How to Fight Fair in Your Marriage
Lets face it. Every couple fights. Even couples in the best of relationships fight. Fighting isn’t always as bad as people think it is. It can actually help you to talk to each other about things that are important and express yourself (Read my article here about how fighting can be good for your relationship).But fighting can also be bad in your relationship – really bad. The difference? Arguments that are good for your relationship are arguments where the couple fights fair, gets things of their chest and works out a solution. The bad arguments are where couples just scream and yell and hurt each other’s feelings.
4 Tips To Fighting Fair in Your Marriage
So how do you make sure you’re doing the good kind of arguing and not the bad kind? One way is to make sure you’re fighting fair. Below are four simple tips of how you and your spouse can fight fair and increase your odds of ending an argument still happy with each other.
1) Stay on point: Everyone’s had a fight where it started off about who didn’t take the dog out but before long you’re both yelling at each other about who screwed up the Christmas party last year. A lot of fights start off about one thing but end up fighting about lots of other (unrelated) things. To fight fair, make sure to stay on point. If you’re angry about the dog not being taken out stay focused on the dog.
2) Don’t get personal: A personal attack is an attack on someone’s character. Comments like “well, if you weren’t so stupid all the time…” or “You are so lazy…” are good examples of personal attacks. These are no good for your relationship and they’re often irrelevant to the argument (see tip #1). To bring in personal attacks is one of the quickest ways to ensure your fight gets ugly and turns South. It’s also one of the quickest ways to create damage in your relationship. Do yourself and your marriage a favor, leave the personal attacks out.
3) Leave others out of it. If your spouse’s mother agrees with you – or their brother or co-worker or whoever – forget about it. If your argument doesn’t involve them leave them out of it. It does no good to bring others in because they’re not decision-making parties in your relationship and they can’t change anything anyway. So what if they agree with you? Why should your spouse listen just because someone else who’s not involved or understands the whole situation agrees with you? Trying to prove your point by bringing in others’ opinions often leaves your spouse feeling teamed up on and creates bad feelings between your spouse and whoever it is that agrees with you.
4) Offer a solution. This is the one where most spouses go wrong. They fight and fight, end up saying a bunch of hurtful things, then just head off to separate corners without actually ever solving anything. When you and your spouse start arguing try to offer solutions to what you think would fix it. Be prepared to negotiate because they might not agree entirely with your solution. But offering a solution shows your spouse that you want to fix things and that you don’t just want to verbally unload and hurt their feelings.
These four little steps are a good way to keep an argument from blowing up into a full fledged fight. These are also good tips that will help turn your argument into a communication/conversation. More importantly, these little tips can help you and your spouse feel like you actually came to a conclusion about something instead of both just got mad and left an issue unresolved.