how we handle the sour notes

I found this list when I was digging through a box in our closet. It was given to us during our pre-wedding, one-day church retreat. It's a list of things to keep in mind when you're in the middle of an argument with your better half.

1. Don't call each other names
2. Don't involve others in your argument (mother-in-law, brother-in-law, etc)
3. Don't bring up old stories/complaints (stories that are more than 48hrs old shouldn't be brought up again)
4. Stay on the subject at hand and get to the point.
5. No low blows allowed - such as rubbing in character flaws.
6. Don't go to bed upset at each other.
7. Maintain a sense of humor. Laughing can be the best remedy.
8. Hold each others hands and look into each others eyes. Make the choice of love.

What have we really done? Have we followed these rules?

1. Yes. We've never called each other anything hurtful.
2, 4 and 5. Yep. No problems there.
3. This was a hard one for me to get used to. It REALLY works though. We've stuck to it all these yrs and it help a lot. If MrZ or I have a gripe and we don't bring it up in 48hrs = tough luck. This has forced us to be really good about solving things quickly; there's no pile up, hence no unexpected explosions. I think this rule has the best long term results out of all them.
6. Not always. MrZ gets over things so quickly, which is kind of maddening in itself. I need to stew for a bit before I'm officially over it.
7. Yes. We've actually burst out laughing in the middle of a so-called argument.
8. No not really. The last thing I want to do is hold my Mr's hands when we're in the middle of it.

I'll add one that we stick to...
9. No arguments in front of the kids or anyone for that matter. It all stays between the two of us.

Any rules you go by?

Something pretty to end on a good note. These are the lovelies we see in our yard once a year. This weekend I will definitely be getting my hands in some dirt. Our yard is desperately calling out and I happen to find weeding relaxing if you can believe that.

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