Couples need guidance for navigating conflict wisely and skillfully. Hearing what someone has to say is integral in communication, particularly when working through a conflict. Being able to really listen and take in another person’s perspective can be the difference between resolving an argument or making it worse. Good listening means hearing them out without judgment, being curious instead of critical. Curiosity keeps the door open. Criticalness slams the door shut.

I’m going to repeat this because it’s that important. Curiosity keeps the door open and criticalness slams the door shut. In episode 107, I address the importance of conflict and embracing disagreement because it keeps the differences between the two of you honest. Otherwise silent, swallowed differences build into resentments.

that are layered over time which turn into explosions. Today we are going to be thoughtful about how to be more respectful and make more room for different points of view, which prevents the futility of arguments without problem solving. Listen to others and trying to understand their points of view is the key for successful communication.

Instead of lashing out, try using more constructive language that doesn’t just attack the other person’s opinion, but rather encourages dialogue in order to reach an understanding. Compromise can be seen as a chance at resolution instead of a sign of surrender, all that black-white attitude.

Both sides should make allowances if they want any kind of grudges or feelings avoided afterwards. Being able to effectively compromise while keeping your own beliefs intact creates trust between two people who may have been arguing before due to misunderstandings about each other’s opinions. Being an effective listener isn’t just taking time out from our own thoughts and views.

It’s also focusing on understanding where the other person stands, which can be all important for managing conflict. This helps create trust between two people who are at odds with each other due to a disagreement or misunderstanding. When both sides feel heard, they are more likely willing to compromise. A 2022 YouGov survey of a thousand people found that many couples, 39%, argue about tone of voice or attitude, followed by money, then child-rearing practices, communication styles, household chores, and relationships with family. There are so many things we can all find to argue about. 30% say they argue once a week, 8% every day. So clearly, this is an important topic.

We can all benefit from. Today’s guests are Linda and Charlie Bloom, bestselling authors and acclaimed psychotherapists, and relationship counselors who have curated a straightforward approach to help improve the relationships in our lives. Their new book, An End to Arguing, 101 Valuable Lessons for All Relationships, was published in February of this year. is their website where you can learn more.

My very first question, and I’m so glad you’re here, is what can we all do to reduce our defensiveness, which adds fuel to arguing longer and uglier?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (04:30.158)
Thank you for the wonderful question. And I would say people need to slow down, listen well, work with their own reactivity when they get triggered that it’s bringing up fear, it’s bringing up aggravation, it’s bringing up anger, it’s bringing up sadness. Sometimes there can be strong feelings when it’s a relationship that’s important to us and they can trigger us.

And it’s very important to hang on to ourselves and not act out what we’re feeling. Note what we’re feeling. It’s okay to feel anger. It’s okay to feel frightened. It’s okay to feel hurt. But to pause to reflect about a positive response, a response that is going to invite more communication and connection and not alienate the other person and cause distance.

which is very painful when it’s a relationship that’s important to us.

Rhoda Sommer (05:34.945)
Absolutely, I would agree with you. So if they want to reduce that reactivity, what would your advice be besides pausing? Is there a second step?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (05:49.946)
Oh, good question. Yeah. And I also want to thank you for inviting us onto your show. Not only is there a second stout, but there’s a third step. And believe it or not, more after that. But that first step is the most important one, which is the recognition that we have a problem and the key word in that is we.

not you. And so as we begin that process, we want to invite the other person to join us, not tell them that they need to join us, not focus on what they’re doing wrong, but to really hold a position of responsibility here. That I am a, not the, I am a responsible agent.

in the situation in which we find ourselves. So just framing it as a relational situation, as opposed to a victim and perpetrator situation where you’re the problem and you’re making me feel this way, or you’re doing this. And that’s…

really what needs to happen. And it happens not so much outwardly, but it happens inwardly, where I don’t even enter into the conversation until I have at least some sense, small though it may be, that I too have contributed to where we are now. It doesn’t mean that it’s either black and white thinking like it’s either your fault.

or it’s my fault, but we have co-created this situation which isn’t working for me. It seems like it’s not working all that well for you. And can I invite you into a conversation in which we might be able, I’m not saying that our relationship is terrible. I’m just saying that, hey, it could be better. I don’t think that you would argue with that either.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (08:18.414)
Can you join me in a conversation in which we can perhaps bring some higher well-being for both of us into this relationship? So to make it an inviting invitation, not a blaming one, not an angry one.

