Couples Communication / Couples Counseling

Pare’s Rules of Engagement

How to Have  Healthy Conflict Resolution

If someone offered you a map to a  hidden treasure , you would take it!  That’s how passionately I feel about practicing the rules of engagement for your next conflict.

Conflict is healthy, conflict is natural, conflict builds intimacy. If your spouse refuses or is resistant to making these healthier changes, you might want to assess the health of your relationship and your partner. Abusive


(verbally, emotionally, psychologically) relationships often rarely have the Do’s and often have the Don’ts.


• Set the Tone (sitting knee to knee or an a non intimidating way)
• No distractions (TV off, kids not in the room)
• It’s all about the approach (bring up concern not complaint)
• The three F’s (Fact, Feeling, Fair request)
• Reflection Reflection Reflection (Do Not move forward if this is not completed)
o Reflection is not agreement just simply saying I hear you and this is your truth
• Give check out (yes if they heard correctly, no if they assumed or added their interpretation)
• Listener offers validation if they would like to
• Listener asks for clarification if needed
• Work as THE SAME TEAM, offering support and guidance throughout the conversation
• Brainstorm ideas for the future
• Agree or sometimes agree to “disagree” but to understand and respect the other person
• Thank the other person for taking the time to listen


• Say always and never
• Use deflections (get off topic, bring up your own concerns)
• Name call
• Take “hits” on the other persons character or “person” keep concerns to behaviors not to the person example. (I’m concerned that you do not share with me when big plans change.” Vs. I’m concerned that you are selfish and only care if change in plans affect you.
• Get the kids involved or others (everyone says this, thinks this about you)
• Talk when under the influence of anything! Risky business.
• Talk when either party is hungry or tired
• Do not engage over text messages
• Bring up several issues at a time
• Keep score (I did this because you do this)
• Use dismissive body language (roll eyes, smirk, laugh)
• Raise voice or tone

Do you feel like you could be in an unhealthy  relationship, here is a quick non clinical assessment  to take.