"Help me understand where you're coming from. This is where I get tripped up." — Jon, 35, married seven years
This simple, nonconfrontational phrase helps clarify where, exactly, you disagree. In an argument, it’s easy for partners to be on entirely different pages without realizing it. This gets you back on track to figuring out a solution.
"You're so handsome, even when you argue." — Steve, 38, married 12 years
It may sound like you’re wiggling your way out of the argument, but you’re also reminding your guy that despite disagreements, you’re still on his side. Plus, if it gets you both to laugh, you’ll feel more connected, and that’s a win for everyone.
"Is this better or worse than the time we got stranded in that snowstorm?" — Kevin, 29, married five years
Thinking of something you overcame together — a bad vacation, bad clams, whatever — serves as an instant reminder that, no matter what, you’re a team. Plus, bringing up a ridiculous memory may get you to laugh, which will help diffuse the anger.
Get more phrases that can help here.