Rhoda Sommer (08:39.029)
And I always like what David Schnark said that.

relationships are a people growing machine. And that’s, we wanna have more character, we wanna be a better person. And I’m saying to my clients just yesterday, that’s what real love is. It’s the work of being a better person and looking at yourself, not just pointing the finger at the other person. And I think that we and the us, sometimes when I have somebody really, really difficult, I will say to them,

Linda and Charlie Bloom (09:04.374)

Rhoda Sommer (09:13.199)
I try to convince people to be willing to take 15 percent. You know, I’m trying to wiggle them towards, you know, claiming something, because it’s so comforting to just blame, and feel like you’re not contributing. And it’s not true. It’s a false illusion.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (09:31.602)

Rhoda Sommer (09:34.493)
What are some effective communication techniques to prevent arguments from escalating or from just getting stuck in a pattern of repeating the same things over and over that loop people get into?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (09:48.682)
I am always encouraging our students, our clients, and our readership to ask more questions. Because asking questions tends to open up communication. And there is usually so much more going on below the surface. You know, the metaphor of the iceberg only a little bit shows above the surface of the water and there’s all this other stuff that’s going on.

And if we ask ourselves questions about, why am I experiencing such intense emotion about that? That’s a profound question to live in. But to also ask our partner, it seems like something that I said triggered you, would you be willing to share with me what got activated in you when I said that? I didn’t mean any harm, but even though my intentions were good, I think I hurt or upset you.

These kinds of questions tend to lead to a gold mine of understanding, not necessarily agreement, but understanding is a lot. I think it’s often underestimated how profoundly important understanding is, that when people feel understood that the other person gets why they’re tender in this area.

why they have a strong preference for this, that, or the other thing, then I think the connection is really strengthened, the trust is deepened, and the relationship lifts up into the Thrive Zone. And I think that people often are making too many demands and commands and it’s off-putting to the other person, and they don’t bring what you opened up the whole session with, with…

that curiosity and wonder, which is so healing. When people bring their curiosity and wonder to the communication, people feel valued by that. And if it’s really sincere, that can open up a whole dimension that may not have been explored thoroughly enough.

Rhoda Sommer (12:03.421)
I really like your distinction between it’s not about agreement, it’s about understanding. And so the goal is understanding. And that, if you enter a conversation with that feeling instead of I got a win or you have to agree with me, that can change the whole tenor of the conversation.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (12:26.409)

Rhoda Sommer (12:27.697)
Very nice. I like that. Are there specific personality types that are more prone to arguing and how can they learn to manage it better?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (12:38.89)
The type that’s most prone to arguing is the type called human beings. And you know, when we use the word arguing, what we’re referring to is a particular kind of a process that most of us are familiar with where there’s a different set of perspectives where each.

looking at this from our own perspective, and they’re not congruent with each other. And we each have taken on the challenge of trying to get the other person over to my side to agree with me. And that, as we know, never ends well, because it’s cyclical. And so…

One person attempts to coerce in their own way. It could be through aggression. It could be intimidation. It could be withdrawal. It could be some other form of manipulation. And then the other person counteracts. They counter with their form of coercion. And that just goes on. And of course it doesn’t get better. It just, the feelings get more intense. And either…

you know, there’s an explosion at some point or else one person just gives up, gives in, whatever, have it your way. But of course, as you know, as we all know, that doesn’t end it. You know, you might, the actual argument might stop. Where did the feelings go? They don’t just disappear. They, they go underground. And what happens is that there’s this residue.

of incompletions that keep coming up, fueling future interactions. Now, I know that, just to get back to your question, I know I was being a little bit sarcastic, but we humans do seem to be programmed to have certain feelings when our desires are met with resistance.

