Remember Adam and his wife, Nadine, who spent $1,000 on a wedding gift? Let’s imagine that Adam adopted a constructive approach when raising the issue with his wife. The following responses illustrate what a cooperative, dismissive, and defensive response from a partner might look like.

Cooperative Response from a Partner
Adam: “I wanted to bring something up. Something’s bothering me. I found out how much money was spent on the wedding gift. I’m disappointed, and I want to talk about it.”
Nadine: “OK, let’s talk.”
Adam: “I’m confused and disappointed over the cost of the wedding gift. I want you to know where I’m coming from.”
Nadine: “I get it. I spent way too much.”