When issues don't get resolved, then resentments develop and fester. Just in case you didn't know, fighting is a part of any good marriage!I mention this because there are some people who live with the naïve notion that in "good marriages" couples never fight. Here are a few important pointers to make sure that when you fight, you fight fair: Trust is one thing that takes a long time to build and a very short time to destroy. Many people wrongly believe that in a good marriage, you can "relax" and not have to monitor everything you say and do. In a good marriage, you must always be monitoring your behavior.
Needless to say, an abusive relationship is one where there is no trust.What you have to learn to do is say something like, "Let me make sure that I've understood what you just said.It sounded to me that you want me to..." If you are an "advanced" listener, try not only to reflect back the content, but the emotional tone as well.If you are not actively working to build a safe emotional space, than you are probably building an unsafe one.A colleague of mine who is known for his wisdom as an educator in Los Angeles defines an abusive relationship in the following way.When a person feels he or she cannot express their needs to the other person, then this leads to a break down in trust. Either we are afraid of rejection or we are afraid of feeling ashamed for having such needs.