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Validate what your partner says: 4 tips to breaking patterns of negativity

Having an argument does not mean that your relationship is in trouble. By listening and speaking in a non-defensive fashion, avoiding criticism you can help foster healthy discussion.

Disagreements and differences are an inevitable part of life but by speaking non-defensively, this positive posture will benefit your relationship.

The following of four strategies from relationship guru John Gottman will help you break patterns of negativity and take a positive approach to solving problems:

3. Validate what your partner says: Validate your partners emotions by looking at the situation from his or her viewpoint. Often, simply empathising is enough. Back your partner – take their side. You don’t have to agree or solve their problem, just validate the feeling.

Validation foils criticism, contempt and defensiveness, areas that you should keep out of your relationship. Take responsibility for your words and actions, take a deep breath and listen, and experience the intimacy that ensues. Try it this week and notice the change.

Tip four, next week…

Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you plan to deliver your services in these challenging times.

For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube:

Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health. 

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