If Sandwich Generation responsibilites are stressful and you’re feeling frustrated, a conversation with your husband has the potential to turn into a fullblown fight. Here are some ways to diffuse the emotions :

Stop what you’re doing and close your eyes – breathe in deeply several times through your nose. Hold your breath for five seconds and release it through your mouth. Ignore any intruding and negative feelings. Notice how focusing only on your breathing makes you feel more refreshed.

Throw yourself into an activity that gives you immediate release – call a good friend and talk about how you’re feeling, read the next chapter of an engaging book, take a run in the park or listen to relaxing music.

Distraction is a powerful tool and can be in whatever form best suits the character of your relationship. Try humor, be playful or turn the controversy at hand into a game of debate. As a result of developing these kinds of adaptive defenses, you and your partner will be able to enjoy deeper and more meaningful discussions.

Familiarize yourself with these techniques so they’re accessible when you need them most. Rehearsing and having strategies at your disposal makes a difference in the outcome of your disagreements. As Russian writer Leo Tolstoy once said, “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”

A reminder to come on by tomorrow for Carol White’s Virtual Book Tour here on the blog. She will be available all day, in virtual time, to answer your questions about her award-winning book, “Live Your Road Trip Dream.”

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