What's the worst moment you interrupted

No relationship is always harmonious. In principle, arguments are not bad: according to psychologists, they have an important valve function. "With many couples, two cultures collide," says Berit Brockhausen, author from Berlin. Some things just need to be clarified. “But that shows that there is something between the partners. We only argue with people who are important to us. "

However, if an argument escalates again and again, the partners yell at, insult or reproach each other, it ends in discontent. “Over time, such couples become hostile, suspicious, and think: 'The other person no longer means well to me,'” says Brockhausen. Psychologists therefore recommend a time-out: the partners interrupt the argument before it becomes really nasty. You calm down and continue talking later. That requires goodwill. And some rules:

Arrange a contract

In a quiet moment, both partners should realize that they do not want insults, blanket accusations and the like. To do this, they can sign a contract, says Peter Groß, a psychologist from Cologne. According to Brockhausen, both partners should consider when a dispute no longer brings anything. “That can be, for example, when I explain the same thing for the third time,” says the qualified psychologist. One can think of a kind of code word or a sentence beforehand. "Or I write something down that I then show my partner, like a yellow card," she advises.

Limit time

Dispute shouldn't get out of hand. "If it always comes down to endless discussions, it crumbles and breaks," says Groß. Brockhausen adds: “20 minutes is enough! If the problem is not resolved, it is better to take another break. ”A timer or an egg timer could help. The limitation of time increases the willingness to re-engage with a controversial topic.

The important thing is: if someone says “stop”, then that applies. “If one of the two has the feeling that this is going too far for him or her, he or she can say that at any time, even in the middle of a sentence,” explains Groß. The situation is then immediately interrupted, the partners part ways. The other person has to accept the time-out, otherwise the contract is ineffective. The Evangelical Advice Center for Education, Marriage and Life Issues in Dortmund recommends in a guide to constructive arguments: Think about the consequences of further escalation - and whether you want to accept them.

Continue the conversation

Anyone who demands a time-out in a dispute must definitely name a point in time when the conversation should continue. "It is very important to continue talking later and to take up the disputed point again," says Brockhausen. For the clarification discussion, it is best to think about what made you so upset: “Be honest with yourself.” The easier it is to talk to your partner later, and the less they feel attacked.

Recognize problem

Many couples think they are arguing over little things like not washing dishes or socks lying around. "Usually that's just the occasion," explains Brockhausen. In truth, there is more to it. For example: Both work full-time, one feels overloaded and thinks: I've asked my partner so many times. It quickly becomes: what I feel doesn't matter to him. Both should calmly consider where the real problem lies.

Create a good climate

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Both should be awake and have time for the clarification talk. “Under no circumstances should you be in the morning before your first coffee or dead tired on the sofa in the evening,” advises Brockhausen. Instead of sitting face to face at the table, it is better to go for a walk and hold hands. "Then you listen to each other very differently," says the expert. Your own attitude and attitude can also influence the conversation: Do you see your partner as an opponent or an ally with whom you want to find a solution? “I can say, 'That was impossible of you.' But I can also invite the other person: 'That was really busy. I would be interested in what you think about it. '"(Dpa / tmn)

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