Rhoda Sommer (14:47.717)
No, that was great.

Linda and Charlie Bloom
Those feelings can be fear, it can be anger, it can be pain, a lot of things. So it’s really not so much a matter of how do I get this other person to agree with me, but what is it that I’m experiencing right now in response to their reaction to me? Am I feeling threatened? Am I feeling hurt? Am I feeling…

concerned. What is it that’s there and what do I need to communicate right now in order for me to get to be able to stay open? Because right now, this trigger that just activated me is preventing me from even really hearing them now. Now I’m in a defensive mode. And when I’m in a defensive mode, it’s really difficult for me to hear the other person because I’m too busy trying to protect myself from them.

So to really check in, okay, wow, you just said that. Here’s what I felt when you said it. And I need to take a breath for a second because I’m really feeling activated and I wanna hear what you’re saying. But right now, I just need to let you know, this is where I am. And that’s not only for their benefit, but it’s for my benefit too, so I can show up again, because I’m gone. I’m possessed with anger, with fear, with whatever.

And it doesn’t take much to come back though, if I’m willing to really acknowledge it to myself, accept it and let them know. Now, if they can’t accept that, if they make me wrong for that, then we’re spiraling down again. So hopefully I can express it in a way that isn’t gonna activate them. But sometimes no matter how skilled we are in saying something responsibly, the other person can still get reactive and defensive.

So that’s where we get into what we’re referring to as those ongoing cyclical arguments. And the reason that they don’t stop is because neither person is willing to do the one thing that’s necessary for it to stop, and that is to get vulnerable, to really check in, let them know, this is what I’m feeling, this is what’s going on with me.

giving them that information. And most people will respond with some degree, they’ll cool down a little bit, just hearing, feeling your vulnerability. But it’s not easy to do because we’ve all accumulated a whole laundry list over the years and decades of defenses against revealing vulnerability. All of us have. We’ve all got our versions of how to do it. But that is really…

That’s the short answer to the question of, how do we break the defensive cycle? You get vulnerable. I totally am with Charlie about the vulnerability is the way to break the cycle. But I would like to pick up that thread of the personality type, just to add to what he said. In the Buddhist philosophy, they speak about the weak suits that therefore,

Linda and Charlie Bloom (18:31.97)
personality types that you have to beware of the weakness. There’s delusion type, greed, fear, and anger. And the anger type, personality, has more work to do than the greed, fear, and delusion. Because their initial response to things, and I think this is just born right in people with their personalities.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (19:01.778)
is no resistance and a tendency to want to fight. So they have that personality type. It just means that they have more work to do to file down that rough edge. The fear types, of course, they are likely to become avoidant about discussing the tough issues because they’re so afraid of so many things and they’re afraid of conflict. So they too have a lot of work to do.

to become conscious combatants, to grow some courage to be able to get into the fray and mix it up and experience some discomfort and so forth. The delusion type sometimes don’t even realize what’s going on, that there could be a lot of trouble in there in La Land, everything’s fine, everything’s fine, do you know? And they need to wake up and smell the roses or smell the rotting things.

really face the issues. And so every personality type has plenty of work to do to become masterful in dealing with differences successfully, but I think that anger types have more work to do.

Rhoda Sommer (20:19.005)
And what about the greed?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (20:21.186)
The greeds, they sometimes are grasping. You know, they’re wanting to take and they can sometimes disadvantage other people in their greed. That they need to cultivate generosity of spirit so that they’re really playing fair and they’re not grasping and grabbing and holding things for themselves. So each one has a little bit different work to do.

But big surprise, we all have work to do. It’s just the anger types have more filing down of their rough edges to hold on to themselves so that they don’t anger at.

Rhoda Sommer (21:00.945)
It’s a really interesting paradigm that I actually have not heard before. And I really, I just think that’s really interesting. And what Charlie was talking about, I was thinking that being vulnerable requires a lot of uncertainty. And people don’t like uncertainty. We’re all a little addicted to our point of view is right and we like the certainty of it. So I like, I like both of what you both said. Thank you so much.

