How to Stop Fighting in Your Relationship or Marriage

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on April 27, 2012

in Articles, Dating, Heartbreak, Marriage, Relationships

How to Stop Fighting in Your Relationship or Marriage Audio ProgramThis article is a companion to the How to Stop Fighting in Your Relationship or Marriage audio program:

Is fighting a problem in your relationship or marriage? Fighting is a very serious problem for many couples. The good news is that I am about to help you solve it permanently.

First you have to understand that you should not fight at all, with anyone. I don’t mean you should not disagree with others or your significant other. Nor should you not feel passionate about your disagreements. But fighting describes a set of behaviors that are very destructive to a relationship and must be prevented at all costs.

Here’s what we do when we fight. We get angry and defensive. We get intense and have trouble controlling our emotions, words and actions. People often exaggerate facts when fighting or they say things they don’t mean. None of this is productive in any relationship and especially in a romantic relationship. In fact, it is damaging. And it accomplishes nothing.

Instead, when you have a disagreement with your significant other, follow the nine commandments of fighting fair:

The Nine Commandments of Fighting Fair:

1.    Both people have the right to have needs and wants and make requests of each other.
2.    Even if one person’s needs, wants or requests make the other person uncomfortable or unhappy, it’s still OK to have these needs, wants and requests.
3.    Both people have the right to be understood, to state their case, to be heard.
4.    Both people have the right to express their opinion even if it is about each other, as long as it is done so respectfully.
5.    Even if the conversation makes one of the partners uncomfortable or anxious, it still needs to happen if the other person needs it to happen.
6.    Both people matter.
7.    The conversation needs to end in a compromise, where each person gets as much as possible of what he or she wants – both people need to work towards a win-win.
8.    If a partner brings up an issue, it is already important, otherwise it would not be brought up. Dismissing, stonewalling, ignoring, minimizing and making promises that are not kept is disruptive to the relationship.
9.    Emotions such as anger, anxiety and impatience need to be kept in check, even if it means the couple needs to take a break to calm down and/or talk about the issue in short segments.

If you approach “fighting” in this way, you will no longer have fights. Instead you will have a partnership with two people who come to each other with needs, wants and thoughts that are lovingly, openly received, supported, helped and honored by each other. That’s the kind of fighting that brings people closer rather than tearing them apart.

Both of you need to be at your best when you discuss issues so that you do not fight. It is important that intense conversations be timed when both people have the best possible chance to behave as a loving, supportive grown-up.

This means that when issues come up, do not hold them in and gather them to the point where you are going to burst unless you have it out right then, but do choose the timing of difficult conversations carefully.

A note to men about fighting:

Men tend to see women’s emotions as manipulative and are often afraid of women’s anger. If you are a man who finds it difficult to deal with your wife’s or girlfriend’s anger, I would ask you to think about one thing. She’s not your mother.

When your mother was angry at you or was manipulating you with her emotions, that was a life and death sort of situation. What boy wants to lose his mother’s love? Your mother’s anger or disappointment could probably reduce you to tears when you were a little boy, because she was the number one person in your life.

On the other hand, your wife or girlfriend may be the love of your life, but she did not give you life. She is your equal, not above you. She does not have the power your mother had over you. So let her be angry, and learn to breathe and be with her anger and disappointment – it cannot hurt you. If you can allow and honor her emotions and give her the right to have them, she will see you as her hero.

Last tip to avoid fighting and have productive, loving discussions with your partner:

When your partner is talking, listen. If you start getting upset say to yourself, “He is saying this and I am still OK,” or, “She doesn’t like something I am doing and I am still OK.” It’s a way of bringing yourself down from being upset so that you can listen and be in the conversation and make your relationship work.

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Want more help on how to fight fair or stop fighting in your relationship?

Get the How to Stop Fighting in Your Relationship or Marriage audio program. In this program Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries goes in-depth on the topic of how to stop fighting. She then goes on to cover many of the reasons for why couples fight and what to do about each one.

