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Could we sit down on Saturday morning before the kids get up and talk about this?This gives your partner a heads-up about your concerns and schedules a time that will work for both of you. Start by talking about your view of the problem, your worry, your solution - Tom, I know I seemed upset but the new fishing equipment but I realized that what was bothering me about it was...; Matt, I'm worried about the kids and think it's important that we both be on the same page. Use "I" statements - I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells when I'm around you, I think that it would be wonderful if you could do more together - rather than "you" statements - you never say anything positive, you always seem angry.
Kate might be mad about the new fishing gear, but is it about spending the money, the fact that Tom didn't talk to her about it ahead of time, or that perhaps it's another reminder that he spends almost every weekend with his friends fishing and that they don't do things together as a couple?
Talking about yourself helps keep your partner from feeling attacked or blamed, and getting defensive and angry in return.
Managing a conversation is a bit like driving a car.
But problem-solving is more than just an airing of complaints.
Next you need to be clear about what you would like to be different in positive, concrete and specific terms.