4. After a fight, both parties need to accept and experience their true emotions. While certain feelings are painful to experience (e.g., rage, anger, sadness, disappointment, rejection, etc.), it's important to acknowledge these feelings rather than sweep them under the rug. Trying to cut-off your emotions is synonymous with hiding them in the closet. When the next argument occurs, those pent-up emotions will rear their ugly head again.
- Identify the problem: This is not always as simple as it sounds. In some cases, couples may mistakenly identify the wrong source of a problem, which will make attempts to solve it unproductive.
- Define the problem: After the problem has been identified, it is important to fully describe the problem so that it can be solved.
- Form a strategy: The approach used will vary depending upon the situation and the couple’s unique preferences.
- Organize information: Before coming up with a solution, organize the available information (e.g., what do we know about the problem – and what do we not know?). The more information that is available, the better prepared the two of you will be to come up with an accurate solution.
- Monitor progress: Effective problem-solvers tend to monitor their progress as they work towards a solution. If the two of you are not making good progress toward reaching your goal(s), then reevaluate the approach or look for new approaches to the problem.
- Evaluate the results: After a solution has been reached, it is important to evaluate the outcome in order to determine if it is the best possible solution to the problem.
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