Find out:

  • Is it possible to fight fair?
  • How to fight so that it makes your relationship better
  • Alternatively, how to stop fighting altogether and deal with conflict more effectively and more lovingly, without giving up what you want
  • What is the first step in fighting fair in a relationship?
  • What does having conflict mean about your relationship?
  • What to focus on to better resolve conflict in a relationship
  • How and when to take a break during conflict
  • What to do when one of you needs or wants something from the other
  • How to time important discussions for maximum success
  • How to handle a partner who brings up the past
  • How long should you wait for a change from your partner before saying something?
  • What is compromise vs. what is giving in?
  • Why giving in will hurt your relationship
  • How to help your partner see things your way
  • How to start a conversation with your partner after a fight
  • Effective ways of keeping emotions under control
  • Why you should not lose control in a relationship
  • How long should the cool-off period be when conflict arises?
  • What do you do when one partner is the talker and the other is not …     and much more!

If conflict and fighting is a problem in your relationship, you, your partner
and your relationship will greatly benefit from this audio program!

Get your copy of the audio program MP3′s  + article &  fridge card PDF’s now
as digital, downloadable files for $24.95

Order the Stop Fighting Audio Program Now
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{ 20 comments }

Stacy May 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

What do you do if you have had so many fights over the last 15 months and he is at the point of completely walking away? He has given up complete hope and has no faith in our relationship at all. He says he will give it another chance but will he really give it all if he has no faith?

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries May 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

Stacy, I would get the audio program above and listen to it together. You will both learn skills to stop fighting and he will get renewed hope in your relationship.

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries April 29, 2012 at 6:58 am

Rogo, I explain how to deal with this kind of thing and what it means, step by step, in the How to Stop Fighting in Your Relationship or Marriage audio program (above). I would get the program and listen to it a couple of times. You will then have some new and interesting ideas of what to do.

rogo April 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

What does one do if the the partner is an avoider? Everytime I need to discuss something with my boyfriend, he blows before I can even finish my sentence with “Oh Geszz” His voice goes loud, and he walks away. He will not listen to me if he thinks its serious. This of coarse creates a fight. I feel i need to be heard, I follow him, he gets load, I get loud to be heard, and before we know it, we are in a hugh fight. This leads to one of saying to the other to go pack their bags. Any suggestions on this or is it hopeless?

rogo April 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

and i forgot to add, the next day, he acts as NOTHING happened!!! sweet as can be… and my feelings and issues get swept under the carpet once more.

melicer April 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

what happens when u r in a domestic violent home.

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries April 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

Then you need to get out, because that is a level of conflict that no one should live with.

simon March 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

i need help, my mouth is quicker than my brain and destroying my relatiionship, example today i finished work met the wifey and son walk home with them realy nice, then in the kitchen i cook dinner, she comes out to do something i gave her, her food but she didnt want it then, (thats cool) so i put it down n she says its alrite you no, i just dont want it yet, i was fine with it and she says im not ungreatful so i say yes you are, ……. example its doing my head inn, ive tried counting to 10, did work but not now, i pushed myself tobe calm worked, findit real hard to get it back, i just feel pathetic, please help anyone

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries April 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

Simon, get the audio program above and as you listen you will understand more about reacting and self-control. It will make it much easier for you to make the kind of choices in your relationship that you can feel good about.

sahil March 21, 2012 at 2:27 am

i have a love relationship with one girl from last 3 years ..i love her so much,and i know she also love me. But we fighting each other each day but we both don,t know the reason.,anyone please help me

chaithra November 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

when we starts to fight just think about the most loved person in ur life and the moments spend with you will be automatically cool

Sandra Curtis November 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

That are very smart ideas Renatta. I completely agree that angry defense and attack never solve the problem, but break trust and hopes to find the solution peacefully. This advices work when both partners want to find a different way to solve the disagreements. When it is only one spouse tries to get intelligent way and another doesn’t even want to read it, I think its time to go to the marriage consultants where independent person will be heard.

