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- Begin your statements with “you should”, “you ought to”, “you always’ or “you never”
- Re-fight old arguments or re-live old hurts
- Do everything together
- Demand change
- Call names, use sarcasm, make accusations
- Even when the source of pain seems clearly to be your partner’s behavior, try to get in touch with what is going on inside you
- Listen carefully and non-judgmentally to what your partner is saying/feeling
- Make positive suggestions in specific terms about what you’d like to be different in your relationship with your partner
- Practice assessing where your relationship is frequently
Daily temperature reading
- Appreciation: Take turns expressing appreciation for something your partner has done.
- New information: Tell your partner something which lets them in on your mood, your experiences, your life.
- Puzzles: Take turns asking each other something you don’t understand (either about your own behavior or that of your partner) that your partner might be able to explain.
- Complaint with request for change: Without placing blame or being judgmental, cite a specific behavior that bothers you and state the behavior you would like instead.
- Hopes: Share with your partner what your dreams/hopes are, especially those which involve both of you.