Mar 10

How to End “the Silent Treatment”

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THE CHALLENGE

How do two people who have vowed to love each other get to the point where they refuse to talk for hours—or even days? ‘At least we stopped fighting,’ they tell themselves. Still, the issue has not been resolved, and they both feel uncomfortable.

WHY IT HAPPENS

Retaliation. Some spouses use silence as a form of revenge. For example, suppose a husband makes weekend plans without consulting his wife. When she finds out, she is angry and calls him inconsiderate. He responds by calling her oversensitive. The wife storms off and stews in silence. In effect, she is saying, “You hurt me, so I am going to hurt you back.”

Mar 10

How to Compromise

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THE CHALLENGE

You and your spouse have different preferences on something. Realistically, you have at least three options:

You could stubbornly insist until you get your way.

You could passively surrender to your spouse’s wishes.

Both of you could compromise.

‘But I don’t like the idea of compromise,’ you might say. ‘It sounds as if neither of us will get what we want!’

Be assured that compromise need not be a lose-lose proposition—not if you do it right. But before considering how to compromise, there are a few things you should know about this vital skill.

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