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How fighting right can save your relationship

Getting a divorce has never been easier and more lenient laws have led to a rise in America's divorce rate.  One of the leading reasons couples split up is a lack of communication. America Now's communications coach Marcia Brandwynne has what may be some surprising advice on dealing with marital conflict.

You see couples fighting in the movies all the time and it makes for great drama. But if that drama is going on in your home, it can be very harmful to your relationship. But if you fight right, Marcia says, you won't show the one thing that can ruin your relationship: Contempt.

Here's what she means by contempt -- You mock. You sneer. And then you do the one thing that communicates disrespect: You roll your eyes! When you do that, you're conveying disgust.

So, what's the best way to argue? If you have a complaint, you need to state it clearly. And then, the secret is, to explain what's making you hurt and angry. Complain and explain. That explanation allows your partner to understand how you're feeling and why. It puts them in your shoes, so they can see the situation from your point of view.

Once you feel your partner understands where you're coming from, ask your partner to change. Don't  demand it. True and lasting change only comes when the person is motivated to make a change. And an angry demand is a lousy motivator!

So, the next time you and your partner fight … fight right. Show respect, not contempt. Complain and explain. And ask for change, don't demand it.

And always remember … be yourself.

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