Conflict is a natural part of relationships. It is normal for couples to experience an increase in arguments and tension during pregnancy and following childbirth.
You can’t always pre-empt or fix everything that goes wrong, but it’s important to try to resolve small conflicts before they escalate into major rifts.
Managing conflict well will benefit your child/children.
Top 3 tips for managing conflict
- Agree to raise problems at a good time and place, when there are no other competing demands, e.g., when your children are in bed. If [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] doesn’t want to talk about the issue at the time it is first raised, schedule another time to discuss it.
- Express your needs without criticising. Be mindful of what you say, and how you say it, as it may influence how [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] responds.
- Take responsibility for your own behaviour and its impact.
How to use ‘I’ statements
When you want to let [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] know what you are thinking or how you are feeling without being aggressive, it can be useful to use ‘I’ statements. These follow a general formula:
Use the exercises below to practice being assertive – it can be tricky to put into action so the more practice the better!
REFLECT: Using I statements in “real life”
Reflect on something that you having difficult communicating to [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] and practice what you might say.
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