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Tina B Tessina

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Books by Tina B Tessina
Hello, and welcome to the "Happiness Tips" newsletter. In addition to a helpful tip for increasing your happiness, you can find out where I'll be signing books, and how to contact me, along with "Happiness Tips from Tina" in every month's newsletter. Please remember to add tina.tinatessina.com to your "acceptable" list, especially if you're on AOL.
Newsletter Dated: 4/1/2007 5:41:58 PM

Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Fighting Fair

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our new subscribers, I love hearing from all of you, and I've printed your e-mail responses at the bottom of this newsletter. I welcome all suggestions for topics. To make sure your spam system doesn’t reject this newsletter, please add tinatessina@Compuserve.com to your list of acceptable e-mail. To unsubscribe, see below.
Happiness Tip: Fighting Fair

I’ve just finished a new book: Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage which will be published by Adams Media this year, and I thought you’d like to see a sample.

Thirty years of marriage counseling and twenty-five years of a second marriage have convinced me that fights are not necessary in a marriage. Married couples need to have discussions, they need to solve problems, and sometimes they need to disagree, but they don’t need to squabble, argue, bicker or fight. Fights are dramatic, which is not helpful to a discussion. If you have enough energy to create drama, you have more than enough to tone it down into a discussion. However, because social expectations and mythology are so strong, many of my clients want guidelines for “fighting fair.” I’ve developed a set of Fair Fight Guidelines you may find helpful.

Fair Fight Guidelines
If you feel a fight is unavoidable, you can still find a win-win resolution if you follow these guidelines.
*Remember the point of the fight is to reach a solution, not to win, be right, or make your partner wrong.
*Don't try to mind read. Ask instead what he or she is thinking.
*Don’t bring up all the prior problems that relate to this one. Leave the past in the past; keep this about one recent problem. Solve one thing at a time.
*Keep the process simple. State the problem, suggest some alternatives, and choose a solution together.
*Don't talk too much at once. Keep your statements to two or three sentences. Your partner will not be able to grasp more than that.
*Give your partner a chance to respond and to suggest options.
*Practice equality. If something is important enough to one of you, it will inevitably be important to both of you, so honor your partner’s need to solve a problem.
*Ask and Answer questions directly. Again, keep it as simple as possible. Let your partner know you hear him or her.
*State your problem as a request, not a demand. To make it a positive request, use “I messages” and “please”.
*Don’t use power struggle tactics: guilt and obligation, threats and emotional blackmail, courtroom logic: peacekeeping, sacrificing, or hammering away are off limits.
*Know your facts: If you’re going to fight for something, know the facts about the problem: Do research, find out what options are available, and know how you feel and what would solve the problem for you.
*Ask for changes in behavior, don’t criticize character, ethics or morals.
*Don’t fight over who’s right or wrong. Opinions are opinions, and that won’t solve the problem. Instead, focus on what will work.
*Ask your partner if he or she has anything to add to the discussion. "Is there anything else we need to discuss now?"
*Don’t guess what your partner is thinking or feeling. Instead, ask. “What do you think? Or How do you feel about it?”
*Hold hands, look at each other, remember you’re partners.
*If you’re angry, express it calmly. “I’m angry about ……” There’s no need for drama, and it won’t get you what you want. Anger is satisfied by being acknowledged, and by creating change. Anger is a normal emotion – rage is phony, it’s drama created by not taking care of yourself.
*Acknowledged and honor your partner’s feelings – don’t deflect them, laugh at them or freak out. They’re only feelings, and they subside when respected, heard and honored. *Listen with your whole self. Paraphrase what your partner says; check to see if you understand by repeating what is said. “So you are angry because you think I ignored you. Is that right?”
*No personal attacks or criticism. Focus on solving the problem.
*If you want to let off steam (vent), ask permission or take a time out. Handle your excess emotion or energy by being active (run, walk, hit a pillow,) writing, or talking to someone who is not part of the problem. Don’t direct it personally at anyone. You can’t vent and solve problems at the same time.
*Don’t try to solve a problem if you’re impaired: tired, hungry, drunk or unstable.
*Surrender to your responsibility. When you become aware that you have made a mistake, admit it and apologize. Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

from: Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Adams Media) ISBN# 978-1-59869-325-6 © Tina B.Tessina, 2007
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html

Aspects of Love
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
Coping with Critics
Emotions as Weather
Family Violence Q&A
Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence
Guidelines for Being Understood by Your Partner
Handling The Green-Eyed Monster
How to be Irresistible to Your Mate
How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship
How to Write a Love Letter
It’s a Dirty Job
Letting Go Takes Love
Mirrors and Teachers
State of the Union Meeting
Stupid Cupid
You Be The Judge

Appearances Calendar
I have a brand new blog! http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/

upcoming radio shows, TV, and lectures are all posted on my website at www.tinatessina.com

Online
You can find me on the Internet, as the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date (Look for my predictions for romance for 2006!), a designated Expert for Redbook Love Network and I'll also answer your questions at http://www.tinatessina.com.

I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at tina@tinatessina.com.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
www.tinatessina.com

MAILBOX
Re: Learning Forgiveness

Tina, Thanks for the very useful tips. Hugs. Lee
Thanks, Lee, for letting me know they were useful.

Tina, This is fantastic and came at just the time when someone close to me (my sister) could really use it. I'll send it to her and hope she will read/absorb it. Thanks! -Randy
Thanks, Randy-I wish her well.

I like this forgiveness does have to start with forgiving ourselves. I have always believed that. If we cannot forgive ourselves for things then we won’t be able to forgive anyone else. Thanks for this and the EXERCISE It helps thanks. Hugs Angela
You’re welcome, Angela. I’m glad it helps.

Re: Weaving the Web

Good info; A message for the teachers in all of us... :)
H Cruz
I’m glad you liked it.

Thanks for your writing. When getting in touch with the inner person I think of it as getting in touch with the Spirit once we become in touch with the Spirit then we can be in balance. Angela.
Thanks, Angela. I wish you balance in all you do.

NOTE TO MY READERS:
The newest spam scam is to use someone's web address to send out spam. So, if you get unsolicited e-mail from tinatessina.com, I hope you'll understand I didn't send it, and I can't do anything to stop it. Please don't let it stop you from enjoying this newsletter.


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