A Proven Path to Fewer Arguments with Your Partner


At a recent gathering at a friend’s home I ended up in a very compelling and revealing conversation with several couples about why we sometimes get so upset with our partners and what to do about it.

Curious about what we talked about?

So why do we get so upset with our Partners?

The short answer:

In many instances when we find ourselves ‘upset’ by something our Partner said or did or didn’t do, our emotional reaction has far more to do with us than with them.

Our Partner’s words or actions have simply ‘triggered’ old patterns of thinking and feeling that resulted from past experiences that were painful and disappointing.

Instead of responding to what our Partner actually said or did, or didn’t do, our past conditioning has caused us to speak and act from a place of hurt and pain associated with past events.

Put another way, when ‘triggered’ we are not responding to what is actually happening in the moment; we are reacting based on unresolved and often unconscious emotional trauma.

What I have learned is that when I find myself upset with my Partner, more often than not, something she said or did or didn’t do activated or ‘triggered’ a memory of a past event that was in some way emotionally traumatic.

Memories of traumatic events and especially the ‘stories’ that we made up at the time to explain ‘why’ these difficult things happened, can play a powerful and often negative role in how we deal with similar situations in the present.

A better way forward

  • Always remember that very, very often we are not upset for the reasons that we think we are.
    When you first become aware that you are ‘off balance’ or ‘upset’, STOP, and connect with yourself BEFORE saying or doing anything.  Ask yourself “What is really true in this moment?”
  • Increase your awareness around what topics, actions, situations, and so on that tend to throw you off balance emotionally.One way to do this is to journal for one to two weeks about any topics, situations, actions, and so on that rocked your boat.Then review your entries.  See if any patterns emerge?When one Client did this assignment he found that he often overly reacted any time his wife questioned him about how he spent his free time.What his reflection revealed to him about his wife’s behavior:

    He concluded that he had “become overly sensitive” to this topic because his previous wife “constantly badgered him about spending any significant free time with his male buddies”.

    This realization along with some coaching helped him to have some very productive conversations with his current wife.

    She now approaches conversations about how he spends his free time much differently.

    This couple made a plan around how they each use their individual ‘free time’ that meets both of them equally well.


  • Use the Personal Grounding Exercise provided below to take pause and re-connect with yourself at least three to four times a day.Why bother?Our fast paced, ‘should have had that done yesterday’ approach to life really takes a toll on our emotional and physical health.It can also negatively impact your precious relationship with your Partner.If you have a tendency to go too fast, to pack too much into your days, please get a handle on this before it does irreparable damage to your precious relationship with your Partner.

    By taking the time throughout the day to get centered, grounded, relaxed and re-energized you will learn how being grounded, centered, and relaxed actually feels.

    You will gain a much deeper connection to your natural human state of compassionate connection with yourself and others.

    This will, over time, have a general calming effect on your mind and greatly benefit all of your relationships.

    Calm people simply do better with the challenges interpersonal relationships inevitably bring.

Cultivating the habit of reconnecting with the Calm, Compassionate, Adaptive, Infinitely Resourceful YOU

For centuries it has been known that our breathing is connected to our overall state of health, sense of wellbeing, mood, energy level, and our capacity connect with ourselves, others and the world around us.

This knowledge is reflected in many forms of spiritual practices, the healing and martial arts of the east, and the findings of modern empirical research.

As some of you know, I have been studying Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to help me to learn how to more effectively resolve inner conflicts and more effectively mediate disputes and conflicts between others.

The following exercise was adapted from the Self Connection Process (SCP) exercise developed and taught by John Kinyon and Ike Lasater, founders of Mediate Your Life.

I learned in the SCP exercise in the online class, Choosing Peace.

Thank you John and Ike!!!

Personal Grounding Exercise

This exercise can literally be done anywhere, anytime.

I recommend practicing this exercise at least three times a day and anytime that you are feeling emotionally off balance or just not yourself.

To make practicing the exercise more convenient, you may want to print out this post.

The rationale for regular practice:

As I explained above, by routinely taking the time throughout the day to get centered, grounded, relaxed and re-energized you will learn how being grounded, centered, and relaxed actually feels.

Here we go!

  1. Begin by Siting comfortably erect with your head, neck and back in a single straight line.
  2. Gently close your eyes.
  3. Gently roll your shoulders forward, then back a few times.
  4. Gently roll your neck around clockwise then counter clockwise.


  1. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs from the bottom to the top slowly counting 1, 2, 2 3 4.
  2. Now exhale, being sure to completely empty your lungs. Try exhaling for a count of 5.
  3. Repeat, breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 5 until you are feeling centered, relaxed, and grounded.  Keep your focus on your breath.Watch it go in and then out.
  4. Let go of thinking, labeling, analyzing.If your attention wanders to back to thinking, gently return your attention to your breath.Become fully present.
  5. Bring your attention to your senses.Notice all of the sounds and other sensory input from the outside.Become fully present with all that your experience.


  1. Now shift your attention to your body.Notice any somatic sensations and especially your emotions.Let go of any tension.
  2. Allow yourself to be fully present and to experience the revitalizing energy and peace that is your natural state.


  1. In this grounded, more balanced state ask yourself, what needs are eliciting your thoughts, feelings, and desires?
  2. Focus your attention on your feelings and needs.
  3. Now imagine that the needs that you became aware of are fully met.
  4. Know that the universe always provides a path to meet our deepest needs.
  5. As you gently open your eyes ask your self, what is most important to me right now?
  6. Return to your day revitalized, present, and refocused.


Below is a live link to a related post:


To find out more about Nonviolent Communication and the trainings provided by John Kinyon and Ike Lasater I invite you to visit their web site:


Thank you so much for wading through all of this!

I sincerely hope that you found this post inspiring and useful.

I am here if you need me.

I invite you to support our community by posting a comment or question on my blog. I am here if you need me.

See you next week.

Live, connect, love and prosper

Start now with a low cost ‘Committed Partner Breakthrough‘ session

During your low cost “Committed Partner Breakthrough Session” we will:

  • Create a sense of clarity about the relationship you really want to have.
  • Find out the essential building blocks for having the relationship of your dreams.
  • Discover the number one thing stopping you from having the relationship you want and deserve.
  • Identify the most powerful actions that will move you toward the relationship of your dreams.
  • Complete our session with the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to attract a committed partner who truly loves you for who you are!

You will be guided through the steps for setting up your low cost session when you click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below:

Sign Up Now

1 Comment »

Comment by stephen light
August 10, 2014 @ 12:55 am

Ron its amazing the stories we tell ourselves to justify why we feel the way we do.

Very difficult to see other perspectives when we are triggered.

Thank you

Love & Courage
Stephen Light

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Comment

Comment Rules: I'd love to have your comments. I welcome criticism, ideas, and thoughts. Please do not be rude (will be deleted). Please do not put your URL in the comment text. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Thanks for sharing your comments!


If you’d like a picture to show up by your name, get a Gravatar.