@CuriousDina April 28, 2009 at 8:54 am

Rinatta, hi. Another 31DBBB friend here. I hope you won’t mind if I comment a bit. While I love the idea of helping individuals learn how to navigate through disputes, I was a little troubled by some of the suggestions, particularly, 5 and 7.

Engaging in conversation honestly and in a self aware way is very difficult in the best of situations because we often don’t know our own wants or don’t how to separate actual needs from strong desires. It’s near impossible when a person is uncomfortable or angry. You’ll get talk but it won’t be productive, and might even do more damage. Better to discover how to create an environment in which that reluctant person can feel ok talking. Best way to do that is ask: It is important to me to talk about xxx, what do you need so we can do that?

As a veteran mediator of 17 years, I’m all about the win-win. However, too often I hear couples misunderstanding what compromise is. As you say, compromise is about getting some, but not all of what you want. Problem is those other unfulfilled needs don’t just disappear. They can fester into disappointment and resentment. How does it feel to know you can’t ever get everything you need- bad.

The trick is to really differentiate between what you want and what you actually need. Then work towards getting that over-aching need met. For instance, if my hubby and I are fighting over why he never does the laundry, I may want him to do it more often, but my actual need is to get laundry completed without being the one to do it all the time. From that vantage point a lot more options become clear that don’t require compromise. Like get a housekeeper, or pay our teen, or give me a treat whenever I do it.

And, if we wanted to be grow our relationship even more, we might discuss why the laundry was a problem and why it feels important to me (i.e. a sign of caretaking) and why he doesn’t like it (feels anxious about ruining clothes).

Opps, sorry, this is a long comment. I’m passionate about people understand how to approach and resolve conflict, especially in relationships.

Love=Fun

Dina

Love Coach Rinatta April 28, 2009 at 9:09 am

Hi there CuriousDina, all good points. But, the point I was trying to make in #5 is still very important. All too often partners ignore each others needs in the relationship until it is too late. Often one partner may sound to another like a winy kid – he or she may need something, but its not that important.

It’s important to know that if your partner wants to talk about something, it is very important not only to him or her, but also to you and to the survival of the relationship.

Bardo July 24, 2011 at 5:32 am

Never would have thunk I would find this so indsipsenalbe.

Bea April 27, 2009 at 11:38 am

Hi Rinatta! I just saw your post on problogger. Looks like you’ve got some great tips. I’m looking forward to following your blog.

Bea’s last blog post..Life After Residency: Preparing for a "Windfall"

Love Coach Rinatta April 27, 2009 at 11:58 am

Bea: hi there! thanks for visiting!

Love Coach Rinatta March 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Ann: thank you. I find that more specific the ideas, the easier they are to apply and have success with.

Searchingwithin: Ah, that is very good. Exactly, if we learn to walk a mile in our partner’s shoes, stand in their fears, have compassion for them, it would be much easier to hear and respond in a way that causes love rather than hurt.

searchingwithin March 30, 2009 at 8:01 am

Thank you for the commonsense rules.

In my opinion, anger stems from fear and hurt, and listening has to come from the heart, and not the ears. Usually we are planning our response, defense, and assessing our own reaction, that we don’t hear what the person is really trying to say, and usually the answer isn’t being expressed through the words they are saying, which many times has nothing to do with the real issue at hand.

The real issue isn’t that you didn’t take out the garbage, yet again, or you didn’t call when you said you would, etc., the real issue lies in your fear of loosing something that you are attached to, whether it is a value, respect, identity, love, acceptance, person, thing. Listen for what they are afraid of loosing.

Give up blaming and winning, and listen for the real message.

searchingwithin’s last blog post..Love Means Never Having to Say Your Are Sorry, Or Does It?

Ann Strong March 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I love the specificity of this, Rinatta. Thank you.

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