Avoid Arguments by “Taking a Break”

a couple sitting far apart on a couch


This is a useful tool for couples when conflict starts to escalate out of control.

One way to do avoid conflict with your spouse before it starts is by “taking a break.”  Let’s say you and your spouse are arguing, things are getting pretty intense, and the ugly words are starting to fly.  That’s when one of you should muster-up the calmness to say, “Let’s take a break.”  The break begins promptly and the person who called for the break immediately sets a time within 24 hours when you’ll have the discussion again.  By then, you and your spouse will have had time to calmly think about the issue and resolve not to let things get personal with name-calling or yelling.

Of course “taking a break” in the midst of the argument is more easily said than done.  Recently, my wife and I were having a heated discussion.  At first I followed my own advice and suggested we “take a break” so we could cool off.  But, a few minutes later, I just had to make one more point…and that’s when things got really hot.  To be effective, both parties have to agree to abide by “taking a break.”

So “take a break” and put your marital conflict to R-E-S-T…

Family Minute Rest Worksheet



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