1. Recognize the Ep. 6:10-12 spiritual battle. When you suddenly get a fight or flight response from your marriage partner, realize that the “arms dealer” just took a shot through you at your spouse. The battle is not against your spouse, but rather against the devil and the kingdom of darkness, whose purpose it is to destroy your marriage.
2. Stop talking on the topical level and ask your spouse how you have just made him/her feel. The key to understanding the wounding relational message is in understanding the feeling generated.
3. Repeat back to the wounded, sharing partner what you heard him/her say were the feelings generated. The purpose of this is to verify that you correctly understand how you have made him/her feel.
4. Take responsibility for sending the relational message (whether it was intentional or not, doesn’t matter) and causing the wound by acknowledging that you now understand that you did indeed shoot at your spouse and cause the wound.
5. Ask your spouse to forgive you for wounding him/her.
6. Convey a true message of love or respect for him/her from your heart.
7. Let him/her know that you will use your best efforts not to wound him/her that way again.