Ephesians 4:29 (TEV), "Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed."
When you talk in this peacemaking conflict you say whatever you've got to say in a positive way. You be realistic, but optimistic about the relationship. If you say something offensively it will be received defensively.
1. Never Compare – Never say "Why can't you be like -----" or "You're just like --------" or "You're just like my first wife!" It's unfair to compare.
2. Never Condemn – Don't say "You should..." "You ought..." "You must...." "You should be ashamed of yourself." "It's all your fault!" These absolutes. Whenever you start a sentence with "You" it's often a condemnation. You can change it around and say "We've got a problem here...." or "It seems to me...." or "I feel......" Without condemning the person.
3. Never Command – Never end an argument by force. "I demand that you do what I say." They are an adult, treat them like an adult.
4. Never Challenge – Don't threaten people. "Just try that and see what happens!" Throw down the gauntlet idea. The most commonly items used in threats are money, sex, and divorce. You are deteriorating the relationship every time you do. You're not building up you're tearing down.
5. Never Condescend – Never belittle, ridicule, or play psychologist "I know why you do that". You can't figure out your own motives, much less somebody else's. Don't play historian either.
6. Never Contradict – Never interrupt in the middle of the sentence. Wait to take your turn to talk.
7. Never Confuse – Never bring up unrelated issues where you sidetrack or create diversions. Stick to the main issue.
If you'll do these seven things, you'll learn to attack the problem rather than the person.
Just a thought from the front porch…