Rhoda Sommer (21:31.079)
Many couples use the silent treatment most of the time. 41% say some of the time they use it. What can you do when the person you are arguing with doesn’t want to talk and walks away?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (21:50.498)
People who do that are operating under the illusion who use the silent treatment that form of defensiveness is not as painful or harmful as it is when somebody raises their voice and yells. No, it can for many people be far more painful to be shut out because what it does is it

that could be long buried of abandonment that many of us have. When somebody we needed wasn’t there for us when and in the way that we needed them. So when somebody just goes silent, we call that the violence of silence. When they go silent like that and they disengage without even clarifying what they’re doing, saying, you know, I need to take a break here, doing it in a responsible way. When they just…

shut down and just disengage wordlessly. That can be one of the most painful reactions that a person can experience if they’re in the receiving end of that. So what can a person do? They can, if the other person has not physically left.

If they just say something like, well, I’m done here. You know, I’m out of here. And the other person is left feeling like, well, wait a minute, you know, we just opened up this huge can of worms and you’re gonna leave me here without even trying to get to some understanding here. We don’t have to fix this whole thing all, but can we at least get to, and but the other person has already decided I’m gone. I don’t have, I don’t wanna take any more of this from you.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (23:48.782)
Then what we encourage people to do is say something like, okay, I get it, but before you leave, can I just ask you one thing? Can I just ask you one thing? And then the person usually say, okay, what? You know, and.

Can we resume this conversation at another time when we’re both cooled down? And it’s important to say, we are both, not when you’re ready to talk, but when we are both in a better position. Can you agree to that? So you don’t fight them about leaving. You don’t make them wrong for leaving.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (24:39.714)
You accept, okay, they’re maxed out. They can’t handle anymore right now. All right. But you make it overt. You let them, okay, I get it. And then you try to negotiate a time when we can come back, hopefully in the not too distant future. Like hopefully, maybe in an hour or two or later on that day or.

you know, maybe if it’s gotta be the next day, but you know, certainly no more than 24 hours. And just to, and 95% of the time when people come back together after having given themselves a break, they will be in a much more balanced state of mind. I wanna add to what Charlie’s saying, I’m totally with everything he’s saying. And I just wanna add that the research is very clear.

that the silent treatment, 80% of the people who use it are male. And they have investigated that to see why men do it more. And there actually is a physiological explanation for it. They’re slower to emotionally arouse to anger. But once they hit those high levels of anger, it’s harder for them than women to drop down.

to a place where they can actually communicate effectively. And so I try to help the women in my caseload to realize that there is a protective mechanism going on there, that he’s gonna, some part of him knows he’s gonna say something or do something he’s sorry for. So he’s leaving the conversation to take care of himself and calm down. Also, and some could possibly be to protect her from what he anticipates is the rage.

that’s going to come out of him that he can’t control. That he can slap her or touch her. You don’t want to push me because I could be really mean here. If they reframe it as he’s protecting me from his intense anger that he’s fearful that he can’t manage, and that’s a good thing, and it’s not a problem that he takes a break. It’s only a problem.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (26:59.082)
if we don’t have an agreement in place that we’re gonna resume after we’ve calmed down after the break and bring up the subject again and take as many breaks as we need to get some kind of completion and understanding on the difficult top.

Rhoda Sommer (27:16.545)
And I’m always saying that old myth that don’t go to bed angry is ridiculous because people need to have feel more together when they’re really trying to have a real conversation. Dumping out your emotions and being crappy to each other is not a hard thing to do.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (27:37.446)
In fact, the most kind thing to do is to just agree that we’re going to let it rest until we’re rested ourselves. And we’re going to be more effective, do you know, to have a successful communication after we’ve gotten some sleep. I think it’s a good idea if you do have bandwidth to try to get to a more peaceful place before you go to sleep, but it’s not always possible.

