back to Michele’s training – she is so generous and super talented in sharing her divorce busting techniques with a fabulous group of wonderful therapists. I am enjoying meeting these committed couple therapy warriors who help couples to gain change. They are so friendly to this Kiwi who has come from Sydney Australia! Thank you all!

Behind Closed Doors with Michele Weiner Davis, learning from the Divorce Buster Superstar
Behind Closed Doors with Michele Weiner Davis, learning from the Divorce Buster Superstar!

It’s good to be reminded of brief solution focussed therapy and access Michele’s updated version. She is a wonder worker and her passion shines forth. I can’t wait to take this back to my couples and work with the folks who see me!

How lucky I am and grateful to Michele for sharing so powerfully of herself and her clinical skills! And thanks to Jim her husband too!
How lucky I am and grateful to Michele for sharing so powerfully of herself and her clinical skills. And thanks to Jim her husband too! So Jet  lagged.

Sadly today is the last day of the powerful training. I have had a blast and feel so warmly welcomed in the US. Perhaps Michele has saved the juiciest bit till last as our final day is working on the Sex Starved Marriage. Based on her wonderful book of the same title-find the Sex Starved Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis here.

Thank you Michele, Jim and all the workshop participants for a wonderful adventure in learning.

With Love Philipa