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.
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.
- 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