Beauty4Ashes10 wrote:We decided in the beginning to consciously not respond out of emotion. If either of us does then we take a step back and take the time to analyze our feelings and why we are feeling that way so that we can appropriately discuss our emotions without reacting to each other in a hurtful way.
This sounds like a great starting point! From my experience there's a big difference in disagreeing about something like "lethal action in self-defense" and something that is very personal. It will be much harder to separate emotions when there's a personal attack on you that cuts you to the core. That is just something to be aware of so you can be half-way prepared for it when it happens.
I think PS56 shared something that has been a huge difference in our marriage this past year.
PS56 wrote:When my DW and I do have discussions in front of our kids that involve some disagreement, we typically try to infuse the discussion or disagreement with some humor (not insulting humor but self-deprecating humor) so our audience realizes that we are not angry with one another and that we are still in love.
When a couple does not really have any walls between them, there's no harbored bitterness, and there's a deep, intimate connection, humor is a great way to defuse an escalating situation. This has only been present in our marriage the past year out of 19 1/2 years.