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Can you avoid conflict in your relationship? Absolutely! And we don’t mean avoid as in ducking out of the room when it looms. No, we’re talking about negotiating differences without descending into recriminations, counter-attacks, hostility, hurt feelings and battle scars. We never go there, and you don’t have to, either.

We have a process which we use to make decisions, solve problems and create mutual solutions. You too can apply this in your relationship, and the more you do it, the easier and the more enjoyable it will become.

Audio Report
Since many of you enjoy audio versions, allowing you to do other things at the same time, we record podcasts of all our blogs. You can listen to them on iTunes and Stitcher as well as directly from our blog pages.

You'll hear Phil's voice on most of these, but we've also done audio interviews together. A couple of recent ones are with Gail Brenner and Bill Weil.

Happy Listening!

Successful Relationship Reading Corner
In this week's blog we wrote about the process we use to make decisions, solve problems and create mutual solutions. Other articles covering aspects of that:

Effective Listening "Here are a few rules to start the process: Never interrupt when the other person is speaking. Allow the speaker to complete his or her thought. Eliminate distractions – put your book down or turn off the television. Maintain eye contact while the other person is speaking. Pull your chair closer and lean toward the speaker. Keep your posture open – directly face your partner and leave your arms and legs uncrossed. Give verbal and nonverbal responses to what the speaker is saying – “yes, I see,” nod your head, smile, or frown when it’s appropriate."

5 Keys To Active Listening For Couples "What follows are five keys to active listening for couples. Some of these tips may seem obvious while others will require you to pause and think. Read them all so that you can more fully absorb their deeper meaning. When you are done, reflect upon some of your past conversations with your mate and identify the areas that need improvement."

OUR CONFLICT-FREE RELATIONSHIP "Early in our relationship, we began to notice that we hadn’t had an argument in over a year. We both had enough age and experience to find this unusual, so we started to examine the factors made our relating so peaceful and devoid of anger and recrimination. First we made a list of what wasn’t causing the lack of conflict:
* It wasn’t avoidance. We both have a strong sense of self that does not accept self-effacement or a sense of being manipulated.
* It wasn’t the initial euphoria of the honeymoon phase. That had worn off.
* It wasn’t just that we had luckily stumbled on a peaceful year. Living without conflict was different in its essence from even occasional conflict."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time,
Phil and Maude
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