Fighting can cause severe damage to a relationship. Yet on another hand, if it is done appropriately and honestly, it can open doors to better communication which will lead to a better relationship. Here are a few tips on fair fighting:
1.Choose your battles wisely. You may want to write down the issues YOU are having. Remember, because you are having issues, does not mean your partner is. People are individually different species. Stick to only one topic in your talk. If there are several issues to be resolved, it might be best to arrange separate times to deal with each. If you try and resolve too many issues at once, you may not get to the bottom of any of them. Always have an open mind before you choose your battle. If there was more than one issue, you must ask yourself why so many issues have come up at once. Is there a communication problem in your relationship?
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2. Choose a time and a quiet, unrushed place to talk. Shut your phones. Never try and resolve an issue on the way to work or on the way to an important meeting. Wait until there is plenty of free, alone time. Remember, you don’t go and pamper yourself to make yourself feel better on your way to work. So don’t try and make yourself feel better in your relationship, when you are rushed.
3.Take turns listening to each other. Do NOT cut each other off. Learn to bite your tongue and sit with your feelings while your partner is expressing their reactions to you! Learn to fight appropriately. Just as there are fighting rules in a boxing match, there are fighting rules in a relationship.
4.Do not accuse or judge. Ask permission before you make an emotionally loaded statement. Do NOT say "you always" or "you never". Those statements are feelings not facts from your point of view. Remember, no one has the same set of eyes. You may see something one way, and your partner will see something in a different light.
5. NEVER RE-LIVE THE PAST. IF YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO FORGIVE YOUR PARTNER ON A PAST MISTAKE OR FAULT, IT IS NOT TO BE SPOKEN ABOUT AGAIN. If you cannot get over the past, and find yourself throwing past mistakes in your partners face then you have not truly forgiven your partner and need to work on YOU first. Why can’t YOU forgive?
6. No name calling. No nastiness. No belittling. Respect one another if you love one another.
7. “Stop if you can't keep the communication straight; stop if you feel that the fight is no longer related to the specific issue; stop if either of you become abusive.”
8. You may not be able to reach an agreement. It is ok to agree to work out a compromise. Compromise is communicating through each others eyes. Try and bend a little from time to time. Don’t always try to be correct.
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And if you want to hear it from an expert, here are a few tips for fair fighting from Dr. Phil:
A)Take it private and keep it private.
Fighting in front of your children is nothing short of child abuse. It can and will scar them emotionally — all because you don't have the self-control to contain yourself until you can talk privately.