In fact, we recommend to people that after they’ve worked all day, they’ve given, you know, to the kids and given to their careers and all they have is scraps left over, don’t even try to have a meaningful conversation at the end of the day. But designate some time when you are going to be rested and at your best to deal with these very important issues.

Rhoda Sommer (28:32.145)
I agree. One of the things I’ve talked to people about is trying to find, carve out a little bit of weekend time where you’re not quite as tired or weary. And I think having those inner resources would help reduce it, the arguing. Are there any other things about de-escalating that you want to toss into the conversation that we haven’t covered?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (28:56.798)
I am a big advocate of taking deep breaths. When people really tune into their body, how tight they’re getting, that their belly’s tight, that their chest is tight, they may be clenching their fists, you know, they may be clenching their jaw, that if they have some kind of a relaxation process and people who meditate know that they need to calm themselves down, that…

I’m a fan of talking meditation. Do you know that while you’re interacting with the other person, you’re slowing down the speed with which you’re sending your information and receiving your information and really taking it in. And by taking deep breaths and pausing in between the ideas that are being exchanged, I feel like there’s an opportunity to really be with the information

And notice what’s going on in your body if you’re tightening up so that you can calm yourself. And when your whole body is calm, the chances that only your reptilian brain is working, you know, that lizard brain that only knows fight or flight or freeze, that is going to settle down too so that your neocortex is working where you have all these creative possibilities.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (30:20.694)
where you can remember the things that you’ve read in the books and heard in the workshops and learned in your therapy to actually use them. But you need your neocortex, the really highest functioning part of the brain, and to be at your best you have to be somewhat calm.

Rhoda Sommer (30:38.333)
Yes, I would completely agree. You referenced three specific words that should never be used in an argument. What are they and why are they so destructive?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (30:51.95)
Well, what we’re referring to is actually a phrase of three specific words. And that phrase is, you’re being defensive.

And if they weren’t being defensive before they heard you say that, they definitely will be now. That’s the quickest way to put somebody on the defense, is to make that accusation. And you know, we hear people doing it all the time. I guess they have some misguided idea that by accusing them of defensiveness, then that person is going to get vulnerable.

generally doesn’t work that way. Usually has the opposite effect. But the chances are very good that if you find yourself saying that, or if your partner says that to you, while it may be true that person may be being defensive.

it’s not going to bring about your desired outcome. It will only take you further away from it. So it’s important to be clear about, well, and this is what we think is one of the most important, if not the most important starting place in any kind of a conversation or discussion or…

argument is to be clear about what your intention is. So at the very beginning, maybe even before you actually start the dialogue, to be clear about what is it that I wanna have happen (to yourself first) to be clear about, this is what I wanna have happen out of this conversation. I want us to be able to understand each other better. I want us.

to be able to find some common ground where we can both stand rather than pointing the fingers of blame at each other. I want us to experience something, whatever that might be. And also we encourage people to actually state that intention at the very beginning of the invitation to a conversation.

And this is why, you know, do you have a few minutes to talk right now? There’s a couple of things I want to run by you. Is this a good time? And if the person says, yeah, well, okay, how long, how much time do you need? Well, I don’t know, maybe an hour or so, whatever. So if you get to the point of where, you know, there’s some agreement, some buy-in on it, then you can, you know, thank them for, oh, great, I’m glad you can do this, because I really…

You know, this is important to me. And, you know, to basically let them know, and here’s what I want to address, and here’s why it’s important. Here’s why this is something that I really want to discuss with you. Here’s my intention. My intention is for us to fill in________.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (34:27.726)
to experience and then you describe whatever experience you want us to have by the end of the conversation. So, let me see, am I?

Rhoda Sommer (34:38.881)
I like the encouragement and intention. Those are important words. I really like that.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (34:45.266)
And in addition to the beginning of the conversation, it’s great to start off on a strong foot like that. You may have to go back to it a few times. And so I give people a starter kit and say, make it your own. You know, when you feel that the other person’s being defensive, in our first book, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married, there’s a one-liner with a little story. If your partner’s being defensive, you’re likely to have something to do with that.

