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The Timeout (A quick guide to defusing the craziness in arguments or yelling matches) 

Let me share with you an exercise that stops the craziness we find in many relationships where both people often feel very angry, lonely and cold once all is said and done. This exercise should allow for you to communicate more effectively and restore trust. It is called the "Timeout".Taking a timeout

When you see an argument arise and it gets to the crazy point where you and your partner are frustrated and yelling and nothing seems to be getting accomplished it is the time to take a Timeout. You simply and calmly say, I think it is time for me, not us, to take a timeout. It is important for you to own the Timeout. This is the very first part which will begin to restore trust and help facilitate communications to work on issues within the relationship. There are eleven (11) rules of the timeout and you should share these rules with your partner so they know exactly what is going on during your timeout. It is best to calmly describe the rules of the timeout on that paper to your partner.

The rules of the Timeout are as follows:

#1. State you are taking a timeout
#2. Take 60 minutes, no more no less
#3 Do it alone
#4 No Drinking
#5 No Drugs
#6 Do Not Drive
#7 Try and do something physical, walk the dog, walk, go to the park, shoot hoops, play a sport.
#8 Take the timeout away from home
#9 Call before you come home and let your partner know you are heading home
#10 Calmly reproach the situation when you do get home and calmly work through the issues
#11 If fighting again escalates to the point of yelling and frustration take another timeout.

Important Notes:
Make sure you return in exactly 60 minutes to rebuild trust. Be SURE you are alone speaking with no one about your relationship issues. You may say hello to someone at the park and all but don't be heading to the bar with friends or discussing your relationship with friends or family.

When you return from the timeout, once you both have cooled down, then you approach the issues in a more calm manner as adults.

One of the greatest tools to use when you come back from the time out is to work as a team and attack the issues together. Calmly ask to discuss and write down each others issues on paper. You can simply say, look honey, we're adults, lets not yell about this, let's voice each others issues, write them down on paper and work them out. List the issues, and then make a plan of attack as far as when each issue will be addressed and how it should be addressed. Each of you should be able to execute from there. Look at it as a "Honey Do" list.

Benefits of the Timeout:
This is a proven and very methodical approach to rebuilding trust. Additionally, because partners are not going out with friends, talking behind their back with other family members or friends, and are coming home on time to directly attack the issues at hand with their partner, the timeout restores trust very quickly. The Timeout also begins to restore communications which have been lost. The two most important aspect in a relationship are trust and communications of which both are directly positively enhanced through this exercise.

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