The 5 "Golden Rules" Of Fighting Fair With Your Spouse

Plus: the words you should never say during an argument.

unhappy couple zhang tianle  / Shutterstock

When navigating the rough and rugged waters of a relationship, one of the trickiest places to steer your metaphorical love canoe through is conflict.

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Yes, arguments happen and no, they aren't always pretty.

And, thanks to the differences in the way our brains are wired, men and women handle them differently. Some women want to talk about the problem immediately while some men may want time to cool down and discuss it later. Because of these differences, the wife may be thinking her husband is ignoring her and the husband may be thinking his wife is trying to egg him on.


Here are the 5 "golden rules" of fighting fair with your spouse:

1. Hit it head-on

No passive-aggressive Facebook and Twitter updates here, people. Rather, the majority of men and women want to deal with conflict directly — 62 percent and 64 percent, respectively. In a world where many turns to social media to complain instead of confronting issues in person, this is incredibly refreshing to hear.


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2. Don't say these words

Speaking of refreshing to hear, there are some phrases that definitely shouldn't be let loose when working through a conflict with a partner. For 67 percent of men, that phrase is, "You don't understand"; for 60 percent of women, it's "You need to calm down." Does this mean, "We need to talk" is fair game?

3. Establish rules

Aside from knowing which phrases will trigger a strong reaction, it's also advised to go into an argument with an established set of ground rules — 63 percent of men and 47 percent of women agree. Of course, when to set these ground rules is still up in the air (but mid-fight is likely not an ideal time).

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4. Avoid sensitive topics

The trickiest of them all? Money. Forty-nine percent of women and 44 percent of men say income is the subject that brings about the most conflict within their relationships.

5. Work together towards a resolution

Often the toughest part of dealing with conflict in a relationship is ending it. Men feel they are more willing than women to compromise during a disagreement; however, twice as many women are willing to admit they're wrong.

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Kait Smith is an editor, writer, and social media manager, who writes on love and relationships.