How do you feel when your partner does something that irritates, insults, disappoints, or bothers you? Do you react by using negativity, shame, blame, or criticism? All couples have
conflict—either minor, serious, or severe. But, it’s possible to have a fight-free relationship.
By “fight-free,” we mean that when you or your partner are experiencing a frustration in
your relationship, you can quickly move through the frustration toward mutual
understanding and respect without emotionally destroying each other.
If you have been with your partner for a period of time, you probably have experienced
what we call the “core scene.” It comes right out of the relationship script, the scene where
familiar feelings come to the forefront, in countless subtle variations. It’s the fight where
you know your parts by heart and words like “always” and “never” are frequently heard.
Dumping out your frustrations on your partner is toxic to the relationship but to break this
destructive pattern of conflict requires effort. To have a fight-free relationship, you need to overcome your Autopilot responses and learn a new way of talking and listening. We call
this intentional way of talking and listening the “Imago Dialogue.” It is a structure to help facilitate partners a way of talking without criticism, listening without judging, and connecting through differences. Using this process, both the talker (the “Sender”) and the
listening (the “Receiver”) will feel more respected and heard which begins to shift the negative patterns of relating. Here are main steps of “Imago Dialogue” Marie Forloe