Don’t ever try to deal with serious marital issues if you’ve got one eye on something else. Turn off the TV, the phone, the laptop. Close the catalog.
If you’re distracted or going out the door, pick another time to talk. You can’t resolve conflicts on the fly.
Remember, too, that how you handle these situations doesn’t just affect you. Is the conversation G-rated? Will it end happily? If not, stop and reschedule for when the kids aren’t around. When they are, keep things respectful and productive. Research shows that children thrive (and absorb good relationship skills) when parents resolve issues constructively, but develop insecurities and behavior problems when exposed to hopeless shoutfests.
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