|1. It takes two to argue. You can always refuse to participate.
2. A certain amount of tension is to be expected when you're getting divorced. Expect difficult discussions, but they don't have to result in a fight.
3. Try to understand your spouse's viewpoint. Once you understand what he or she wants, you can begin to see how you might be able to help resolve the situation.
4. Evaluate your own goals. Are you entrenched in a position that may have another solution? If you want your children on Wednesday night for dinner, will Thursday do? If your goal is financial security, is one particular asset the key, or could another be substituted?
5. Use "I" statements. Begin every sentence with "I," rather than "you." Example: "I feel upset when I hear you say that I'm a bad father because I have to work so many hours," instead of "You are always accusing me of being a bad father."
6. After you explain how you feel, listen to your spouse's side of the story. Repeat what you heard, to make sure for yourself (and to convey to your spouse) that you understand how he or she views the situation.
7. Plan a time to have a discussion with your spouse about a specific issue that bothers you. Limit the discussion.
8. Choose your timing. The same comment may evoke a different response if chosen: 1) when neither of you is tired; 2) when neither of you is already angry; and 3) the children or others are not in earshot.
9. Be prepared to say "I'm sorry" sometimes. "I was wrong" can go a long way.
10. Above all, let annoyances go and choose your battles wisely. They are too important to squander.