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Take time out to stop a Toxic Marriage


It is important that you can recognise when time out is needed in your relationship.


Your breathing has gotten faster, your voice is louder, and your tone has changed. You may have started to feel frustrated and angry. Rather than speaking assertively, you tend to change to aggression and criticism. Rather than listening to understand, you can ignore, belittle and argue back.


The fight and flight response has been triggered. This is when a time-out is especially needed, as hurtful things can easily be said and done in these moments. For many people, they are in a persistent arousal of fight and flight and get triggered easily. Is this you? Perhaps take time out to stop a toxic marriage.


Here are the 5 Steps for time out:


1. Recognise the need for time out.


Noticing your body and emotional reactions from yelling, crying, attacking comments and red face.


You’re scared of your partner’s reactions.


Learning to recognise the signs that things have become tense.


2. Request the time out.


Call it. For example, “I’m too angry to talk about this now, give me 30 minutes”.


It’s not helpful to tell your partner they need time out. You suggest it and a time to resume the conversation.


3. Breathe and calm down.


Ground yourself. Walk around outside, write in your journal or listen to music.


Do something that will help you recover from the emotional intensity.


4. Remember what is important.


Reflect on how you got here.


Think about the ‘I’ messages you could use to tell your partner what you were feeling and thinking.


Spend some time understanding where your partner is coming from.


Remember, would you rather be happy, or right?


5. Resume the conversation.


Use assertiveness and active listening skills to find a resolution.


It’s important to return to the topic when you are both ready to have a more productive conversation.


As a couple, it’s extremely helpful to have a discussion about this and what you will do in the future.



Take turns to talk about how you want to do the time out and what would stop you from taking time out.


Tune in to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth.


Take time out to stop a Toxic Marriagehttps://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/


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