By Cari Wira Dineen
It started as a fight about who should come home to relieve the babysitter and ended in you both taking a couple of cheap shots. But the mud he slung is still smarting—and every time you think about it, your blood boils. Over time, bottling up your emotions creates resentment, which can lead to feeling perpetually angry with your partner. Ultimately, if you don’t express yourself, you’ll just lash out at each other and say hurtful things that you really don’t mean. “It’s not bad to argue—fighting is a form of communication—but you have to be constructive,” says Kerner. “As a couple, you need to learn how to complain about solvable problems instead of criticizing each other.” Start by fessing up to why you’re still upset and work to clear the air. Then move on by developing guidelines for how to argue more productively, such as instigating a no-name-calling rule.
Do you bottle things up or talk about them?