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Apologize ASAP

Sometimes you just blew a gasket and say something you wish you could take back the second it’s out of your mouth. Repeat after Rubin: “I’m sorry. That was bad. I shouldn’t have said that. That came out all wrong. Wait, can I take that back? I overreacted.”

As she has found, an apology (even a cheap one) is one of the best ways to turn down the heat of an escalating dispute.

And don’t sit on an apology, advises Lerner. “Offering a genuine apology when one is due goes a long way toward repairing a disconnection. And a willingness to apologize is often contagious.”

If your attempt at reconciliation is met with a “screw you,” don’t push it. Lerner says you can’t expect or insist your partner to accept an apology before he's ready.

(CREDIT: ichiro/digital vision/getty images)
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