The 8 Commandments of Fighting Fairly | Real Simple
9 Rules Happy Couples Follow When They Fight When it comes to relationships, conflict is inevitable—but it's how you handle those. Fight Club Rule #1: Anger and Criticism Do Not Take Over. Anger and criticism lead to "flooding," a stress explosion in which the heart beats. Every couple is prone to relationship fights, whether they've been together for a few months or a few years. We all have fights, but having the.
So what is a good set of rules? The following list outlines nine suggested fair-fighting rules intended to help couples handle conflict without harming the relationship. Fair Fighting Rule 1: No Degrading Language Avoid name-calling, insults, put-downs or swearing. In sports there are many rules that prevent one player from intentionally injuring another.
In marriage and relationships, similar rules must apply. I will do whatever it takes to protect myself or to win.
Blaming your spouse distracts you from solving the problem at hand.
14 Tips for Fighting Fair With Your Partner | HuffPost
It invites your spouse to be defensive and it escalates the argument. For example, if you leave a visa bill lying on the table, and the bill later goes missing, you might be tempted to blame your spouse.
You might insist that your spouse is disorganized, must have picked it up and put it somewhere else. Your spouse, in turn, might accuse you of being absent-minded and insist that you just don't remember where you put it.
But blaming each other will not accomplish anything. It won't help either of you feel any better.
It won't strengthen your relationship at all. And it won't help you find the bill. In situations like this, make a conscious decision that your relationship is too important to undermine it with blame and judgment.
Focus on keeping your goodwill for each other intact and finding solutions to the problem instead of blaming. Fair Fighting Rule 3: No Yelling Yelling only escalates things.
Chances are nothing will get resolved when your emotions are running so high.
Keep in mind that yelling can be subjective. What is yelling to your spouse may not be yelling to you. Perhaps you are not tuned in to how you sound. Or you may have grown up in a home where family members were loud and passionate, and talking loud when you are upset seems normal.
Your spouse's experience is the one that counts here, however. If it feels like yelling to your spouse, then you are at least raising your voice, if not yelling. Make a conscious effort to lower your voice. The meaning of your communication lies in how your message is actually landing with others. Fair Fighting Rule 4: No Use of Force Using physical force or threatening to use force i.
Develop the self-discipline to set limits on your anger and your behavior before you reach this level. If either of you resort to physical force and violence in your relationship, seek professional help.
Use of force includes pushing, shoving, grabbing, hitting, punching, slapping or restraining.
14 Tips for Fighting Fair With Your Partner
It includes punching a hole in a wall, throwing things or breaking something in anger. Each of us has a right to be safe and free of abuse or physical danger in our relationships. Fair Fighting Rule 5: No Talk of Divorce In the heat of an argument, threatening to leave the relationship is manipulative and hurtful. It creates anxiety about being abandoned and undermines your ability to resolve your issues. Trust is not easily restored once it is broken in this way. It makes the problems in your relationship seem much bigger than they need to be.
Fair Fighting Rule 6: Use words that describe how you feel, and what you want and need, not what your partner feels, wants, or believes.
Fair Fighting Rules for Couples
More importantly, telling your spouse what he or she thinks, believes or wants is controlling and presumptuous. Instead, work on identifying your own unmet needs, feelings, and ways of thinking and describe these needs and feelings to your spouse.
Fair Fighting Rule 7: Stay in the Present Stay in the present and resist the temptation to use the situation as an occasion to bring up other issues from the past. You can only change today. You can look forward to a better future. And they do need to have a way to express intense feelings that the other person may not understand or support without feeling that they will be judged as lacking for doing so. Friendly fighting means working out differences that matter. It means engaging passionately about things we feel passionate about, without resorting to hurting one another.
It helps us let off steam without getting burned. Couples in mature, healthy relationships seem intuitively to understand the notion of friendly fighting. Some people have been fortunate enough to grow up in families where their parents modeled how to disagree without being disagreeable.
Others were so horrified by the way their folks treated each other that they refuse to repeat the behavior in their own relationships. Most couples, though, learn the art of friendly fighting by working it out together and supporting each other in staying in close relationship even when differences mystify, frustrate, and upset them. Most come up with stated or unstated rules for engagement that are surprisingly similar.
Below are some tips to ensure that conflicts will strengthen your marriage instead of harm it. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor.
She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education.