When there is a problem, I have found the easiest way to improve relationships is to have a procedure that can be implemented immediately.
The reason a procedure i so necessary is that emotions supersede cognition. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence,” refers to this as emotional hijacking.
One of the first procedures my wife, Evelyn, and I initiated on our honeymoon was never to go to sleep when we were angry with each other. On occasion we have gone to bed with feelings that have not ranked among the most pleasurable, but we never went to sleep angry. Interestingly, we discovered that talking—regardless of how difficult it was to start—always resulted in good feelings.
We were reminded of this procedure at a family affair. My cousin, a child psychiatrist, and his wife, an expert in special education, brought to mind this advice that we gave them some twenty years ago at their wedding. They mentioned that they are still following the procedure.
The same goes for me and my wife.