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Archive for Saturday, May 22, 1999

COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY

May 22, 1999

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Communication is important to the success of a marriage, said Charlotte Shoup Olsen, K--State Research and Extension family specialist. Couples usually choose one of three styles, she added.

When conflict arises, some couples compromise and then move on. Others erupt -- they may do this often -- but still can move on. Still others sweep conflict under the rug and can keep going only if they both agree to avoid conflictual issues.

Couples who remain respectful to each other can use disagreements to strengthen their relationship.

"When conflict occurs, set emotions aside. Resist the temptation to yell, place blame or call each other unflattering names," Olsen said. "If a discussion becomes heated, ask for time out. Set a time to talk about an issue; listen to your partner and be willing to compromise. For each negative, think about five positives. Also let your spouse know that you appreciate and value your relationship with them.

"So often, we thank strangers we meet, but fail to extend the same courtesies to people who mean the most to us," she said.

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