Fight Fair with Your Spouse
Marriage partners will always have different thoughts, feelings, or values, even if you have much in common. Your differences may create healthy debates over politics, current events, or other situations and keep life interesting. Other times, conflicts may be over things like children, in-laws, tasks, and other everyday occurrences. Things may become heated, but as long as they stay respectful, these can be meaningful learning moments because they teach you valuable communication skills. Anyone in a relationship needs to work on healthy fighting in some capacity.
Be Mindful of Serious Damage to Your Marriage in Arguments.
According to psychologists, relationships fail because of trust issues, unmet expectations, and compatibility, to name a few. Frequent arguing can lead to a troubled relationship and, if handled poorly, could end the relationship altogether. While fighting in a relationship is normal, there are ways to stop and take your conflict with poise and understanding.
It's Not Whether You Win or Lose.
Challenging each other intellectually with healthy debates helps you identify how your partner communicates. It shows how the other person deals with agreeing to disagree and when you should react or end the conversation. Staying calm shows self-control and an ability to handle a difference of opinion without leading to an argument. Learning some fair fighting rules can help you resolve conflicts or agree to disagree in a healthy, constructive way without hurting your partnership.
Six Rules for Fighting Fair.
1.Make Sure you know what you want from your partner.
Your partner cannot read your mind, so clearly tell them what you need. Whether it's something concrete or emotional, it will let your partner know how to make you happier and prevent future arguments.
2. Avoid monopolizing the conversation with a tirade.
It can be unpleasant when someone speaks over you or begins talking about themselves when trying to convey your feelings. Allowing your partner the courtesy to complete their thoughts during any argument is essential to ensure they feel heard, valued, and appreciated. Acknowledge that you understand and respect their point of view and ask them why they think the way they feel before you disagree.
3. Listen to what your partner is upset about before responding.
Look out for the interests of your spouse, as one of the components that can lead to an unfair fight is usually selfishness. The results will contradict the couple's well-being when looking out for their interests rather than their spouse's. It is wise to check your motives before engaging.
To be a good listener, give your partner uninterrupted time to talk. Great listeners are slow to speak, so they take in what their spouse is saying. When your spouse talks, do you listen or begin forming a rebuttal? The other thing great listeners do is ask great questions. Seek to understand by asking questions that lead your spouse to feel heard.
4. Don't drag in the past. Stick to the current issue at hand.
Don't Bring Up Past Arguments. While building your case with past offenses is tempting, it may remind your spouse of all the areas they failed in the marriage. Fighting fair in marriage involves grace and love in abundance. Choose to stay on topic rather than bring up the past.
5. Attack the issue, not each other.
As spouses, you are on the same team with dreams of facing this world together. Fighting fair in marriage always includes being respectful and considerate. Remember, your goal is resolution. Anger can harden hearts, whereas respect leads to a solution. Don't let your emotions dictate your behavior; maintain a respectful demeanor. If overheated, stop action, take a time out, and agree to return to the game as soon as possible. Often taking a 15-minute break will allow you to continue productively.
6. Remember, the goal is to find an agreeable solution.
Strive to come to mutually beneficial solutions. Negotiate, barter, compromise, sacrifice, and be creative in this process. You may have to let go of things you want, but you can find happiness. Consider being happy over being correct, which will help keep the peace. When you get through a challenging conflict, make sure that you celebrate together!
Trying to reach a compromise in conflicting situations takes time and effort. It can be challenging to get each other on the same page. Maintaining your marriage and family bond requires skillful communication techniques and a lot of openness. Consider using Marriage in a Box if you need helpful advice and suggestions on working through this.
Marriage In a Box is a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions that professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. You can set goals and earn rewards. Feel free to check out the available kit and sources of information online.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises