1. Give your partner a heads-up that you would like to carve out time for a serious talk.
The four words men hate most are We Need To Talk. If a woman says that to a guy, he dreads it, and he may balk, but the conversation needs to happen. Just the opposite is true for most women. When a guy says that to a woman, she may be anxious, but she is likely to welcome the opportunity for discussion. Recognize that you’re coming from completely different corners.
2. Create three talking points (and only three!) and memorize them.
Be able to make each point in one sentence. If you say nothing else, these are the points you need to make. Now you have a skeleton outline to help you return to the issues at hand if you get sidetracked.
3. Be concise.
We tend to say too much. Say it once. Let silence happen while your partner processes your points.
4. Don’t be in it to win it.
Be in it to discover how your partner sees it. In fact, ask, “How do you see it?” This attitude shift is critical. It’s not a fight. It’s a discussion.
5. Stay in the present!
Do not bring up past transgressions no matter how tempting it is to zap him with old atrocities. That’s hitting below the belt. Defensiveness and anger will follow, and your talk will dissolve into an argument no one can win.
6. After you’ve covered your three talking points, ask, “Where do we go from here?”
Be prepared with your own suggestions, but listen to your partner’s ideas, too. He or she may suggest alternatives that never crossed your mind.
7. If you’re reduced to shouting, be confident enough to end the discussion.
Suggest you both think about what happened and set a time to talk within three days when you’ve calmed down.