So look at yourself, look at yourself. And when you get your attention off of them and back to yourself, you’re likely to come back to your intention. Your intention, I really wanna understand why it is that you see it the way you see it. I really wanna be closer to you. You know, my intention is for us to get through this. My intention is for us to learn together.

Rhoda Sommer (35:16.432)
Yeah, that’s true.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (35:43.594)
This difference that we have is growth waiting to happen. Do you know, to strike out on something positive rather than shaming and blaming and making them bad and wrong.

Rhoda Sommer (35:54.333)
Yes, I really, I love the constructive energy. It’s not just positive, it’s constructive. You know, and I think that’s really, really a great mindset, thank you. What is committed listening and how does it differ from general listening during a discussion?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (36:15.278)
Committed listening is so essential to be a high functioning couple. All the exemplary couples that we have, we’ve interviewed a lot of them, we collect stories from, we call them the blue ribbon couples. Sometimes we call them the Olympic athletes of marriage and committed partnership. They all practice committed listening. They do not have screens on when they’re having the conversation.

They don’t answer the phone, they don’t take a text or send a text, they don’t have the TV on. Their laptops and their tablets are all closed. They really show up. They look into each other’s eyes. Sometimes they hold hands. Sometimes their knees are touching. They’re fully present. I sometimes use the image of having all your pores open. Do you know that you’re so receptive and that you really…

bring that curiosity and wonder and that commitment to learn and understand together, and you are paying keen attention, not just to the words, but the tone, to the facial expression, to the body language. That’s how present and how much you’re showing up. And when we tend to really show up, it invites our partner to also show up too.

And if we speak in an offhanded way and we’re talking about something that’s important while we’re emptying the dishwasher and we’re distracted by other things, we’re less likely to have a meaningful conversation with a successful out.

Rhoda Sommer (37:54.949)
Yes. What steps do you recommend for repairing trust when it’s been broken?

Linda and Charlie Bloom (38:03.082)
Well, first step is always the acknowledgement that trust has been damaged. And that’s a step that a lot of people know is true, but they have some difficulty actually communicating this recognition of this fact. And…

So the first thing is to recognize that trust has been damaged, at least on your side of things. One person might feel that they’ve been betrayed in some way or that the other person has done something to violate a spoken or unspoken agreement that they have. And then, so to let the other person know and to see whether they…

feel the same way. They don’t have to feel the same way. They might feel like, well, I don’t have any problem with it. But it is important that both people know that at least one person has a problem with the trust. And then there has to be some kind of communication about whether or not there is a mutual commitment to address

this problem because if one person has a trust problem, the relationship has a trust problem. They don’t have to both agree. I mean, one person might say, well, that didn’t bother me. Well, it bothers me. And I am not willing to continue to act as though this is okay the way it is because it’s not right now.


Linda and Charlie Bloom (40:03.506)
And we, and I think most people who are in the relationship business recognize that the fundamental foundation of any good relationship is trust. And no matter what else you’re doing, if the trust foundation isn’t in place, the other stuff isn’t going to make a hillbilly, a bit of difference in terms of the relationship. So you know, whatever else.

might be working, that’s fine, except if you don’t have trust, it’s like there’s a hole in the bucket and all the water is draining out. So there’s gotta be this recognition of it. And then an agreement that either now or some other point, it’s really important to me that we address this and we repair this broken trust because it’s keeping me up at night.

or I’m not willing to tolerate it, I don’t know about you, but I can’t continue without feeling like we are making our best effort to fix this. And we may not be able to repair it in one conversation, or it might take two, it might take 10. I don’t know, but I am committed. And I hope you can join me because I can’t do it alone.

