There is an assumption between couples that fighting is a negative sign for relationships, and that it should be avoided at all costs. Only couples headed towards a breakup fight, right? Wrong!
In reality, couples that avoid confrontation will have more problems in the long run. Avoiding fights keeps the negativity built up inside of you which can have ill effects. Fighting can actually be a very healthy way to communicate your feelings to your spouse.
Now, we aren’t saying it’s time to start name-calling and screaming at your spouse. It’s the way that couples handle their disagreements will make for a healthy relationship. Here are some tips to learning how to fight fair with your spouse.
Timing of the Fight is Important
It’s first thing in the morning and your partner is running late for a big presentation at work, but you’re mad that they haven’t cleaned the dishes from last night like they said they would. Is this the correct time to bring that up? No.
If you are going to bring up an issue to your spouse, make sure it is at an appropriate time where both sides can stick around and dish it out until it is resolved. If one person’s mind is preoccupied with other tasks, then nothing in the conversation will actually be heard. Though it might sound strange at first, planning ahead and setting aside a time to tackle a serious topic might be the way to go for busy couples.
Learn Your Fighting Style
Each person is different when it comes to dealing with a fight. Some people handle negative situations by wanting to deal with it right away, while others want space and time to think and reflect on the problem before dealing with it. Find out what works for your partner and do your best to respect it. There might need to be compromises.
Trying to force an argument when someone isn’t ready to talk about it respectfully will lead to negative fights where stress and emotion overcome logic. If you and your partner have different fighting styles, part of the argument will become trying to understand why you need to deal with issues in different ways.
Be Clear on the Topic
A huge mistake most people make when fighting is venturing off topic. It’s important to be as clear and concise about what you are upset about. Bringing up the past will only snowball the arguments into something greater that is way off track from what the original problem was.
One way to combat this is by writing down your thoughts. Seeing exactly what you need to discuss and having a mental checklist will help you stay on track. If you feel an argument is going too far down the wrong road, pause and reevaluate. You might need to step back and collect your emotions before trying to continue.
Enter into every argument with understanding that this is someone you love, respect, and care about deeply. Fighting should be used as a way to empathize with your partner, where you can understand where they are coming from better. It is important to fight fairly.
Never use private information about your mate in a negative way. Those are sacred secrets that your partner told you because they trusted you, and throwing it back at them is a huge violation of that trust. That confidence will not be restored easily if you choose to call them names in a fight.
Enter in Good Faith
Before you even start an argument with your partner, really evaluate why you want to. What exactly is making you angry? Is it something they did, or are you actually just tired? Did they really hurt you or are you just grumpy from not eating enough? Pay attention to how you are feeling and make sure you have a clear mind before picking an argument with them.
In addition, treating your partner as an adversary isn’t going to help resolve any problems. You have to believe that the other person does care about you despite the argument. You both should always be looking out for each other and having each other’s best interests at heart.
Fighting doesn’t have to be a negative interaction between you and your partner. It can actually be used as a positive communication tool when used correctly. Always enter into these tough situations with the mindset that this is someone you love and care about deeply. Then you will be able to communicate with them effectively despite having differing viewpoints.