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The Rules of Engagement for a Well-Utilized Time-Out

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Emerson and Jonathan explore the concept of "time-outs" in marriage during conflict. Emerson emphasizes the importance of recognizing when a break is needed during a heated argument, just as in sports, a well-timed time-out can change the game's outcome. The episode provides three essential rules for implementing effective time-outs in marital conflicts, highlighting the significance of respectful communication and the long-term benefits of learning how to take a time-out. Ultimately, it underscores that a time-out in marriage and life is not a cop-out, but rather a valuable tool for resolving conflicts constructively.

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor
Jonathan Eggerichs, Psy.D.

Questions to Consider

  1. Have you and your spouse ever “called a time-out" in the middle of a conflict? How did doing so help the situation? Did it have a negative effect? How so?
  2. Why do you think Emerson recommends leaving the room when calling a time-out? Why would it be difficult to truly respect the time-out if you stay together?
  3. Do you agree with Emerson’s fifteen minutes (maybe thirty) to re-engage after a time-out? 
  4. Though there are exceptions to everything, why can it be dangerous to “keep at it” for an unlimited amount of time?

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