How to Fight Right — in a Pandemic or After

For these sorts of blowups, the key, once again, is to “respond rather than react,” Dr. Cook said. “When we get activated, the limbic system, or emotional center, of our brain can take over and our logical reasoning can get lost in the mix,” she said. “That’s why it’s so helpful to slow yourself down, listen to your partner, and say to yourself how you want to respond before you speak it out loud.”

Dr. Cook also recommends analogizing your fight to a “fur ball,” or the thing that keeps coming back up once in a while, rather than something that will break you. “As aggravating as this can be,” she said, “see it as something that requires some maintenance. It doesn’t mean it won’t get better.”

Fair fighting is an ongoing effort, even when a pandemic is fanning the flames.

“Even the healthiest of couples encounter challenges and stumbling blocks

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