5 Steps to end a fight with your partner

Ok you are in a bad space. Either it’s all fight or all flight or a mix of fight and flight. Maybe it’s cold shoulder time. Maybe “it’s all your fault” time. Any way it’s no good. Stop. Don’t escalate with tit for tat.

1. Listen

You can talk or listen. Choose listen. That is the best option most of the time.

Listen so the other will talk, open up, go deeper.

This takes courage. You may have to listen to outrageous crap. You may hear a whole pile of accusations. Or instructions on how to be a better person.  Or hear lists of defects. Maybe examples from the past of irreparable blunders. Maybe ultimatums and threats.  Maybe silence, listen too that too,  what might it mean?

Decide to listen. The decision goes something like this. Drop all defence tactics. Stay, don’t move too far away. Assume goodwill. Postpone  judgment. Leave behind sarcasm. Soften eyes and not roll them.

Maybe  offer a few words, with curiosity… “I see…”  “Is there more…”

2. See through the blame to the pain.

Step one is almost impossible unless you also do this step.

“You never…. do the dishwasher… you never initiate sex.” etc.

That’s blame.It is an attack. Never useful.  Don’t do it. If your partner blames, it’s an opportunity.  Don’t defend. There is no need. Your partner is in pain.

Take the leap to see the pain. Imagine this is your partner’s best way of saying I love you and I am in pain. The pain might be a feeling —  scared, alone, sad, hopeless, despair. Why do they have these feelings? Always because you are important to them. They want deep connection. They would rather drive you away than not have you really there with them.

See right through to the base line. Anger is just a flag. So is frustration. See beyond these secondary layers to the desire for being loved and valued unconditionally forever. It’s not too much to ask. We all want that. You partner just has not got in touch with that … it’s still about the dishwasher.

Move from the life story to the love story.

3. Put words to what you imagine hurting your partner

Maybe listening and not reacting defensively has already helped. At least you have shut up. Maybe your body has softened. Maybe your partner can see it.

There is more you can do with imagination. Imagine crossing the gap between you and your partner. Imagine you are there in that messy world of pain with your partner. See the hurt as best you can. See the unmet need. See the hole that is at the source of the pain.

“I imagine when you see that dishwasher you sink into despair and think you will never get the love you want.”

Observe. Were you right? No?

Maybe the response is “I’m just angry”.

Mirror back:

“You don’t feel despair- you are just angry.”


4. Experiment

You get angry when you think it’s unfair and and how can you feel close when there is so much unresolved injustice.

Tune into the unmet need.

Keep going back to 1, 2 and 3. Don’t quit, stay courageous. Keep going to Step 3 till there is a clear yes.

5. Sum the  logical truth.

For example:

“You want us to be close but while you think it’s not fair your anger gets in the way.

You make sense.

“When I walk to the dog before I give you a hug you think I don’t love you and you get scared I’ll leave.  Thats just one example of something I do that means you feel alone.”

If you see this, and think this then you feel that.

Your partner always makes sense. You might not agree with their premise. Grasp the logic. They are not crazy!

5. Be with your partner.  Don’t try to fix it.

Stay with the feelings — for what might seem like ages.

“I did not now how scared you get. That might be terrifying.”

Not terrified? More troubled and worried.

The fight is over when you tune into the exact feelings.   Match them, so your partner knows you are there.

Alone. Alone

Sad. Sad

Scared. scared.

Now you might feel relieved?

Hopeful. Hopeful

Now what? You want to be listened to? You want your say?

Take a few more turns at listening. Make that 10 turns. Be a Buddha

Write in your journal. Go for a self talk walk.

Next post. How to talk so you get heard.

Please leave comments on how you got on with this radical outrageous over the top courageous listening.




When I was 17 I had a Morris 8 just like this. It was really my mother’s but I had full use as long as I filled it up.

I can still smell the leather seats.

I recall a day I had about 6 people in it going to the beach in Sydney’s Royal National Park. They had to get out and push it up the hills.

My father and I towed it to a wrecking yard, I recall pushing it in.

The next car was a Mini.

The Therapeutic Village Submission

This week I submitted a proposal to the The Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction 2018

This is a link to the submission: The Therapeutic Village

There is also a petition on OurActionStation that will be delivered to the Government and again to the Inquiry at the end of November 2018

There is a quote from the opening section of the proposal.

The Proposal
The proposal is that Government develops a framework for the establishment of a series of therapeutic villages.

Such villages will support families and individuals who are already receiving a variety of care. The villages complement but do not replace existing services. They can also perform a preventative function.

The therapeutic village concept envisaged in this submission refers to a group of people living in connection with each other (nearby, though not necessarily all in the same housing) with the purpose of mutual well being. This is not the familiar institutional model of residential care, nor the existing ‘wrap-around’ model, which provides services but no community. The village concept is flexible, built around specific patient/client needs, and puts relationships at the heart of therapeutic work. Villages are guided by a professional team with leadership and coordinating functions, that will facilitate village cohesion. The staff will build and maintain relationships with existing services such as medical centres, schools, daycare, regular therapy group providers and many other services. Continuity of relationships will enable ongoing assessment of needs and coordination of services.

The Algorithm of Wealth

Rice on chessboards, lilys in ponds….


Great little post about how exponential growth happens

How we create wealth is also exponential.

Tools build more tools and better techniques lead to better technologies. As we build layer upon layer of capacity we can make more stuff faster and cheaper.

It started by someone making nails and a hammer before they could build a house. Now much of a house comes out of a factory.

So now there is plenty, abundance?

For some much more than others. There is a peculiar flow of wealth to a very few.


The main thing is the algorithm.

When stuff is made there is someone who clips the ticket. The ticket clippers then accumulate a little bit that suddenly is like the rice on the 64th square.

One person will own everything.

Obviously something gives. Wars. Redistribution etc. but the algorithm goes on.

So if it takes 200 years to create this amount of inequality what will it look like in five years.

Work it out:

surplus value  = excess of value of product over value of inputs = s

value of inputs = constant capital (c) + variable capital (v) = c + v

total value of product = C’ = (c+v)+s

C’ – C  = s


David Eagleman – Secrets of the Brain – audio – Kim Hill


David Eagleman is very clear on

  • how we evolved
  • how we are evolving
  • education for spontaneity not content

Notice, again, how the cultural conserves stimulate creativity.

Now I want to watch the PBS doco


This book


Later the same day!

Watched the first two episodes of the PBS series. They are on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvPu2kYstcg

Very good. Well done. And yet as we watched we realised the misses a psychological dimension. Metaphor. Surplus reality. Theatre of truth.

For example. He shows some remarkable research about the implanting of false memories. But he draws the wrong conclusion. These memories my not be literally true, but literalism is the enemy soul. The story that is recontructed like dreams interpreted may have more meaning than the literal truths. Give the psyche a story, and it will use it to reveal depths.






I called this an autopix when I did them. I could do the outline with my eyes shut.  Love to re-kindle.