I’d like to add that the two biggest tools in the toolbox for repairing and all the greatest couples that we know are champions of repair and they use apology and forgiveness. If you’re sincerely contrite about the way in which you harm the other person with a broken agreement, do you know that you take responsibility for it and you make a sincere apology has to be timed well because the other person may be busy defending themselves. They may not be ready to hear it and they may not be ready to forgive even once they can receive your apology. So the timing needs to take place. But what I feel is equally important to the apology and the forgiveness is what I have learned out of this breakdown and I will demonstrate to you that I have really learned from this.

so that the trust can not only be restored to the pre-breach level of trust, but even more so. And some people don’t even have that concept in their mind that trust when it’s damaged can be fully repaired. And then some, because of the time and attention and the conversations that were required for the repair to take place. And we’ve been in the field for more than 40

years. So we’ve worked with a lot of people who have had serious breaches of trust, not just affairs, you know, investing the family fortune in a business that went bust because they didn’t know what the hell they were doing with the bad business deal, different kinds of betrayals. And the people have recovered because their commitment to recovery has been strong.

So we’re absolutely of the mind that transformation lives and people can have terrible things happen to them and be resilient and courageous and become wise out of the difficulties that they go through. But a lot of people don’t have that concept in their mind that it’s workable. And so that’s sometimes the hardest part when we work with people is just be open to the possibility, give it your best shot, maybe it won’t work.

Maybe it will. Give it some time. Give it some time and attention and work it and see where it goes.

Rhoda Sommer (43:58.849)
I agree, I do. Are there questions we should ask ourselves when deciding whether to stay or leave a situation? I thought that would be a good question to end with.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (44:13.29)
I think always needs to be asked of ourselves and answered, uh, when we’re at a crossroads like that, having to make a decision like that or feeling like we have to is, um, have I really truly given this my very best shot? Have I done?

everything that I know I need to be doing in order to.
make this decision so that if I do make the decision to leave, I will not leave with any regrets about I wish I should, I wish I had done this or I knew that was something that would have helped but I didn’t do it. I don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want to have any, I don’t want to have, you know, excessive guilt. I might have some regrets, I might have some guilt, but I don’t want to have any more than, you know,

is just natural when a relationship ends, if it does. So, you know, giving it my best shot means I have not only done everything that I thought needed to be done, but I have gone out of my way to find out more about what can be done in situations like this. I’ve done my research, I’ve gotten my therapy, if that’s been important. I’ve spoken to people.

who know more about these things than I do. I’ve really done my best and I still feel like I just don’t have any more juice to keep giving it anymore. I feel complete with my efforts. So that’s, I think, the most important question. And to be really honest with yourself.

to know that I am holding myself to the same expectations and standard that I’m holding my partner to. That’s right. If I’ve been willing to give them everything that I am expecting from them, and I’ve really given it all, then not only is it okay for me to leave, but I need to leave. That’s the responsible thing, because if I don’t, then I’m betraying myself.

to stay in a relationship where I feel there’s no possibility.

Rhoda Sommer (46:58.733)
Yeah, I’ve actually called it a second betrayal when I’ve had people that where somebody had an affair and then just left with that person. And I’ll say it’s really two betrayals because one’s with the other person. But one is that they didn’t try to fix the relationship. Yeah.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (47:18.158)
Exactly. Yeah.

Rhoda Sommer (47:21.433)
So Linda and Charlie, please remind my audience of your book title and where they can get more information.

Linda and Charlie Bloom (47:30.006)
It’s called an end to arguing. It’s a big promise. And there are 101 valuable lessons for all relationships, not just romantic partnerships, but parent-child relationships on the job and with our friends and neighbors. It’s practical. There’s 101 little short chapters. You can choose the ones that are of interest to you. And if people go to our website,

There’s a button to push that’ll take them to Amazon and that’s one click away. We also have four other books that are also on our website and there’s some free books to download. Some very valuable supports to grow great relationships. Blogs, our YouTube channel. So there’s all kinds of free things on our site and if people sign up for our newsletter, they get a
booster shot of inspiration once a month.

Rhoda Sommer (48:30.293)
That’s great. If you’re hearing this message, you listened to the entire episode. And for that, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. My children’s book is on sale on Amazon, Dancing with Your Lizard Brain. Thanks for listening.

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