Don’t bring up the past.

When your spouse expresses their upset at something you did or didn’t do, stick to the present topic; don’t bring up the past. Don’t bring the wonderful things you’ve done in the past. They aren’t necessarily relevant to the current situation.

A: “Why are you angry?”
B: “Because when I ask you to drive me somewhere, you say no.”
A: “But I just gave you $200 for a cleaning lady! And I called your mother and talked with her!” Those are wonderful things that were done. But, they are irrelevant here. And they don’t negate the refusal for this request for help.

Instead, address the current situation. “I know you need to get somewhere. At this time, I cannot drive you. Maybe there is another way to get there.”

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