(RE)ENGAGING YOUR PARTNER CONSTRUCTIVELY

Dismissive 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: “Really! Do we have to talk about this?”
Adam: “I would just like you to consider the situation from my perspective.”
Nadine: “It’s done already. I don’t see the point in arguing about this.”
Adam: “I’m frustrated that we can’t talk about this.”
Defensive 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: “I wanted to get them something special—it’s only money, and you’ve spent just as much on stupid stuff over the years.”
Adam: “We can talk about all of that later. Right now, I just want you to understand where I’m coming from.”
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